Arts

George Daily Auditorium

Since opening its doors in August 1997, the George Daily Auditorium has become a center for the performing arts in Oskaloosa.

The George Daily Auditorium has much to offer the public. Auditorium officials have teamed up with William Penn University faculty to improve fine arts education at the college. Students get practical experience putting on shows and running an auditorium thanks to the partnership between the two organizations. The same professional shows that play in major cities or in the Des Moines Civic Center also play at the George Daily Auditorium in Oskaloosa.

The George Daily Auditorium also features one of the only large-group recording studios in the state of Iowa. The auditorium has the space and multi-track recording technology to record symphonies and large vocal music groups. Local musicians and professional groups such as Dallas Brass record at George Daily Auditorium Productions.

The George Daily Auditorium benefits from the Friends of the Auditorium, a group of businesses and individuals who donate to handle financial needs. The Friends of the Auditorium, along with corporate sponsors guarantee that the performing arts will continue to be accessible to everyone in the Oskaloosa community.

FACE

The Fine Arts and Cultural Events (FACE) of Mahaska County promotes the arts in the Mahaska County Community through classes, shows, raffles, concerts, trips and hosting a gallery. We seek to help all children and adults in the area enjoy, experience and create as much art as possible. For more information, visit the FACE Facebook page or contact Sue Van Wyk at (641) 672-2690 or by email.

In pursuit of our mission, the FACE organization believes:
  • That our position in the community is both an opportunity and a responsibility to provide arts related leadership.
  • The FACE organization is a resource to benefit the residents of the Mahaska County Community.
  • In open, accessible, respectful and ethical behavior in our conduct with all people who come in contact with the FACE Board.
  • That our policies, programs and practices should enable and encourage growth, dignity, inclusiveness, fairness and equality for people in the Mahaska County Community.
  • In working as a catalyst in the arts community by helping to find solutions to community initiatives that require assistance.
  • In encouraging and nurturing innovation and managing the risks inherent in creating art.
  • We must encourage people with various backgrounds to participate in the arts.
  • In allowing the elected Board to make informed decisions in accordance with set policies and available information.
  • In an ongoing and open evaluation of all policies, programs and initiatives.

Oskaloosa Community Theatre

For over 30 years, the Oskaloosa Community Theatre has brought comedy and tragedy to local residents. A group of citizens interested in the arts formed OCT in 1975. The community theater gives amateur thespians the stage to realize their acting or directing dreams. For those who prefer to work behind the curtain on lights, props, costumes or sets, OCT offers them a welcome home. The cast and crews of OCT have performed plays such as "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Our Town."

The 12 members of the OCT board review scripts and vote on the shows the theater will perform. Also, they open auditions for anyone interested in acting. In fact, anyone who has the ability can direct a play, board members say.

Oskaloosa Municipal Band

The Oskaloosa Municipal Band performs on Thursday nights during the summer months at the bandstand in the city square. The band has been performing since 1864.

Oskaloosa Public Library

The Oskaloosa Public Library opened its doors in 1903. The Oskaloosa Women's Club spearheaded the drive to create a public library for the community. The Carnegie Foundation donated $20,000 for the library's construction, and the library's first book collection came from the YMCA library.

The Oskaloosa Public Library has evolved from being just a library with a large collection of books to a high-technology information center that serves both young and old. The library has about 25,000-square-feet of space on three floors that includes meeting rooms, microfilm viewing areas, computer labs, a children's library and, of course, cases and cases of books.

Besides an extensive collection of print materials, the Oskaloosa Public Library offers wireless Internet service and two computer labs. Is also offers the innovative OPL@Home program that give patrons with library cards online access to the library's services from their own homes. The library also has an Iowa Communications Network room with fiber optic links to other ICN member institutions. The library also carries items such as books on CD as well as films on DVD.

The Oskaloosa Public Library also has reading programs to involve readers of all ages in the love of reading. The library's summer reading program is a hit with young readers in the area. The library's "Mahaska County Reads" program allows the whole community to read the same book.

Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

The Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra has brought big-city culture to Oskaloosa since its inception in 1998. Under the direction of Tony Chang, the orchestra performs at George Daily Auditorium. A non-profit Orchestra Association was established in 2001 to nurture the development of the symphony.

Chang received a bachelors degree in violin performance from Indiana University, a masters of music from Miami University and is a doctoral degree candidate in violin performance at the University of Oklahoma. Chang has played in professional orchestras in the United States and Japan. He has been the conductor and music director of the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra since 1988. He also was invited to conduct the Pleven Philharmonic in Bulgaria in May 2003 and was invited to return as a guest conductor in May 2006.

Chang conducts an eclectic group of musicians from the community as well as musicians from the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ottumwa, Central Iowa, Quad Cities and Waterloo symphonies and students and faculty members from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Truman State and Drake universities.

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222 First Avenue East · Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577
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