Don't miss these once-in-awhile events

George Washington Carver One-Man Performance

Paxton Williams of Des Moines will present “Listening to the Still Small Voice” on Wednesday, April 22 at the Wallace House. The play describes the life and work of George Washington Carver (circa 1864-1943) including how his birth in slavery, struggle for an education and love of nature led him to become one of the most influential and inspiring renaissance men of the 20th century. Williams covers Carver’s time in Iowa, beginning in 1888 in Winterset, his studies at Simpson College and Iowa State College, and his friendships with Uncle Henry, Henry C., and Henry A. Wallace.

The performance begins at 7 pm with a dessert reception following. Cost is $20 per person, payable in advance by card, check or cash. Seating is limited so reservations are required. Purchase on-line tickets or call 515.243.7063.

Paxton Williams is an attorney and actor/playwright who believes in the power of stories to inspire, connect, and transform. Williams authored “Listening to the Still Small Voice” in 2000, and has performed it more than 400 times in the U.S. and England. From 2005-2009, Williams was executive director of the George Washington Carver Birthplace Association. He served recently as associate producer for the regional Emmy-nominated Iowa PBS documentary on Carver and was the content expert on the National Geographic Readers book on Carver.  A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Williams also holds degrees in political science, communication studies, and public policy from Iowa State University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Birmingham in England.

Spring Quilt Show

Dozens of quilts will be on display in the Gathering Barn at the Country Life Center Saturday, April 25 to Saturday, May 2, 1-5 pm daily. $5 admission + dessert & coffee for an extra $5.

A special brunch program from 10 am-noon on April 25 kicks off the show. Quilt experts Barb Eckoff and Virginia Berger will present “Feed Sacks & Quilts”. $20/person includes show admission. Reservations required: 641.337.5019.

On Sunday, April 26, bring one or 2 of your own quilts for an evaluation by expert Deb Irving. $20 includes one show admission. Pre-registration required: 641.337.5019. Deb will also give a talk on caring for quilts at 3 pm. Free with show admission.

One Man Play: Grant Wood

Tom Milligan will portray Iowa native Grant Wood during his performance of “Grant Wood: Prairie Rebel” on Wednesday, May 20 at 7 pm at the Wallace House. Admission is $20 per person.

Grant Wood chats with the audience in this one man show, as if talking to an old friend across the backyard fence, or maybe at his home at Five Turner Alley in Cedar Rapids. He tells us about his life and how he changed the art world forever with his work. It is the man behind American Gothic that we hear and see, and the story of how he took the moments, the memories, and the people of our state, and showed the whole world the specialness of this place, Iowa.

After the presentation, the audience is encouraged to ask questions about Grant Wood and his life and view a copy of the famous Henry A. Wallace portrait by Grant Wood used on the cover of “American Dreamer”. A dessert buffet will be served. Because seating is limited, reservations are suggested by calling 515.243.7063. If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance, please call 515.243.7063 in advance.

Performer Tom Milligan has spent 45 years as a working theater artist in Iowa. As an actor, director, scenic designer and producer, his work has been seen throughout the Midwest, especially at the Des Moines Playhouse, Ingersoll Dinner Theater, The Drake Opera Theater, Hoyt Sherman Place, The Drama Workshop and other venues in the Des Moines area. In 2005 he moved to the Amana Colonies, working on multiple productions at the Old Creamery Theater and the Iowa Theater Artists Company, plus many self-produced productions.

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