Simon Estes in Franklin County

simon estes arms foldedSimon Estes is coming to our town.  That’s right, Hampton Iowa – is hosting two days of Simon Estes in residency.

It gets better – Simon is conducting a 99 county tour of Iowa.  Franklin County (my county) is the inaugural county.  The rest of the counties are looking to us to set the pace, create the template for success.

Who is Simon Estes? Only one of the best bass-baritone opera singers in the world.  He’s from Iowa and is African American.  His story is one of “anybody can be what they want” fame.  He was the first Porgy at the Metropolitan Opera, he has sung for 3 sitting American presidents, he’s performed all over the world.

The accolades go on and on, yet they always come back to Iowa. Simon Estes was born in Iowa.  Raised in Iowa.  In 2008 Mr. Estes helped to raise $38,000 for the victims of the tornado in Parkersburg.  He joined the choir at Wartburg College for a benefit for the flood victims.  He holds teaching positions at Boston College, Iowa State University and Wartburg College.

The Roots and Wings Inaugural Tour is March 4 and March 5, 2010. Mr. Estes will speak at the Hampton Dumont Community School, be at the Windsor Reception, share his favorite opera performances, and sing in concert.  You can find all the details at

We have created a fundraiser around this event. The local Franklin County project is also raising funds for the renovation and update to the Windsor Theatre.  The Windsor Theatre, a non-profit organization, will become the new home for the Franklin County Arts Council.  Our local students play a huge role in our community, and we are excited to have them become a part of the local arts council.

Exciting news in Franklin County — keep your eye out for us, we live in Iowa – where things are life changing.

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