MVAAC Mural Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 2017

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council is proud to present the finished Mural in downtown Mount Vernon, IA.

Mount Vernon High School graduate Strider Patton, now an educator and muralist in San Francisco, facilitated the project. Strider met with Mount Vernon art teachers as well as students and the community to develop designs for the mural.  Painting was completed in May 2017.

Denise Murphy, MVAAC VP, stated that “many from the community supported the designs, painting and celebration of this fantastic event”.  She also stated that “hundreds of community children and families took part in hands on painting.”

Community murals have been shown to underscore economic development as well as enhance community spirit and cohesiveness.

The mural is located south of the Main Street shops in the public parking area.

Strider Patton and his mom during ribbon cutting ceremony.

Dale Beek’s performed during the mural ribbon cutting ceremonies.

Ribbon cutting for downtown mural.

Strider Patton, mural artist


2017 Lincoln Highway Arts Festival Applications Available

Artists the 2017 LHAF application is available. Sign up at the following location:

Sneak Peak of some of the phenomenal art:


Mural Project April 2017 Update

An update for the MVAAC mural has been posted here.


Rockwell’s “Dugout” to be featured at Chalk the Walk

Norman Rockwell’s “Dugout” will be the centerpiece of the 2017 Chalk the Walk Festival in Mount Vernon, May 6 and 7.

A committee made up of staff and volunteers from the City of Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, Mount Vernon Area Arts Council and the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) chose the piece for the 12th annual Chalk the Walk festival, Iowa’s largest-ever Madonnari Festival. The two-day festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will feature the work of more than 300 artists utilizing a downtown city street as a canvas and more than a half-ton of chalk.

“We are thrilled to announce “Dugout” as our large community piece for 2017,” said Danielle Chargo, chair of the Chalk the Walk committee. “We have wanted to do a Norman Rockwell piece for several years, and the timing with last year’s historic Cubs World Series win seemed like the perfect opportunity. I can’t think of a better way to start out the summer of 2017! Please join us and help us create a 30’ by 50 chalk version of “Dugout.”

“Dugout” image courtesy of Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post Society, Inc.


Lincoln Highway Arts Festival Artist Applications

Mount Vernon Area Arts Council presents the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival Sept 16, 201
.  Artists applications are now available at

Tony Brown Paintings

Tony Brown painting promo

Mount Vernon Community Mural

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (MVAAC) is sponsoring a Community Mural, a project that includes soliciting input from students and residents. The MVAAC Board invites you to participate in a mural discussion at 7 pm, Thursday, January 26, 2017, at the First Street Community Center (old Middle School) library. We hope you will put this on your calendar now!

The purpose of the meeting is to generate ideas and themes for the mural, which will be located on the concrete wall that separates the parking lots south of Main Street. Currently you can see temporary signage at this location; you may have seen “Coming Spring 2017 Community Mural” on this wall just off Highway 1.

Mount Vernon High School graduate Strider Patton, now an educator and muralist in San Francisco, is facilitating the project. Strider has met with Mount Vernon art teachers as well as students and will lead the January discussion. He’ll turn resident and student ideas & concepts into the mural design. Painting is scheduled for May 2017.

Community murals have been shown to underscore economic development as well as enhance community spirit and cohesiveness. Your input and participation are valued. It’ll be fun!

Contact us or any board member with questions or comments. If you prefer, or if you will not be able to attend in January, email your ideas, comments and/or questions to or And, please, invite friends & neighbors to the event. All are welcome.

Balderdash Ditty, Saturday Kids Show Series on Dec. 17

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council will kick off a series of free monthly kids music/puppet shows on Saturday Dec. 17 at the First Street Community Center in Mount Vernon.

The shows will feature performances by Balderdash Ditty, which is composed of Mount Vernon residents Dale Beeks, Kim Benesh, Braden Rood, and Emily Beeks

The presentation will be interactive, based on a theme, with music and puppets for children accompanied by an adult.

Join us on the third Saturday of each month through April. There will be two performances each day, at 10:30 and 11:30 am.

Dates of upcoming shows are Dec. 17Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18, and April 15.


MVAAC Sponsored Farmer’s Market Music September 29th, 4 – 6 pm.

Mount Vernon IA Community Centermartin_beckett-1

Musicians Martin and Beckett will play Jazz, drums and upright bass.  Please come out and support them and listen to some Jazz.




Lincoln Highway Arts Festival 2016 sponsored by the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council

The LHAF 2016 is in the books now…

Thanks to all the artists, volunteers, musicians, dancers, demonstrators, patrons, restaurants, businesses, and sponsors for making this year’s event the best year ever.  As the chair of this year’s event I am overwhelmed by the help received and attendance in a time that our surrounding towns are faced with preparing for the flooding.

We had volunteers up at 5 am lining the streets and setting up for this event.  It takes a lot of time and energy from all to make this event successful each year.  Thanks also to all of the Mount Vernon High School students and Cornell students that volunteered their time and did anything I asked, you were troupers.  Some of the jobs aren’t pretty…

It is awesome to see a community with such talented artists that come out year after year.  It was also nice this year to have so many new artists added to the show.

The weather was perfect as ordered!

See you next year on September 16th, 2017.

MVAAC Chair 2016

Denise Murphy