Identity, costumes, fashion, and more.

These topics will be explored by a handful speakers at the Nov. 9 live storytelling event “Discovery in Disguise,” hosted by Investigate Midwest and its IowaWatch newsroom.

In between stories will be trivia and a silent auction at Poindexter Coffee in the Graduate Iowa City Hotel. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the program starting at 6.

“Disguise — what lies beneath and why a person dons one — is an intriguing theme for this event,” said Investigate Midwest Executive Director Erin Orr.

The storytellers are:

  • Lea Collins, a writer, teacher and mom of four living in Iowa City.
  • David Ewing, a former Hawkeye and now a fully realized drag queen. 
  • Miriam Alarcón Avila, a Mexican photographer, and a visual, multimedia, and storytelling artist, who lives in Iowa.
  • Nick Westergaard, an author, educator, and speaker who leads the University of Iowa’s Story Lab program.

The event will be hosted by Iowa Public Radio’s Charity Nebbe. A $20 suggested donation comes with one free beverage including a signature cocktail. Food and drinks are also available for purchase throughout the evening. 

Students from the University of Iowa event planning program have worked on this event as part of their semester’s studies.

Stories will later air on Iowa Public Radio at a time to be announced later.

The event is an annual fundraiser that kicks off Investigate Midwest’s end-of-year fundraiser to support its journalism. All proceeds from the silent auction and donations will be doubled by NewsMatch.

“Journalism is about telling stories,” Orr said. “Our fall storytelling event is the perfect kickoff for this effort.” 

Investigate Midwest is an independent, nonprofit newsroom. Its mission is to serve the public as a watchdog over influential corporations and institutions through in-depth and data-driven investigative journalism. It was founded in 2009. It acquired IowaWatch in April 2022.

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