The Free Speech Center

First Amendment News and Insights from MTSU

Iowa State University

Iowa State University went in big for the First Amendment in April.

Its First Amendment series included the 17th annual First Amendment Days, April 8-12, on the campus, featuring a range of events celebrating the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition.

The Shut Up and Dance band performs a song by Lorde.


First Amendment Days “is the longest-running continual First Amendment celebration at any university in the U.S.,” according to Iowa State. This year it presented five days of programming for the Iowa State campus and beyond, including: 

Then, on April 23, Iowa State brought Shut Up and Dance to the campus in Ames. More than 330 students rocked with the music in the Music Building’s Martha Ellen Tye Recital Hall.

It’s a new program of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University and 1 for All, a national, nonpartisan campaign designed to build understanding and support for the First Amendment’s five freedoms. 

Ken Paulson, creator of Shut Up and Dance, leads the performance.


Shut Up and Dance is an entertaining, music-oriented presentation telling the story of America’s social struggles and progress through pop, rock, gospel, soul, country and hip-hop, and illuminates for audiences the pivotal moments when artists were told to be quiet and instead spoke up.

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