Don’t Miss the Mount Vernon Farmer’s Market – Indoor/Winter Season 2019-2020

Saturdays 10am – 12pm in the First Street Community Center

photo of fall vegetables on display

It may be cold and snowy outside! But it’ll be nice and warm inside the First Street Community Center for the first indoor market of the season! Come and visit this Saturday, Nov. 2nd from 10am – noon for the start of the indoor farmers’ market inside the First Street Community Center! (Insert wild cheering and applause here)

We are expecting some great things including but not limited to honey, baked goods, produce including gourmet mushrooms, arts and crafts, and more!

Bring your kids, your friends, and a stray neighbor or two! We have a variety of vendors and a plethora of delicious items from which to choose. Stock the cupboards and fill the pantry, it is time for the Mt. Vernon Winter Farmers Market!

Our market is a thriving little community of entrepreneurs. All our products are raised, produced, or created right here in the surrounding community by the person selling them on the other side of the table.

Beautiful vegetables, delicious artisan breads, jams and jellies. We have several different varieties of local, grass-fed meats as well as farm fresh eggs available.  Dried beans, fresh ground cornmeal, popcorn, and meat seasoning mixes!

Gluten-free products and tasty treats are here, along with honey, shag-bark hickory nuts, walnuts and dry herbs.

Hand-dipped chocolates, exquisite hats, scarves and baby items. Handcrafted jewelry is a must-see, perfect for gifts.

Be sure to stop by and see us!

If you have any questions, please Call (319) 560-1391 or Email mtvernonfm@yahoo.com.

Be sure to stop inside the First Street Community Center to check out all the fantastic shops as well!

Live Music – Kevin Burt – Heartland and Soul

We are thrilled to announce that we will have Iowa’s very own internationally recognized Blues and Soul Singer/Songwriter, Kevin Burt performing live in the Uptown Theatre on Saturday, November 16 @ 7:30 pm.

Iowa-based Kevin Burt’s vocals, blues songwriting and music arrangements are absolutely amazing – extremely powerful, rich, warm, expressive and exploding with SOUL!

For more than 25 years Kevin Burt has been electrifying audiences throughout the Midwest dispelling the myth that true blues has no roots in Iowa. His soul-inspired presentation is unique which consistently get him compared to a range of artists like Bill Withers and Aaron Neville, with the ability to build an audience rapport that has been compared to B.B. King.

Kevin is a self-taught musician (vocals, harmonica, and guitar) whose smooth, warm vocal presentation sets a mood of relaxed exhilaration, with a welcome mixture of serious music and infectious humor audiences of all ages enjoy. His voice and presence are powerful. His unique delivery ranges from the sweetest, fullest, juiciest come-on to the most playful growl.

He is a 2018 International Blues Challenge Winner in 3 categories:  1st place Solo/Duo, best Solo/Duo guitarist, & best Harmonica Player award.  Recently also a 2019 Blues Music Award Nominee for Debut Album.

Kevin performs between 325 and 400 shows a year, and he holds nothing back night after night and audiences love that – and they return again and again for more!

Burt is a serious songwriter who knows how to craft music to fit his personality, and no one delivers this brand of music better than he does. After listening to Heartland and Soul, one should have no problem seeing why he took all the top honors at the blues competition – this guy is a real winner. –  Living Blues

In this day and age where celebrity status is often conveyed on people with little discernible skills or talent, it is refreshing when the spotlight finally lands on someone who has worked hard, paid their dues, and actually deserves recognition for their talent. Such is the case with Kevin “B.F.” Burt, the singer and multi-instrumentalist who created quite a buzz on Beale St. in Memphis during the first three days of this year’s International Blues Challenge, winning 3 awards !! – 1st place in the Slolo/Duo category, the Cigar Box Guitar Award for best guitarist in Solo/Duo category, and the Lee Oskar Award for best harmonica player!” – Mark Thompson, BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE

Kevin’s talent, character (and luck, he would tell you) have taken him to the top of the industry. His new Heartland and Soul album was recorded with the nationally known top sidemen. D’Mar Martin on drums, Jon Otis (Johnny Otis’ son!) on percussion, and the bassist to the stars, Jerry Jemmott! Grammy award winning Jemmott is a true living legend, playing on so many timeless soul, blues, & jazz classics, from B.B. King’s “Thrill Is Gone” to Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” to Aretha Franklin’s “Think”.

He has also won many awards and played many festivals, both solo and with his band – The Instigators. His awards include Best Entertainer in Iowa City (three times) Best Band in Iowa City (three times) Iowa Blues Challenge Champions, Named as one of the top 25 unsigned blues bands in the world by the International Blues Challenge Competition.

In addition, Kevin is recognized as one of the Midwest’s top blues heritage educators. Governor Chet Culver gave this honor to him in February ‘09. Kevin is a registered artist, and artist educator with the state of Iowa Arts Council.

He has also written and published a classroom harmonica method book called “Just Play It: an introduction to blues harmonica.” His approach is simple: education through entertainment.  His program has been going strong since 1994. Kevin continues this work as well as his community work with children and the arts.


$20 Gen. Admission/$50 VIP Seating/Student $5. Door or via the web – https://kevinburt.bpt.me

Questions:  Call  Nancy Emrich Freeman, 518-576-9513

Kevin Burt’s Website


For further information, high-res photographs, interview arrangements, contact Nicole Brown Burt Via Facebook; or Nancy Emrich Freeman by text or phone, 518-576-9513.

LilFest Music Series at the Uptown Theatre

Photo of LilFest - Bear LogoThe LilFest Series brings world quality performances to intimate concert settings which are best for both the audience and the performer. Kevin Burt follows in the footsteps of performers like Freebo, Ellis Paul, Tim Grimm, Phil Heywood, Radoslav Lorković, Claudia Nygaard, Chuck Mitchell, Dave Moore, and Suzie Vinnick.

LilFest brings extraordinary music into an intimate setting, with an opportunity to meet the musicians, hear a great performance, listen, laugh, have a memorably musical evening.

Re-use or buy an Uptown Theatre sippy Cup ($5) from the Uptown Theatre, fill it with your beverage of choice, and stroll right in.

**  Audience members are invited to reserve an early dinner before the concert at the Palisades Café, mention LilFest, and receive the evening’s LilFest special.  **

The Black Panthers – A Personal & Historical Perspective

two photos of Black Panther free breakfast program activities

Join us for a presentation and conversation about the Black Panthers with a woman who worked for them in the 1970’s.  You may be surprised to learn about the many positive things the Black Panthers were a part of.  The talk will be on Thursday, Nov. 7 @ 6:30 PM upstairs in the Library.

photo of Christine FlavinThe talk will be presented by Christine Flavin.  She will talk about how she became involved in the civil rights movement when she was in high school. She later went on to attend the University of California, Berkeley in 1971.  She was very involved with both the anti-Vietnam war efforts and the civil rights movements at that time.  One of the aspects of her involvement was to work for the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA (where she lived while attending Berkeley).

She will give a bit of history of the Panther movement and its residual effects on social justice.  She will also try to explain and diffuse the negative stereotypes that exist to this day about the purpose and the mission of the Black Panther political party.

Questions, call Kate Rose at 319.651.7326.

Homecoming & All That Jazz! The Eddie Piccard Quartet and The Busch Brothers in Concert

poster for the Eddie Piccard Jazz concert

The Eddie Piccard Quartet will be in Mount Vernon at the First Street Community Center, Saturday, October 26th @ 7:30 pm.  Join us for an evening of New Orleans Jazz in the Uptown Theatre located in the First Street Community Center!

Once again they will be joined by the Busch Brothers.  Those who have seen these two groups play together before know this is going to be a good night.

“We love playing for the audience that comes to the Mount Vernon events, and we know people will love hearing this music. It’s classic.”

Eddie Piccard Jazz plays hot traditional favorites and cool Shearing melodies, as well as warm Latin tunes.  Eddie will be on piano and vocals, Craig Dove on bass, Jon Wilson on drums, Rich Martin on vibes, and Dave Richter on guitar.

For this show they will be joined by the Busch Brothers – Marty on trombone, Larry on trumpet, and Luke on clarinet.

The Busch Brothers are very happy to join the Eddie Piccard Quintet for this evening of music.  Larry Busch is a veteran of the Guy Lombardo, Wayne King, and the Al Pierson Orchestras.  He has been leading his own big band for many years and is currently the leader of the Dixieland Allstars.  Trombonist Marty has toured with Al Cobine, Johnny Mathis, Dick Jurgens, The American Vintage Orchestra, and the Larry Busch Big Band. Luke  has played with the Dixieland Allstars, the Mad City Funk, and his own SKA band.

Bring your Uptown Theatre cup or buy one ($5.00) and BOYB. Enjoy while watching the show!


Are only $15 and are on sale at the door and before the concert at Bauman’s 319-895.8692 or at the First Street Community Center at 319.895.8060.

logo for eddie piccard jazz

Eddie Piccard grew up in eastern Iowa, and began playing music on his grandmother’s piano. He left for larger venues in Chicago, Florida and on the west coast. But he came back to Iowa in the 1980s and has become a jazz icon in eastern Iowa since returning to his home state. Iowans remember fondly the jazz club Eddie and his wife Dallis opened on Mount Vernon Road in the 1990s. But Iowans weren’t the only ones to frequent Eddie’s place. Travelers from other states came to this club for the chic décor and the unforgettable nights of music. Jazz musicians stopped by, too, after finishing up a gig in the area. The club was forced to close because of road widening. Eddie now plays regularly all over eastern Iowa, as well as in the Chicago area and the Twin Cities.

Rich Martin’s career began in college where he was a drummer and a vibist. He took an extended break from performing to teach at Cornell College. But the music called him back and he began sitting in with Eddie’s trio fifteen years ago, while still teaching. He is now a full-time member of the group.

Dave Richter comes from Dubuque to perform in Meet Me in New Orleans. He is well-known in northeast Iowa as an accomplished guitarist, bassist, and banjo player. He performs in Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.

Tim Crumley performs frequently with the Eddie Piccard Jazz Quartet, as well as a number of regional ensembles, including Ashanti, The Rusty Johnson Group, and the John Shultz Trio. Tim is a lyrical and sensitive drummer who is always engaged and engaging.

The Community Quilt

photo of community quilt

The Community Quilt will be on display at the 1st Street Community Center for the month of October. It is located on the main floor, down the hall going into the gymnasium.

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month and the Iowa chapter of the International Dyslexia Association and the Mount Vernon Masonic Lodge #112 partnered together to sponsor a community quilt that reflects upon the theme of literacy.

Each piece of art in the quilt was created by community members of all ages during the month of September at the Lincoln Hwy Arts Festival, a Girl Scout activity night and Mount Vernon Family Counseling. The squares on this quilt reflect what reading means for the people of our town and together make up this quilt to raise awareness of Dyslexia.

The Community Quilt will be on display at the 1st Street Community Center for the month of October.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the following;

  • The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council for inclusion in the Lincoln Hwy Arts Festival
  • Local members of the IDA and Mason’s for their time, use of equipment and donation of supplies
  • Cornell College printing for providing quality and timely attention to our printing needs
  • The First Street Community Center for providing display space for the month of October
  • The local businesses, groups and individuals in the Mount Vernon community for their welcoming spirit and willingness to contribute to this project.

When you are here viewing the quilt, please take a bookmark to share with others to help them to learn the Truths About Dyslexia.

Coming Home to Ourselves: A Morning Retreat for Women with Qoya and Community

Saturday, October 26 from 9-noon.

What is Qoya

Qoya is a movement practice that knows: through movement, we remember.

We remember our essence as women is Wise, Wild and Free.

We remember the body’s wisdom and we move in response, trusting that if it feels right, it is right.

We remember the body’s truth, that we contain our own answers and our own potential.

Through movement, we remember ourselves more fully.  Through Qoya, we come home to ourselves.


Qoya is coming to Mount Vernon on October 26, from 9-noon.

Hosted by Dance Arts Iowa and in collaboration with KAE Apothecary, this Qoya experience is for women age 18+.

Scheduled in alignment with Homecoming weekend and the darkening moon, this mini-retreat will include a full Qoya class (no prior knowledge or expertise necessary), meditation, reflection and time to share, and an optional “field trip” after class to the Apothecary, one block away, to participate in the Open House event.

Led by Mount Vernon native Sarah Sadie (formerly Martin), this Qoya “mini-retreat” will offer women of all backgrounds and abilities an opportunity to nurture and nourish themselves through movement, story, sharing and reflection. Sarah is bringing the offering of Qoya to Iowa with a sense of gratitude and yes, Homecoming.


Upstairs in the First Street Community Center



Registration is limited.  Cost is $15 and payable at the door.

The Hundred Dresses – Live Theatre by MVLCT

Author: Eleanor Estes

Playwright: Mary Hall Surface

Come and enjoy the fall children’s production of The Hundred Dresses, a play by Mary Hall Surface adapted from the classic 1943 children’s book by Eleanor Estes, directed by Braden JP Rood.  Wanda Petronski just wants to join the fun of having friends like everyone else. But in 1930’s small town America, a Polish immigrant doesn’t easily fit in.

Wanda struggles to fit in with the other girls in her grade and seeks comfort by creating drawings of beautiful dresses which she keeps at home and shows to no one.

When Maddie’s best friend Peggy starts to tease Wanda, Maddie knows it isn’t right. When the teasing doesn’t stop and the Petronski moves to get away from the town’s prejudices, Maddie is wracked with guilt. She soon realized that allowing her friend to be a bully can be just as bad as acting that way herself.

Determined not to let her fear get the best of her again, Maddie braves the scorn of her classmates and stands up to them, making an unlikely friend in the process.

Set in a small town during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the play is based on the classic 1943 award-winning children’s book by Eleanor Estes. Poverty, bullying, immigration, and the redemptive quality of art are the timeless themes explored in this story for all ages.

GREAT NEWS! We will have ASL interpreters at our final performance, October 13th!

Show Dates & Times

  • Friday, October 4th at 7 pm
  • Saturday, October 5th at 7 pm
  • Sunday, October 6th at 2 pm
  • Friday, October 11th at 7 pm
  • Saturday, October 12th at 7 pm
  • Sunday, October 13th at 2 pm


Seats vary from $10 – $15

The Hundred Dresses tickets are on sale at the door or on MVLCT’s web store – so you can pick yours up early!

Visit shop.mvlct.com to purchase your tickets online.

This is a Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre production

Uptown Theatre Honors 2019

collage of photos of the honorees
From left to right: Doug Hanson, Amy White, Ed Sauter, Fred and Marion Lehman, Dale Beeks.

The 2019 Uptown Theatre Honors is an evening Gala celebrating the arts.  It is on Saturday, September 7, 2019 starting at 6:30 pm with a cocktail hour and the show will begin at 7:30 pm.

This year’s honorees include Dale Beeks, Doug Hanson, Fred and Marion Lehman, Ed Sauter, and Amy White.  The honors gala will include tribute speeches, live musical numbers, a photo opportunity and much more.

“These honorees are the people that continually make our community a great place to live, work and visit,” said Lisa White, Chair of the Uptown Theatre Honors volunteer committee. ”We hope all of the community will show up and show their appreciation for these six honorees and their many contributions to our communities.”

The annual Uptown Theatre Honors, Mount Vernon’s version of the Kennedy Center Honors, began five years ago through fundraising team the A-Go-Gos. The 8-person fundraising group is responsible for raising $17,000 for the First Street Community Center Uptown Theatre through the 2013 “Frank Benesh Memorial Uptown Theatre Telethon A-Go-Go!” The group also organized 2014’s “Las Vegas Karaoke Bingo A-Go-Go” and 2015’s “Frank Benesh Memorial Save the Traver Tapes Telethon A-Go-Go!” This year the A-Go-Go volunteer team merged into the CDG volunteer pool, making the Uptown Theatre Honors a CDG event.

“We are thrilled to partner with the A-Go-Gos to continue this important Mount Vernon-Lisbon tradition,” said Joe Jennison, Director of the CDG. “It seems fitting that an event honoring supporters and participants in local art and culture should be a part of CDG’s mission to enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

Come join us to celebrate these wonderful people and their contributions to the arts!

Tickets to the event are $20 and include a wine-and-appetizer reception with the honorees beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Reservations for the event are available through an online form.  Attendees will be asked to pay $20 at the door.