The University of Iowa

In addition to a diverse 2017 lineup announced this winter including musicians, authors, poets, comedians, chefs, and more, Mission Creek Festival is delighted to share details of this year’s Mission Creek Art + Life + Tech (ALT) speaker series, presented in partnership with the University of Iowa as part of the “Our Lives Online” Theme Semester. Most ALT events take place on Saturday, April 8, as part of the festival’s “Community Day” programming, when all daytime festival events are free and open to the public.


Mission Creek Festival debuted its tech-centered event series in 2014, and ALT returns to Iowa City this spring, with events happening on March 18, April 7, and all day April 8. Thanks to generous sponsorship from the UI Office of Outreach & Engagement and ICAD (Iowa City Area Development Group), we can offer the series at no charge, exploring intersections between technology, art, and our lives through keynote talks, workshops, and panel discussions. We seek to inspire and build community creativity empowered and enabled by technology; to display technology as a means to creative ends rather than as an end in itself; and to build a broader community among art and tech cultures through inspiring content.


On Sunday, March 19, from 2-4:30 p.m., Samantha Dahlby will host a pre-festival workshop at the Iowa City Public Library called “How to Code Like a Kid,” exposing students of all ages to computer science through an hour of coding, plus other fun STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities. Space is limited, and registration is required:


On Friday, April 7, 2-3:30 pm, ALT kicks off with a workshop entitled “An Unexpected Narrative: Experiences & Experiments” at the University of Iowa’s Visual Arts Building (Room E125), hosted by Nick Scappaticci, CEO at Tellart, and Matt Arnold, UX Director at ConnectFive.


Saturday, April 8, features a full day of ALT activities at the Iowa City Public Library, beginning with a much-anticipated “Learn to Solder” workshop from 10 am to noon led by Donald Bell, creator of Maker Project Lab and a former Projects Editor for Make: Magazine. Workshop participants of all ages can learn the basics of soldering electronics and put it to use by assembling a cool LED light project called a Larson Scanner, famously used as KITT’s hood lights on the TV series Knight Rider. Space is limited; participants should pre-register at


ALT activities continue throughout the afternoon at the library on Saturday, April 8:

1 p.m. Presentation: “Unexpected Futures” with Nick Scappaticci
2 p.m. Panel: “#crushingit and #restingit -- slow hustle” with Peter Awad
3 p.m. Presentation: “The Literacy of the Future” with Samantha Dahlby
4 p.m. Presentation: “Demystifying the Maker Movement” with Donald Bell

Pre-registration is not necessary for the afternoon events. For more details, added events, and presenter bios, visit the Mission Creek ALT website, at


Mission Creek Festival is dedicated to delivering a riveting 6-day artistic experience for our community that builds on the cultural geography and capital of downtown Iowa City. Programming focuses on music performances, literary readings, film screenings, public lectures, local food culture, and educational outreach. Nestled in the heart of downtown Iowa City, with most venues within a five-minute walk of each other, Mission Creek thrives on intimacy and cross-medium experiences, turning music lovers onto new literature, writers onto new music, and expanding appreciation of arts, community, and culture.


Mission Creek Festival Community Day also features a rock show at the new location of Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City, an underground music showcase at the Deadwood tavern, our annual Literary Magazine and Small Press Book Fair at The Mill (including a reading at 6 pm by Saeed Jones, Alice Sola Kim, and Isaac Fitzgerald), ICE CREAM (The Iowa City Expo for Comics and Real Eclectic Media), and Mission Boutique--all free and open to the public. Full Community Day schedule is available at

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