Since the original Hancher Auditorium opened on the University of Iowa campus in 1972, the organization has presented world-class artists to the Iowa City community—work that continues on the new Hancher Auditorium stage. But Hancher’s impact extends far beyond any one stage or facility.
An example of this is Hancher’s effort to ensure Iowa City became part of the Kennedy Center’s ambitious Any Given Child program which seeks to provide equitable access to the arts to all the children in a given school district. For over five years, the Iowa City Any Given Child program has provided expanded opportunities for K-8 students in the Iowa City Community School District to engage with the arts.
“We know the arts change lives, no matter what age you are,” says Chuck Swanson, Hancher executive director. “Any Given Child reaches kids at a young age, and we know that enriches their lives and may well lead to lifelong engagement with the arts.”
Hancher and the Iowa City schools have forged a strong partnership which is supported by other area arts organizations. The work is ongoing and will continue to touch lives for many years to come.
“We love to work together with others in the community,” Swanson says. “Any Given Child makes our great community even better, and we’re proud to be part of this work and honored to work with the school district and others to make sure kids engage with the arts. We just think that’s so important.”
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