Community Partner Spotlight: Hancher Auditorium

In Summer 2019, two graduate students (Mark Rheaume and Michael Davis) completed eight-week internships at Hancher Auditorium, as part of an opportunity to explore how their academic training might translate into a variety of professions and workplaces. 
You can read more about the internship here and their (and other summer fellows’) experiences here. Below, Hancher Auditorium’s Education Manager, Micah Ariel James, shares a few details about the organization and its efforts to support the local community.


1. In the context of the internship, how would you define “public good”?

I think of “public good” as increasing accessibility to the arts and programming so that the general public has the opportunity to be part of conversations that are exciting and relevant. Since Michael Davis was actively working on how to reach out to students, it was a great chance to think about this actively.

2. If you could do ANY collaboration—any project or initiative—with the University of Iowa, what would it be?

I’m more and more interested in engaging with young audiences, specifically with teenagers. Hancher has already done some partnerships with G! World, the Dream Center, and UAY, but doing even deeper and longer collaborations would be great. I want to help teens not only learn about and experience the artists we have at Hancher and to see the arts in action, but also to experience the various careers that are available through the arts.  

3. What one event or opportunity do you want folks to know about and participate in?

Without a doubt, the Luchadores Immigrants in Iowa exhibit. We’ve been in conversation with photographer Miriam Alarcon Avila about this event for a year and a half. It opens on November 19 and will be up through December 5. You can come during the day or any night that Hancher is open to see it. We’re excited that next week we are also featuring residencies and performances by two related groups, CONTRA-TIEMPO & Las Cafeteras. While it’s important to us to bring artists from all over the world, our commitment and duty are to our community here in Iowa. To be able to match a local artist with national artists, so that her art is in conversation around this topic that is important at both the local and national levels is, for us, the apex of what we do.