Iowa City Band Joins Writer on Urban Planning Stage "An Evening the Ecopolis" road show takes "regenerative city" vision around Iowa

Iowa City Band Joins Writer on Urban Planning Stage

"An Evening the Ecopolis" road show takes "regenerative city" vision around Iowa 


Revamping an original multi-media show blending music and stories, the Iowa City-based Awful Purdies band will join American Book Award-winning author Jeff Biggers on a tour with their show, "An Evening at the Ecopolis," unfurling their vision for a "regenerative city" based on renewable energy, local food, reconnecting our cities to biodiversity and prairie restoration, and laying out strategic urban planning in an age of climate change.  

Shows are scheduled for Dubuque on Feb, 22, Iowa City on March 25, and Cedar Falls on April 14th.   Originally staged in Iowa City in the spring of 2014, the "Ecopolis" show (eco-polis meaning eco-city) has also been performed in Cedar Rapids, and at the historic Jane Adams Hull House in Chicago.  

In a time when cities in Iowa and across the nation deal with the fallout of extreme weather, drought, flooding and increasing environmental uncertainties, "Ecopolis" is a unique and unabashed musical and storytelling experience that asks cities to consider a new urban agenda as a regenerative city.


"Working with the Purdies is a perfect match," says Biggers, the Writer-in-Residence in Sustainability at the University of Iowa. "Their songs are rooted in the land and people, spring from personal stories and challenges, and inspire us with beautiful harmonies and irresistible music grooves." 

The Purdies latest album, All Recipes Are Home, emerged from a yearlong project with Sean Lewis of Working Group Theater in Iowa City.  Collecting stories from people and farmers around Iowa, as part of an Iowa Arts Council grant, thethe Purdies' also performed in a musical by the same name.  More info on the Purdies:


Biggers has written extensively on regenerative city efforts in Iowa and beyond for The New York Times, Huffington Post and Solutions journal. More info on Biggers at: 


Based on an original story developed by Biggers, "Ecopolis" weaves a futuristic vision of the first "regenerative city" in the heartland, leading the nation in rethinking the ways urban centers outsource their electricity, food, waste and transportation.  (Still today, Iowa imports 86% of its food; and while it leads the nation with 30% wind production, it continues to rely on 60% dirty coal for electricity.) Through a blend of songs and personal narrative stories, "Ecopolis" walks the audience through an Iowa city's response to an historic flood and a dramatic shift toward an urban design that showcases walking, biking and low carbon transport, develops renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal, ramps up a local food economy and zero waste initiatives; the show presents a timely challenge to Iowans to take the lead in restoration, biodiversity, food, inclusionary and just urban designs, energy and transportation initiatives that positively enhance rather than undermine our environment. 

After the first show of Ecopolis in 2014, an "Ecopolis" movement was launched in Iowa City and hosted a year of forums and initiatives, including solar energy, pesticide-free campaigns, and local food.  An anthology based on the Ecopolis movement is currently in production at the University of Iowa Press. 


Show Details: 

Monday, February 22, 6:30pm
University of Dubuque
Blades Chapel

Friday, March 25, 7:30pm
Old Capitol Senate Chamber
Iowa City

Thursday, April 14, 7pm
Octopus College Hill

Cedar Falls

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