Live Music and Historic Presentations on Saturday

Saturday at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon, Iowa is going to be a busy day!

Starting the day off we have the Smithsonian’s Home Town Teams exhibit opening at 10am in our Gymnasium.  The exhibit is FREE to the public and includes stories and memorabilia from the local region including Mount Vernon and Lisbon.

Also at 10am, we will have a special presentation in our Uptown Theatre – Remembering 6-on-6 Basketball Gallery Talk.  

The year 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the end of 6-on-6 girls’ basketball in Iowa.

To commemorate and reflect on this uniquely Iowan sport, the Iowa Women’s Archives and Sport Studies faculty in the Department of American Studies at the University of Iowa have collaborated to create a touring exhibition that tells the story of 6-on-6 basketball in Iowa and the girls and women that played it.

In conjunction with the Remembering 6-on-6 Basketball Gallery Talk the Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives will be collecting girls’ and women’s sport histories in Iowa.  Please stop by to tell your stories, ask questions about donating historical materials, or to donate documents, photographs, or other items related to 6-on-6 basketball or other sporting experiences.

Established in 1992, the Louise Noun – Mary Louise Smith Iowa Women’s Archives collects and makes available historical materials that tell the stories of Iowa women from all walks of life.

We end the night with a lively performance by returning acoustic artists known as Frances Luke Accord.  The show starts at 7:30pm.

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles.

TICKETS are only $15.

They have a new video that shows off their talents:

Hometown Teams Special Events This Weekend

This Saturday, April 14th 2018, we will be have two very special presentations in our Uptown Theatre as a part of the Smithsonian’s Hometown Teams traveling exhibit.

NOTE: The Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit is on display free to the public and fills our gymnasium.

“A Wrestling Life,” Talk and Book Signing by Dan Gable – April 14 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Wrestling legend Dan Gable will talk about the sport and his life, followed by a book-signing. His latest book, “A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable,” will be available for purchase.

Gable is a retired Olympic wrestler and coach best known for his tenure as head coach at the University of Iowa where he won 15 NCAA team titles between 1976-1997.

Playing to Win – Kids and Sports – April 14 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Cornell College professors of kinesiology Steve DeVries and Kristi Meyer will discuss origins and social factors that have influenced the growth of youth sports in the USA, how we have gotten to where we are now, and some current trends and issues.

Live Music – Frances Luke Accord – Folk and Americana

Performing Saturday, April 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles.

TICKETS are only $15.

Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.

Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord’s approach to music has marked a boundless evolution.

In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir.

Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).

“Frances Luke Accord are the definition of lean-in music.” – Joni Deutsch, NPR’s Mountain Stage

“Frances Luke Accord are some of our very favorite musicians, songwriters, and people. We couldn’t recommend their debut LP, Fluke, highly enough.”- Darlingside

“While Simon & Garfunkel may be no longer touring, Powers and Gunty are more than talented enough to take their place.” –Quinn Delaney, PlaylistHQ

Live Music – Chuck McDermott – Americana

An intimate evening with Massachusetts Country Music Hall of Fame singer and acclaimed songwriter Chuck McDermott. Paste Magazine says “his music is simply pure art”.

Chuck McDermott is best-known nationally for his touring, recording, and collaborations with former Kingston Trio guitarist and vocalist John Stewart, the writer of “Daydream Believer,” “Gold,” and “Armstrong.”

McDermott is also fondly remembered for the popular (and pioneering) successful 70’s Americana band Wheatstraw. His songwriting has won high praise from the Boston Globe, the Village Voice, and No Depression.

He will be performing as a solo artist as part of the LilFest Concert Series in the Uptown Theater at 7:30 pm on Saturday, April 14. Doors open at 7:15.

McDermott is performing select dates again across the USA after taking decades off to raise his family. His most recent album, “Gin & Rosewater,” was released in 2017, and has received praise from Stephen Stills and Rosanne Cash.

The LilFest Concert Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in Iowa. Past performers include Ellis Paul, Gina Forsyth, Jim Post, Dave Moore, and The Sweet Potatoes among others.

Cost:  General admission tickets are available for $15 through Brown Paper Tickets: http://chuckmcdermottiowa.bpt.me .

For more information about Chuck McDermott, visit his website: http://www.chuckmcdermott.com/

To see some videos from the new album:

And for additional audio:

Hometown Teams – More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa

The African American Museum of Iowa will be presenting “More Than Just a Game: African American Athletes in Iowa” Saturday, March 24th at 10:30 – 11:30 am in the Uptown Theatre as a part of a series of Hometown Teams events.

The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will be in Mount Vernon, Iowa from March 18 to April 28, 2018.  It is one of ten related events that is scheduled while the exhibit is in Mount Vernon.

From the African American Museum of Iowa:

Since the late nineteenth century, African Americans have participated in a variety of sports and contributed in profound ways to Iowa’s sporting culture. African Americans experienced severe discrimination in sports as in other activities, but fought long and hard to overcome racism. In Iowa, they frequently used achievement in sports as a way to come together as a community. These countless narratives both on and off the court, field, and ring, remind us of the broader struggle for civil rights in America.

This presentation coincides with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” exhibit, on view at the First Street Community Center March 18 to April 29, 2018. “How Sports Shaped America” is a Smithsonian traveling exhibit that allows visitors to put sports in the context of American culture and gain a better understanding of the role that sport plays in its interactions with families, schools, government, business, and other social institutions. The African American Museum of Iowa will feature local sports figures Art Pennington and Jack Trice.

RSVP on Facebook.

  • This event is presented by the African American Museum of Iowa.
  • Attendance is free and open to the public.

Complete Schedule of Hometown Teams Events:

Live Music – Chuck Mitchell – 2018 LilFest Concert Series

The First Street Community Center’s Uptown Theatre is happy to be hosting Chuck Mitchell as a part of the Spring/Summer 2018 LilFest Concert Series.

photo of Chuck Mitchell
Noel Brown – photo credit

Chuck Mitchell can fill a stadium with his voice, his songs and the songs of many others!  Indeed he’s been doing just that since the heyday of folk music when he shared his last name with Roberta Joan Anderson Mitchell (better known as Joni).

When:  Saturday, March 24th, from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Tickets are available at the door:

– General admission: $15
– VIP Seating: $50
– Student tickets are only available with a valid student ID at the door: $5

If you have concert questions or would like to become a VIP sponsor of one or more of our events please call (518) 576-9513.

Doors open at 7:15 pm.  BYOB -You can bring your own adult (or non-adult) beverages with the purchase of a First Street Community Center Uptown Theatre cup.

Click here to learn more about Chuck Mitchell, or you can check out his Facebook page.


Chuck Mitchell started singing in Detroit folk clubs and saloons in 1962. In Toronto, on his first out of town gig, he met a boney blonde songwriter named Joni Anderson, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They married, and as a duo Chuck and Joni Mitchell played the coffeehouse circuit and gin rummy, until she was 115,463 points ahead. They got divorced in 1968.

The folk clubs faded, and Mitchell moved on to college and arts council residencies. He lived in Coconut Grove, Santa Monica, and Greeley. In the eighties, he wandered back to the Heartland, and settled in a tall brick Keokuk house overlooking the Mississippi, built by a riverboat captain in 1879.

Mitchell’s credits include A Prairie Home Companion and repertory theater in the US and the UK. He has played Harold Hill in The Music Man, Woody in Woody Guthrie’s American Song, and Stephen Foster in Mr. Foster & Mr. Twain. Oh, and Carl Sandburg.

His one man cabaret folk show combines his skills as an actor, singer and guitarist. He sings songs by Guy Clark, Fred Eaglesmith, B. J. Shaver, Michael Peter Smith, and Cheryl Wheeler, and cabaret songs by Brecht and Weil — “Mack the Knife” and “Bilbao” — and whimsical songs by Flanders & Swann — “The Gnu” and “The Hippopotamus”. He roves the room singing “Freeborn Man” by Ewan McColl. He weaves poetry by Carl Sandburg, T.S. Eliot and others into his shows.

Mr. Mitchell will be available for media interviews in advance of the show by calling or texting Nancy Emrich Freeman at 847-256-0000.   Further information about Chuck Mitchell and high-resolution photos are also available by contacting Nancy Emrich Freeman.  On YouTube, enter “Chuck Mitchell Sings”.

Photo of LilFest - Bear LogoLilFest Concert Series 2018

The LilFest Series regularly presents folk and international concerts in intimate settings in the Eastern Iowa region. Past performers include Jim Post, James Lee Stanley, Eric Taylor, The Sweet Potatoes, Claudia Nygaard, and Nathan Bell.

LilFest was originally developed in the Chicago area by Nancy Emrich Freeman, the now-resident of Mount Vernon continues a grand tradition of bringing the finest musicians to play in the places that are best for both the person onstage and the fan in the nearby seat.

Smithsonian’s ‘Hometown Teams’

Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Main Street Iowa program will celebrate the many roles athletics play in towns, cities, and states across the country when it brings the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,”  to Mount Vernon from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

“Hometown Teams” examines how and why hometown sports are more than just games.  Sports shape and unite us. From pick-up games to organized leagues, millions of Americans of all ages play sports. And, if we’re not playing sports, we’re sitting in the stands or gathered on the sidelines cheering as young athletes take their first swing or score their first goal. Let’s not forget, either, the tireless souvenir sales people and those slinging hamburgers and popcorn at concession stands.

The traveling Smithsonian exhibit will be enhanced and complemented by exhibits featuring local legacies.

A short video about the exhibition can be viewed at here.

“Hometown Teams” as well as the local exhibits featuring memorabilia from Eastern Iowa communities will be on display in the First Street Community Center’s Gymnasium, with occasional special events held in the Uptown Theatre.  Entrance to the exhibit will be FREE.

The exhibit will be on view from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

The open hours for the exhibit will be:

Wednesdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sundays: Noon – 4 p.m.

Live Theatre – And Then There Were None – by Agatha Christie

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre presents Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”

One of the classic murder mystery stories of the 20th century.  Agatha Christie’s dramatization of one of her darkest and most successful mystery novels is set in a house on a remote island off the coast of Devon, England in the 1940’s. The plot revolves around ten strangers who are summoned there because they have a secret past in common.

Each visitor has been marked for murder and, one by one, they are killed in the order dictated by a sinister nursery rhyme about ten little soldiers. As a storm rages outside, there is no escape. This is a classic murder mystery drama by one of the masters of the genre!

Do they deserve it? Who is the murderer? Who will be the next victim? Will anyone leave the island alive to tell the tale? Will anyone in the audience figure it out before it’s too late?

Performances Thursday, March 8th – Saturday March 10th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, March 11th at 2pm.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors.

Tickets can be purchased at the event, or before by calling 319-535-2030 and asking for tickets to the show.

For more information about the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre check out their website.