Wired Production Group Supports Arts and Culture through Summer of the Arts


Wired Production Group has been a proud supporter of Summer of the Arts in Iowa City, Iowa, since 2013. Summer of the Arts works diligently to uphold their mission to bring people together in the Iowa City area to experience, learn about, and enjoy free arts and cultural programming. 

Summer of the Arts: Giving the Gift of Art in All Forms Across Eastern Iowa

For the last 40+ years, Summer of the Arts has produced a variety of events in Johnson County, including arts and cultural festivals, movie nights, holiday events, concerts, and more, totaling nearly 200 hours of programming annually.

Wired Production Group is honored to be a small part of these big events, including the Iowa Arts Festival and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. From staging to lighting and sound, our team at Wired enjoys every minute spent involved in making Iowa City the greatest city for the arts in Iowa. 

Wired is great to work with, whether you are an event planning veteran or fresh face. Always professional and willing to answer any question to help make the event a success. We appreciate all their hard work and amazing support.

Chris Cervantes

Production Manager, Summer of the Arts

Festivals, Markets & More with Summer of the Arts

Summer of the Arts produces seven core programs that complement the season and allow attendees to join from all across the Midwest to highlight regional performers, artists, and supporters. The programs bring in almost 450 performers and nearly 150 fine artists throughout the year. 

Iowa Arts Festival

We look forward to kicking off the summer concert season in the first part of June with the Summer of the Arts Iowa Arts Festival! The Iowa Arts Festival began as “Arts Fest” in 1983 and has evolved in the last forty years. During this three-day festival, Summer of the Arts brings together more than 110 local and national visual artists and around 25,000 people in attendance. The festival brings in attendees of all ages and all backgrounds. In addition to the incredible art displays, attendees enjoy music performances, food vendors serving both regional and ethnic food dishes, and activities and entertainment for children.

Music on the Move

During the pandemic in 2020, the Music on the Move events began as an event series called “Truckload of Soul.” The idea of bringing live music to neighborhoods across Johnson County came from musician Kevin Burt. It flourished and became part of the Summer of the Arts programming in 2021 as Music on the Move

Northside Concert Series

The Northside Concert Series by Summer of the Arts takes place in front of Oasis Falafel on North Linn Street in Iowa City. This concert series includes five performances from local musicians for free. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs, beverages, and snacks to these performances. 

Iowa City Jazz Festival 

With many jazz fans on staff at Wired Production Group, Iowa City Jazz Festival is one of our favorite Summer of the Arts events! In the first week of July, Summer of the Arts produces three days of live jazz performances in Downtown Iowa City. In addition to the two stages with live music, the festival hosts many food and beverage vendors that offer a variety of dishes from all over. 

Jazz band on stage with banners on each side of the stage and crowd dancing in front of stage

The music lineup at Iowa City Jazz Festival always includes a long list of local, regional, national, and international jazz artists. Our SL100 mobile stage is set right outside the Old Capitol in Downtown Iowa City, where crowds line the streets to capture the talent of each and every musician on stage. The 2023 festival ran from June 30 through July 2nd and included 20 performance groups, 8 “fun stops,” as well as a variety of artists in the streets. 

Holiday Thieves Market

It’s crazy, but not all Summer of the Arts events happen in the summer! The Holiday Thieves Market is hosted in the month of December each year. In 2023, the market will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Expo Hall in Coralville, Iowa, just three miles northwest of downtown Iowa City.

The Holiday Thieves Market holds over five decades of history in the Iowa City area. It is known across the Midwest as a free fine art show that hosts approximately 90 artists who display and sell their artwork. This popular holiday tradition includes ceramics, drawings, jewelry, metal arts, fiber arts, mixed media arts, photography, sculptures, wood art, and beyond. Summer of the Arts is proud that many of the participating artists have been involved with the market for over 20 years. 

Friday Night Concert Series

From May through September, you can join Summer of the Arts on the Ped Mall Stage in Downtown Iowa City for their Friday Night Concert Series. 2023 marked the 30th year of the Summer of the Arts’ Friday Night Concert Series. These concerts run every Friday night with smaller, intimate performances. The artists range from jazz to rock to hip-hop and beyond!  

Free Movie Series 

In that same time frame, Summer of the Arts produces their Free Movie Series all around Iowa City. The movie nights feature a full-length movie on select Saturday nights in the summer. Summer of the Arts has a unique partnership with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, so they are able to bring movies into more city parks and neighborhoods. In past years, they have even hosted drive-in-style movies. All movies start after sundown for the best viewing experience. 

Crowd sits in front of large inflatable movie screen at sunset

How to Support Summer of the Arts

Lisa, Chris, and the team at Summer of the Arts know that the public’s support is crucial to keeping art access to all community members. In addition to their many corporate sponsors who commit to supporting the free community programming each year, there are a variety of ways for individuals and organizations to get involved and show support for Summer of the Arts:

  • Volunteer: Summer of the Arts invites around 600 volunteers to help produce their festivals annually. In 2022, Summer of the Arts produced nearly 4,600 hours of volunteer work in our community. Without dedicated volunteers, the events would lack the organizational support necessary for attendees to enjoy the events. 
  • Eat for the Arts: Throughout the year, Summer of the Arts partners with local restaurants where guests dine at these restaurants, and a portion of sales from the day supports Summer of the Arts. It’s that easy – eat food! 
  • Become a Fest Friend: With one-time and recurring donations setup, Summer of the Arts can receive your donations through bank account withdrawals. It costs around $1.2 million dollars annually to produce all of the events through Summer of the Arts. No matter how big or small, you are encouraged to become a Fest Friend. 

To learn more about how you can support Summer of the Arts, please visit their website.