Things to do in Iowa City this weekend: 2021 Witching Hour festival


A sound installation that blurs the line between creator and listener.

Discussions between community leaders and artists.

The seventh annual Witch Hour already maintains its mission if its calendar is any indication.

The festival, produced by Englert Theater magazine and Little Village, is dedicated and continues to focus on “exploring the unknown, discussing the creative process and presenting new works”.

Previous Witching Hour festivals have featured everything from documentaries about NFL players to an alleyway fashion show in Iowa City.

Witching Hour isn’t just limited to one genre or one goal, but instead offers a variety of thoughtful offerings to the Iowa City community.

The marquee reads

Poetry, music, live readings and more round out the two-day festival, which returns Friday and Saturday with in-person programming.

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Here are three things to know about the festival:

Moebius Strips, a sound sculpture

Dieter Moebius was a Swiss experimental musician, a member of the West German group Harmonia and half of the German music duo Cluster.

His musical heritage lives on in “Moebius Strips”, a multi-channel “sound sculpture” created by composer Tim Story. The audio installation compiles sounds from the Moebius archives and sounds from artists who have brought their own interpretations of the material.

This physical installation will allow listeners not only to hear the material, but also to influence it through their physical movement as they enter and around the exhibition.

“Moebius Strips” made its debut in England before making its way to art institutions, festivals, museums and other spaces around the world.

“It’s, I think, rethinking the use of the England Theater, where it makes the Englert itself almost an art museum instead of being a performance space,” said Andre Perry, founder and director of Witching Hour. “So this seems like a very witchy hour. “

Exposure is something that people can engage with at their own pace and control how long they want to check out the facility, which is ideal as COVID-19 issues persist, Perry said.

The “Moebius Strips” installation will also have a video tour accessible to people. Story and Iowa City artist Elly Hofmaier will guide people through the exhibit on the virtual tour.

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Continued focus on accessibility

Traces of last year’s virtual festival can be found in this year’s version.

To attend the many events on the two days, customers must purchase a pass.

Students can buy a pass for $ 15, non-students for $ 25, or people can choose their own price for a ticket.

The “Choose your own price” feature was created during the festival last year.

“It’s an ongoing effort by the festival and England to really increase accessibility and engagement with this type of multidisciplinary community program,” said Perry. “(It’s) just to involve more people and have fewer barriers.”

Saturday brings discussions with Public Space One, South District Neighborhood Association and more

“Discussing the Creative Process” is particularly evident with two panels on Saturday, titled “Lessons and Visions on Independent Space”.

Both panels will be held at FilmScene at Chauncey in Theater 1, celebrating “community efforts to build more independent spaces,” according to the Witching Hour website.

The first panel discussion features Chicago writer and educator Nate Marshall and South District Neighborhood Association members Elinor Levin and Eric Harris.

The second panel discussion features Kalmia Strong and John Engelbrecht of Public Space One, as well as members of Femme Decks, an electronic music collective that focuses on empowering diverse artists with marginalized voices. This panel will discuss how independent spaces can support and create intersectional justice work.

Full Witching Hour 2021 schedule


Moebius Strips Exhibition, The Englert Theater, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Reflections on Moebius Strips: A Conversation with Lauren Lessing & Tim Story, University of Iowa Main Library Gallery, 5-6 p.m.

Poetry in Motion: In partnership with Mic Check Poetry Fest, Iowa City Senior Center, 7-9 p.m.

Eve Maret, at Gabe’s, 9 p.m.-9.45 p.m.

Female Decks Presents: DIE / ASPORA & Liara Kaylee Tsai, Gabe’s, 22:23:59


Moebius Strips Exhibition, Englert Theater, 8-10 a.m.

Moog interactive workshop, Le Chauncey, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lessons and visions on independent space – Part 1, FilmScene at Chauncey at Theater 1, 10 am-11am

Lessons and visions on independent space – Part 2, FilmScene at Chauncey at Theater 1, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Moebius Strips launch event with Tim Story and his guests, The Englert Theater, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Moebius Strips Video Tour, online event, 3:30 p.m. and more

Moebius Strips exhibition, The Englert Theater, 4 pm-8pm

Writers of Color Reading Series, Merge, 5-6 p.m.

Tasha, Gabe’s, 9 pm-10pm

Lala Lala, at Gabe’s, from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Paris Barraza covers entertainment, lifestyle, and the arts at the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Contact her at [email protected] or (319) 519-9731. Follow her on Twitter @ParisBarraza.

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