2021 M-PAC Members
Ben Fletcher (Chair)
Deb Milizer, Main Street/Downtown Liaison
Dylan Does, Alliance Board Member Liaison
Geoff Hubbard, City of Marshalltown Liaison
Amber Danielson, Executive Director of the Alliance
The Marshalltown Public Art Committee (M-PAC) is a program of the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance. In 2014, M-PAC was created as a program of the Alliance to increase community pride in the community by providing art in publicly accessible spaces and to be a resource for the City of Marshalltown. M-PAC's main focus is on the city of Marshalltown and has contributed to the city with the addition of Echo in the 13th Street District, Drills at the MHS Roundhouse and Marshalltown’s designation as an Iowa Great Place in 2014. M-PAC is led by an all-volunteer committee composed of community members who believe art can enhance and create a sense of belonging.
Downtown Pickle Ball Pocket Park (between City Hall and the Coliseum)
Following the 2018 tornado community leaders identified the importance of moving forward with a new Master Plan for Downtown Marshalltown as part of the recovery process. In addition to the Downtown Master Plan, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified areas within the community that are not within a quarter or half mile of a current park, and this location is outside of the half-mile buffer. The placement of a park in this location will increase access and reduce the distance to travel to a City park for a large area of residents on the north side of the community while providing a new amenity in Downtown.
To further enhance the project, the Marshalltown Public Art Committee, in partnership with the City, has commissioned Iowa poet, Akwi Nji, to lead a sidewalk poetry project in the pocket park. Akwi will be facilitating conversations with community members who have stories to share from the tornado. She will take those stories and conversations to inspire her to create 10 different poems that will be stamped into the concrete in the pocket park. The poems will tell the story of Marshalltown's resiliency.
The pocket park is located between the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and City Hall off of West State Street. For the Pocket Park to be safe and successful, the adjacent alley has been converted for pedestrians only. The pocket park will include a pickle ball court, benches, green space and a mural.
The current timeline is for the park to be completed sometime late summer or early fall.
Learn more about Akwi
Pocket Park Plans
Get to know Akwi and learn more about the project - listen to an interview of Akwi with KFJB 1230AM!
This project is funded by the
Community Foundation of Marshall County's Rebuild Marshalltown Fund
Marshalltown Performing Art Center (MHS/Community Auditorium)
The Marshalltown Performing Arts Foundation and the Marshalltown Community School District/High School, in partnership with the Marshalltown Public Art Committee (M-PAC), is seeking an artist or artist-led team for the commissioning of a work of art for permanent installation at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center in Marshalltown, Iowa.
The Marshalltown Performing Arts Center is utilized by our students and entire community. Student performances regularly include the Marshalltown High School Show Choir, Orchestra, Chorus, Band, Jazz Band and more. It hosts many of our local dance studios’ annual performances and is a pride point for showcasing and amplifying the arts in Marshalltown. In addition, it is used by several community organizations such as, Live on Stage which hosts world-class performing artists from all over the world.
PROJECT GOALS - The artwork selected for commissioning will:
Performing Arts Center Foundation: Bill Fitzgerald, Kyley
Leger, Bonnie Lowry and Amy Ose
Marshalltown Community School District: Jacque Wyant,
Todd Goulding and Niko Aguirre
MHS Students: Elijah Theissen and Hae Paw
Community Member: John Hermanson
Marshalltown Public Art Committee: Conny Shutte,
Ben Fletcher, Andrina Helgerson and Amber Danielson
For additional information, please contact the
Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance
Executive Director, Amber Danielson, at
641-752-2787 or email@example.com
Symbiosis by Frank Swanson
Frank Swanson of Littleton, Colorado
Frank is a stone sculptor who is known for his unique method of stone cutting. Symbiosis, defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups. The Marshalltown Police and Fire Departments work in a symbiotic partnership with the community to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the city. His sculpture is designed to reflect this relationship between the three groups as they work together to make Marshalltown a thriving and flourishing community.
The sculpture started as a single block of stone that was shaped into a triangle that represents the three-sided partnership. The stone was then cut into three interlocking pieces. The three pieces fit together as one unit, representing the family of Police, Fire Fighters and Community and their relationship with each other. Each piece shapes the other pieces as they work together to form the triangulated whole. The benches were made from the off falls that come off of the sculpture when forming the basic triangle. The two large benches, surrounding the main pieces, encourage and invite people to interact with the sculpture and with each other by creating centers of conversation, focus, and inclusion.
Installed November 6th, 2020
“In a society that tears down as fast as it builds, it is my desire to leave something of permanence, a message to the future that we were here and that we were conscious of building great and thoughtful culture, both for its own soul and as a foundation upon which future generations could build.” – Frank Swanson
Iowa River's Edge Trail Placemaking Master Plan
National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant
The City of Marshalltown is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $25,000 to support a Master Planning Project for the Iowa River Trail related to the inclusion of public art, wayfinding and place making. The City in partnership with the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, Marshalltown Public Art Committee, TRAILS, Inc. and the Hardin County Trail Commission are looking forward to the opportunity to plan for the future of the Iowa River Trail. The project will include working with a consultant to develop a comprehensive design plan to extend throughout the 34-mile stretch from Marshalltown north to Steamboat Rock. The plan will look at way finding, public art opportunities and trail head identification. With the funding from the NEA a focus on place making and public engagement in the process is a priority.
The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation has awarded an additional $50,000 to support the Iowa River Trail Master Plan project. This additional funding will support more detailed conceptual plans at identified locations along the trail.
The City of Marshalltown is 1 of 60 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Projects Selected Nationwide. For more info about the grant, read this article published in the Times Republican or visit the City's website!
Final Master Plan Documents from RDG Planning & Design:
Master Plan Executive Summary
Echo by Bruce White
The idea for public art on 13th Street came at a time when M-PAC had just formed and when the 13th Street District Committee was looking for ideas to incorporate art in the newly revitalized district. A new venture for both groups, M-PAC reached out to public art consultant, professor, and artist – Tom Stancliffe. A Request for Qualifications was sent to 15 artists nationally – and all 15 responded with interest! With the help of both M-PAC and the 13th Street District Committee, three artists were selected as finalists. Input from the public was sought as a selection jury was formed for the final selection. In January of 2014, Bruce White’s concept for Echo was chosen.
Echo, the work of Illinois artist Bruce White, is a 34’ tall stainless steel sculpture sitting at the center of the 13th Street District. Since installed in 2015, Echo and its surrounding green space creates a grand welcome into the District providing a unique space for community gatherings. Completed in May of 2015, Echo was gifted to the City of Marshalltown.
"If I could say it, write it or sing it, there would be no need to build it."
- Bruce White
M-PAC would like to thank the City of Marshalltown for their assistance on this project and to our funding partners: Iowa Great Places, Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, 13th Street District Committee, Community Foundation of Marshall County, Marshalltown Development Foundation, and Marshalltown Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Learn more about Echo here!
"M-PAC really helped us to open our minds to the possibilities and to think in terms of the big picture. M-PAC helped us realize that what we really wanted for the District was an iconic presence that offered the "otherness" factor. Getting past our initial narrow vision to achieve the end result would not have been possible for us without the help and guidance of M-PAC. Their help in guiding us through the process of identifying our objectives, defining our project, soliciting RFP's, selecting the artist, working through contractual issues with the selected artist, installation of the art piece, etc., was essential to the success of our project."
- John Hermanson, Business Owner on 13th Street
- John Hermanson, Business Owner on 13th Street
Drills by Gail Folwell
In 2014, Marshalltown was selected as an Iowa Great Places community by the State of Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance administered the grant which includes $250,000 specifically awarded to complete a public art project and exterior enhancements at the MHS Roundhouse.
The 15 member selection committee included MHS students, Marshalltown Community School District staff, M-PAC members and the IGP grantee team. The committee received over 61 artists applications, including an artists from Australia. In Spring of 2016, Gail Folwell was selected to complete the MHS Roundhouse project which was to include the sculpture Drills, lighting, banners, benches, and a display of the original Roundhouse window plexiglass pieces in the MHS Roundhouse foyer.
Drills, the work of Colorado artist Gail Folwell, is a 18' aluminum sculpture of three basketball players (2 male/1 female) sitting at the entrance of the renovated Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. Since installed in 2016, Drills welcomes you to the iconic Roundhouse representing community spirit and pride while exemplifying excellence and innovation.
Gail Folwell of Boulder, CO who is internationally known for her large-scale public sculptures depicting athletes. “The beauty of public art is the capacity to connect a personal experience to place. As an athlete and artist I have long been fascinated by body language and what a gesture can convey. I make art to visit an experience. For the same reasons we play games, attend events and watch sports - I want to feel the effects of something inspiring. I am Gail Folwell, a sculptor of public art.” Drills captures the excitement of student life while paying homage to the building’s history and architecture. Drills was installed on November 28th, 2016.
This project was funded by the Marshalltown Public Art Committee, a division of Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grant for Iowa Great Places.
Check out a video clip of the installation of Drills.
Motion Up by Ed Ware
The Marshalltown Public Art Committee contributed remaining Iowa Great Places grant funds from the MHS Roundhouse Phase 1 Project to the Marshalltown Community School District for the inclusion of public art in the MHS Roundhouse Phase 2 Project.
"Marshalltown Community School District was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to partner with the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance (M-PAC) to create "Drills"; adjacent to our iconic MHS Roundhouse Gymnasium, and the "Motion Up" Athletic Silhouettes displayed on the south exterior wall of the Phase Two Roundhouse addition. These outstanding features bring a WOW factor as people approach our facilities and demonstrate a deep appreciation for the arts; as well as, athletics. Both pieces of art represent the rich athletic history and tradition in Marshalltown."
- Theron Schutte, Marshalltown Community School District Superintendent
- Theron Schutte, Marshalltown Community School District Superintendent
Marshalltown, an Iowa Great Place since 2014
Marshalltown was designated as an Iowa Great Place in 2014 through a grant submitted by the Arts & Culture Alliance in partnership with the City of Marshalltown.
The Iowa Great Places program seeks to recognize communities taking action to enhance their local places while staying true to the qualities that make them unique. Designated communities have demonstrated a vision that values their assets while challenging themselves to set realistic goals for advancing their quality of life.
The program goals are to cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of Iowa neighborhoods, districts, communities and regions in order to make them great places to live and work through professional development training, technical assistance opportunities, a network of vibrant communities and passionate leaders, and access to other state and local resources.
The 2014 Iowa Great Places grant supported two of M-PAC's early projects, Echo in the 13th Street District and Drills at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.
In 2019, the City of Marshalltown in partnership with the Arts & Culture Alliance, applied for a re-designation and was successfully award another 5-year Iowa Great Place Designation.