Press Release Title
For More Information Contact:
Donald W. Kohler
Vice-President of Marketing & Public Relations
2700 College Rd. Box 4-C
Council Bluffs, IA 51502
(712) 325-3262 or 1-800-432-5852, ext. 3262
January 31, 2014
The Arts Center Presents First Person Seeing America
Council Bluffs, Iowa - On Friday, February 7, at 8:00 p.m. the Arts Center at Iowa Western will present Ensemble Galilei’s latest project “First Person: Seeing America” on the main stage theater, a remarkable retelling of the American story. This is the final performance of the Arts Center’s 2013-2014 National Series.

Hailed for its unique blend of Irish, Scottish, early and original music, Ensemble Galilei has created an inspired sound on stage and CD. Touring both gorgeous instrumental programs and exciting collaborative projects, the group takes each audience on an exquisitely designed journey.

Mixing the colors and styles of early instruments with Celtic traditions, the group is equally at home with Irish Reels, Medieval Cantigas and English Country Dance tunes. Ensemble Galilei is versatile, virtuosic, energetic, and very entertaining.   Ensemble Galilei collaborates with actors on a series of innovative programs that include spoken word, music and projected images including First Person: Seeing America, First Person: Stories From the Edge of the World, A Universe of Dreams, and A Winter’s Night.

From its inception in 1990, Ensemble Galilei has redefined the boundaries of chamber music, created new work, seized opportunities for collaborative relationships and consistently pushed the envelope in a series of innovative projects that explore combinations of images, words, and music.

After taking audiences into space through the lens of the Hubble Space Telescope (A Universe of Dreams) and on journeys of exploration and discovery with pictures from the National Geographic Image Collection (First Person: Stories from the Edge of the World), Ensemble Galilei now looks to home. With images by some of America’s finest photographers, and the poetry and prose of some of America’s greatest writers, the group’s ambitious new project is First Person: Seeing America.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art photography department, this program features large-screen projected images by some of America’s finest photographers, the poetry and prose of some of America’s greatest writers delivered by two guest actors, Lily Knight and Rob Nagel and the music of Ensemble Galilei.  Begin with the strength, diversity and depth of the photography collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art including works by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams and Arthur Rothstein.  Accompany these iconic images with the words of Abraham Lincoln, Jim Harrison, James Agee, Frederick Douglass, Calamity Jane, and more.  Layer it all with a live soundtrack provided by Ensemble Galilei and inspired by traditional music from Sweden, Scotland and Ireland featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, banjo, percussion and oboe.   Altogether, this is First Person: Seeing America, a remarkable and powerful retelling of the people and events that shaped our nation. 

Great photographers captured it all; the Civil War, the Dust Bowl, the immigrant experience and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land.  This is what these talented photographers saw and captured and these are the stories of First Person: Seeing America.

The Arts Center at Iowa Western is pleased to present First Person: Seeing on Friday, February 7.  Tickets can be purchased through the Arts Center box office at (712)388-7140 or online at .  Funding for this programming is provided in part by Iowa West Foundation, the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

If you would like more information about the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College, please contact Molly Noon at