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Rock the Chalk

MidWestOne Bank’s Rock the Chalk returns to downtown Iowa City on Friday, August 9, 2019.  We are on track to welcome more than 60 community artists into downtown to celebrate community, art, music, and Iowa City.  Join us for MidWestOne’s fourth annual Rock the Chalk community art festival.


We will occupy all of Clinton Street between Washington and Jefferson Streets as well as the 100th block of Washington Street between Clinton Street and Dubuque Street.

Schedule for the day:

10:00 am: Artists begin their chalk drawings. The public is encouraged to watch their progress throughout the day.

Musical Entertainment 

*Stage located at the corner of Clinton and Washington in downtown Iowa City.

12:00-1:15 pm: Live music by Andrew Hoyt 

Andrew is a singer/songwriter from Des Moines, Iowa. He uses the ukulele, acoustic guitar, multiple musicians and classic studio production to create very modern and sweet tracks that reflect his approachable personality.

1:30-2:45 pm: Live music by Ross Clowser

Ross Clowser is a guitarist and composer from Iowa City, Iowa, who performs and produces cutting edge jazz and improvisational music across Iowa and the Midwest. Ross and his band create music that blurs genre, challenges convention, and engages listeners. Performances encompass folk musics, original compositions, and technical virtuosity.

3:00-4:15 pm: Live music by Brian Johannesen

Brian Johannesen makes music perfect for the open road. Johannesen takes inspiration from the people and places he’s encountered along his journey. The result is gritty, hopeful Americana that swings and stammers and celebrates.

4:00-8:00 pm: The celebration begins!  Join us downtown to check out the chalk art creations and enjoy free, family-friendly activities including: 

  • Tie-dye
  • Face painting by CR Face Painting
  • Caricatures
  • Spin art
  • Balloon animals
  • Bead crafts
  • Community art piece - all are welcome to participate by chalking one square of the piece
  • Giant games including Jenga and Connect Four

4:45-6:00 pm: Live music by The Real Zebos

The Real Zebos are an indie rock band from Omaha, NE. They have been steadily playing shows since January 2018 for a growing fanbase. Their new album features 12 tracks that weave between garage rock, synth-pop, and more, exemplifying the group’s varied songwriting approach and attention to melody.

6:30-8:00 pm: Live music by Brad & The Big Wave 

Singer-songwriter Brad Pouleson, formerly of The Beggarmen, has changed course with a new sound and a new band. Brad & The Big Wave's debut album “This Crazy World” has garnered attention on the airwaves as well as from fans. With Brad and the Big Wave, Pouleson leaves the Celtic world far behind to sing about life with his electric guitar in hand.


Artist Application:

Thanks for your interest in art at Rock the Chalk. We're sorry, but we are no longer accepting artist applications. Our space is full for this year. We hope to see you at the event! Please email Jenny Olson at with questions.