Cheryl Fusco Johnson's blog

Portrait of Author Delia Ray


A fading Iowa town's real-life elderly mayor, his donkey Wayne, and the centenarian daughter of an Iowa button company magnate all helped author Delia Ray bring history alive for young readers in her intriguing new mystery novel, FINDING FORTUNE: A MYSTERY ABOUT TREASURES LOST & FOUND.

True life details, like the connection between actor Ronald Reagan and Muscatine's 1946 Pearl Button Queen, enliven the story of why Ray, an award-winning Iowa author, felt compelled to write this book. For a glimpse into an award-winning author's creative process and Iowa's forgotten history, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and author Delia Ray.

Maddi's Fridge by Lois BrandtCan kids help combat food insecurity in children? Yes, says author Lois Brandt, and her picture book Maddi's Fridge shows them how. As a little girl Lois didn't know how to help when she discovered her best friend's family had no food to eat. As a grownup, she researched strategies and then penned Maddi's Fridge so today's kids wouldn't feel as helpless as she did. Publisher Flashlight Press donates 10% of this book's profits to help fight childhood hunger, and Lois waives her author visit fees to schools that organize food drives.

Stacey Hurlin at KRUU


Can one person help alleviate desperate refugees' suffering?

Through her actions, artist Anastasia Kitakis Hurlin is showing that yes, one person can. This Fairfield, Iowa artist launched the Lesvos Refugee Project to connect people in Fairfield, Lesvos, and other places all over the globe to find ways to help one child, one mother, one man at a time.

For an inspiring glimpse into how individuals in far flung places are forging liaisons to offer refugees' aid, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl on KRUU.

Artist Elaine Duncan at KRUU

Fire Ravages Studio: Artist Creates Collages from Burnt Paintings. Four years after fire ravaged her Fairfield, Iowa studio, artist Elaine Duncan has created collages incorporating pieces of paintings that, though damaged, miraculously survived the blaze. A retrospective exhibit and sale containing these collages will take place 10 AM to 6 PM Saturday, Oct. 24th and noon to 5 PM Sunday, Oct. 25th at Fairfield's ICON Gallery. Paintings, ceramics, and other pieces created earlier in her career (and stored elsewhere) will be exhibited, also. A past winner of the Eisner Award for Outstanding Creativity, Elaine earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and pursued postgraduate studies in art at Colorado State University. In 2007, she served as a panelist during a UC Berkeley symposium, "Making Art in Times of Change." Elaine discusses her creative process this week on The Studio with Cheryl on KRUU.

June Melby Playing Miniature GolfCan you write funny stuff about people without making them hate you? Standup comic June Melby can. Her memoir My Family and Other Hazards reveals universal truths and individual quirks she discovered about herself and others while helping her family run an unprofitable, hand-crafted miniature golf course.

Michelle Edwards, Author & IllustratorDoodling can lead you to the right frame of mind to get things done and to unleash your creative flow. Author, artist, and knitter Michelle Edwards uses doodling, color, and other life hacks as a successful arts entrepreneur. Michelle won the National Jewish Book Award for her children's picture book Chicken Man. Her illustrations have appeared in several shows of children's book art. She's written a monthly column for the Lion  Brand Yarn Company, and her book, A Knitter's Home Companion: A Heartwarming Collection of Stories, Patterns, and Recipes received praise from author Jane Smiley.

  • Mon
    Jun 15
    12:00 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Wed
    Jun 17
    6:00 am -
    7:00 am

Author-Led Creativity Workshops at FAIRfest!

Sarah Prineas


Unleash your own creativity and encourage the kids in your life to develop theirs by attending special Fairfield Public Library author-led workshops during FAIRfest 2015! All three FAIRfest programs at the Fairfield Public Library are free and open to the public. The Magic Thief author Sarah Prineas (pictured at home with one of her goats) will tell kids and adults how "Heroes Get in Trouble" 2 - 3 PM Sat. June 20th.

Novelist Anna-Maria Petricelli's workshop, "Have You Written Today?" targets adults interested in writing and takes place Sat. June 20th from 10:30 - noon. Poet and writer Nynke Passi will lead a workshop for adults, "The Healing Power of Words," 1:30 - 3 PM Sunday, June 21st. For glimpses into the careers of all three presenters, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl on KRUU.


Nynke Passi

Unleash your creativity at Nynke Passi's free "The Healing Power of Words" workshop 1:30-3PM Sunday, June 21st at the Fairfield Public Library during FAIRfest 2015! Enjoy the benefit of Nynke's 16 years co-directing, teaching, and designing courses for an Undergraduate Creative Writing Program. Her workshop will start with expressive writing, but also introduce elements of craft.

Nynke's award-winning poems, short stories, and essays have been published in many literary magazines. Nynke earned her graduate degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and recently co-founded The Luminous Writer Literary Center.

For insight into Nynke's thoughts on the creative process and on how writers inject authenticity and depth into their work, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and Nynke Passi on KRUU.

Say YES and deal with the fear later. Nick Jaina's adherence to that philosophy underscores his ability to successfully pursue a vast array of creative ventures. His latest success is an intriguing, poetic, music-centric memoir, GET IT WHILE YOU CAN, released in January 2015 by Perfect Day Publishing. Nick's other accomplishments include co-founding the Satellite Ballet and Collective and composing music for ballet, modern dance, feature films, and plays. His most recent album, Primary Perception, was released in 2013.

At 7:30 PM Tuesday, June 2nd Nick will share his music and writing at Earth & Water Tea Lounge & Pottery Shop in Fairfield, Iowa. Locals Nynke Passi and Malinda Gosvig will also share readings.

For a glimpse into how a creative whirlwind embarks on and sustains a plethora of artistic endeavors, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and Nick Jaina.

The Magic Thief by Sarah PrineasFantasy Author Sarah Prineas, who penned the wildly popular Magic Thief and Winterling book series, will talk to kids & teens at the Fairfield Public Library during FAIRfest 2015! Sarah's talk covers how the heroes in her award-winning books make mistakes, take risks, and find their way toward heroism. Her visit is part of the library's 2015 Children's Summer Reading Program. This year's theme? "Every Hero Has a Story." 

Anna-Maria Petricelli and Nynke Passi will both present creativity/writing workshops for adults and older teens at the library as part of FAIRfest also. All three programs are free and open to the public. Check FAIRfest's Writing & the Arts Track site for dates and details.

Uncover details on all the free library programs for kids during Summer Reading Kickoff Day by dropping in to the library any time from 1:00-4:30 PM Saturday, June 6th, 2015. Many groups will be on hand to explain and demonstrate other activities available for area kids this summer.

Youth Services Librarian Afton Hallauer packed the library's summer calendar with tons of free activities for kids. For a glimpse into FAIRfest and Summer Reading Program events being held at the library this summer, tune in to KRUU this week for The Studio with Cheryl and Afton!

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