Questions?     +(319) 337-7944  


The mission of Summer of the Arts is to build community by bringing people together in the heart of Iowa City to experience, learn about, and enjoy free arts and cultural programs.

Summer of the Arts brings people together to experience the arts, out loud, in the heart of Iowa City. Since 2005, Summer of the Arts has hosted summertime, family-friendly, arts and cultural festivals. We create synergy with marketing, fundraising, and operations while maintaining the unique identity of each of our five events. Our generous sponsors and donors ensure we are able to offer free, family-friendly, high quality entertainment every summer for our community to enjoy.


If you enjoyed this year’s festivals, please consider making a donation to Summer of the Arts so we are able to continue providing FREE, family-friendly programming to the Iowa City area!

Click HERE to make a donation!

Annual Reports

2015 Annual Report (PDF)



  • PRESIDENT: Aimee Jennings, Travel Leaders
  • VICE PRESIDENT: Abby Reskto, Glassando
  • TREASURER: Angie Brown, MidWestOne Bank
  • SECRETARY: Lisa Baum, KCCK
  • PAST PRESIDENT: Jason Weeks, Hills Bank and Trust Company

Ex-Officio Members

  • Wendy Ford, City of Iowa City
  • Nick Pfeiffer, Think Iowa City: Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau


  • Loyce Arthur, UI Theatre Arts Department
  • Nick Benson, University of Iowa
  • Nick Billups, UICCU
  • Gloria Escarza, Blank & McCune The Real Estate Co.
  • Matt Getz, The Accel Group
  • Scott McGill, Edward Jones Investments
  • Teresa McLaughlin, Sean Kenney Design, Inc.
  • Shanti Roundtree, Pearson
  • Kim Schillig, Lepic-Kroeger Realtors
  • Marty Skubal, PC Media
  • Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
  • Simeon Talley, Iowa Fashion Project/Little Village
  • Blake Zacharias, RSM US LLP

Join our Board in 2019

We are looking for 3-4 new board members to join us in the new year.

We are especially interested in individuals with legal, marketing, and fundraising experience.

View our Board of Directors Application (Google Docs) and Board of Directors Expectations (PDF)


  • Lisa Barnes, Executive Director
  • Bill Callahan, Director of Philanthropy
  • Terri Reeve, Operations Manager
  • Andrea Truitt, Volunteer and Community Relations Manager


  • Lindey Carlson, Festival Intern
  • Rebecca Peterson, Marketing
  • Yining Zhu, Graphic Design


Interested in gaining experience, building your resume, and giving back? We’re currently accepting applications!

Please look at our 2018-2019 Internship Brochure for open positions and job descriptions.

Please send a cover letter, resume, and portfolio (if you’re interested in a Graphic Design or Multimedia internship) to:
Lisa Barnes, Executive Director

Green Initiative

green-teamSummer of the Arts is committed to a bold environmental sustainability mission and to educate through experience. Each year we continue to work to improve and expand our Think, Be, Live Green program. Our 2016 efforts include:

Replacing Disposables with Compostables on Culinary Row

Our festivals are proud to offer a greener option of tableware than the typical plastic and Styrofoam you may find at other events. Summer of the Arts has made the commitment to require our Food Vendors to use biodegradable and recyclable products throughout our festivals, dramatically reducing the waste produced by Culinary Row and other areas of our festivals. We strongly encourage our festival attendees to dispose these biodegradable products in the compost or recycling bin at one of our many Eco-Stations staffed by our extraordinary volunteer Green Team.


Look for our Eco-Stations at our festivals this year. Shaded by a bright highly visible umbrella, a volunteer member of the Green Team will be at each Eco-Station to greet you and help you sort waste into the compost, recycling, and landfill bins. The compost waste produced by our festivals will be sent to the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center where it will be developed into rich fertilizer, benefiting gardeners and farmers in our community.

Eco-Education Booths

Come visit the Eco-Education booths to learn about how our community can help reduce our environmental impact. Fun, interactive, educational programs will be running throughout the festival day, staffed by local business sponsors and University of Iowa Environmental Student Groups to demonstrate how you can Think, Be, Live Green.

Hydration Stations- Sponsored by Crystal Clear

Plastic water bottles make up a large component of the recycle stream and are frequently seen in event waste. In an attempt to lower the amount of waste created, Hydration Stations are set up at our festivals for attendees to purchase a Summer of the Arts (stainless steel, BPA free) water bottle for just $6 and receive FREE refills throughout the entire summer at all of our weekend long festivals OR they can fill up their own reusable water bottle with fresh filtered water for just $1.

Free & Secure Bicycle Valet Parking – sponsored by World of Bikes

Summer of the Arts encourages all of the festival attendees to take advantage of our Free and Secure Bicycle Valet Service. Riding your bike is a simple way to minimize energy use and carbon footprints. We are excited to invite all patrons to take advantage of the prime parking spot we have reserved for bikers! The lot will be located in the same place for all three weekend long festivals on Iowa Avenue in between Van Allen Hall and the Biology Building East on the University Of Iowa Campus. Festival goers simply fill out a bike claim ticket and a volunteer will take care of parking and retrieving bikes for them. All parked bikes must be claimed by the end of each festival evening.

Volunteer Green Team – Sponsored by Meardon, Suppel, & Downer PLC

The Summer of the Arts Green Team is made up of volunteers who are enthusiastic and dedicated to ensuring that we recycle and compost as much of the waste produced at our festivals as possible. These passionate volunteers are trained to answer questions festival attendees may have and to generally assist patrons with sorting compost, recycling, and landfill waste into the correct bins.

Green Initiative Sponsors

Stay in Touch

Persons attending Summer of the Arts events may be recorded or photographed as a festival attendee. These images may be used for Summer of the Arts programming or promotion, including broadcast on television, the Summer of the Arts website, the Internet, and other media.

Contact Us

325 E. Washington St., Ste. 301 | Iowa City, IA 52240 | 319.337.7944