By Claire Dietz
As finals week rolls around yet again, another annual tradition also picks back up this week: the lineup announcement for next year’s Mission Creek Festival.
The festival was recently given a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support literary programming, which the organizers aim to incorporate this year. Among the events receiving funding from the grant is the annual Lit Crawl, as well as a book fair for independent presses and literary magazines, artist roundtables, and youth workshops.
The festival will begin April 4, 2017, and run through April 9. Some of the most recognizable names this time aound include Andrew Bird, Margaret Cho, Saeed Jones, Rufus Wainwright, and DIIV.
Bird is known for his work in several bands, including Squirrel Nut Zippers and Bowl of Fire, but he is now primarily known for his solo work. His most recent album, Are You Serious, was released earlier this year and hit No. 1 on the U.S. Folk chart and eighth on U.S. Rock.
Cho is an American standup comedian known for tackling issues such as race and sexuality, among other social and political topics. Joan Juliet Buck, writing for W magazine in 2015, praised Cho in comparison with other female comedians,
“[N]ot all women comedians are dangerous; some are just very funny: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are too relatable, Joan Rivers was too firmly ensconced in the society that she mocked,” Buck said in the article “No Guts, No Glamour.” “… On the other hand, … [Comedians such as] Margaret Cho know no boundaries and inspire palpable fear anytime they begin one of their riffs.”
Saeed Jones is the executive cultural editor at Buzzfeed, as well as a poet. He is a winner of the Pushcart Prize, the Joyce Osterwell Award for Poetry from PEN Literary Awards, and the Stonewall Book Award- Barbara Gittings Award for Literature.
Rufus Wainwright is a composer and musician who has released seven albums of music and also written two operas, one of which was revived in 2015. He is a Steinway and Sons artist who will perform exclusively on the venerated instruments.
With a wide variety of artists and musicians, Mission Creek looks like something local culture hounds can be excited about. Stay tuned to missioncreekfestival.com and the Daily Iowan for updates on the festival as they are announced.