African American Museum of Iowa

African American Museum of Iowa Preserving our past to enlighten our future. Educating the public on the African American heritage a
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The African American Museum of Iowa is a statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history. As Iowa’s leading educational resource on the topic, we educate more than 30,000 people each year through museum tours, traveling exhibits, research services, youth and adult education programs, and community and fundraising events.

UPDATE ** Winter Weather Closure – All Showtimes Cancelled January 9 **For the safety of our moviegoers and staff, FilmS...
01/08/2024

UPDATE ** Winter Weather Closure – All Showtimes Cancelled January 9 **
For the safety of our moviegoers and staff, FilmScene is cancelling all showtimes for Tuesday, January 9. Stay warm and safe! See you at the movies again soon.

Learn more about FilmScene's pay-what-you-can showing of The Color Purple!

The African American Museum of Iowa and FilmScene are partnering for a pay-what-you-can showing of "The Color Purple."▶️ Subscribe to Local 5 on YouTube: htt...

01/04/2024

TCR announces open auditions for Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Fairview, directed by Aaron Reese Boseman, opening March 28th in TCR’s Grandon Studio. This production process is in collaboration with […]

Read the latest about the Museum's reopening plans!
01/04/2024

Read the latest about the Museum's reopening plans!

African American Museum of Iowa reopening in spring 2024

UPDATE ** Winter Weather Closure – All Showtimes Cancelled January 9 **For the safety of our moviegoers and staff, FilmS...
01/03/2024

UPDATE ** Winter Weather Closure – All Showtimes Cancelled January 9 **
For the safety of our moviegoers and staff, FilmScene is cancelling all showtimes for Tuesday, January 9. Stay warm and safe! See you at the movies again soon.

The African American Museum of Iowa and are thrilled to partner for a special pay-what-you-can showing of !

Join us for a post-screening panel with Dr. Elizabeth Rodriguez-Fielder, actress Caroline Clay, and cinematographer Fred Ebong, moderated by author Abena Sankofa Imhotep. We are excited to discuss Alice Walker’s groundbreaking novel and its ongoing
impact on literature, music, cinema, and theatre.

Celebrate the season with a   featuring some of your favorite local performers! This concert was filmed last year and co...
12/24/2023

Celebrate the season with a featuring some of your favorite local performers! This concert was filmed last year and continues to be available on our Youtube page: https://youtu.be/cPSGoFdZwu0

Thanks to Blue Sky Productions and sponsor, Enterprise Holding!

Join AAMI for a virtual Christmas concert! Enjoy performances by artists Rene’e Bryant, Blake Shaw, and Martrina “Trina” Shaffer. These talented performers w...

Thank you to the   who joined us last week for a program about  ! If you are interested in learning more about this holi...
12/21/2023

Thank you to the who joined us last week for a program about ! If you are interested in learning more about this holiday, follow along with us next week as we highlight the seven days of Kwanzaa!

Are you or someone you know a candidate for the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Museum Fellows...
12/15/2023

Are you or someone you know a candidate for the National Museum of African American History and Culture's Museum Fellowship program? Apply today!

Today’s the last chance to apply for our 2024-26 Robert Frederick Smith Applied Public History Fellowship for graduates!

Learn about the program, application process and ensure that all your materials have been submitted: https://s.si.edu/3u1ubyI

The AAMI and Kirkwood Community College are partnering to bring "Black Women Walking" to the stage in March 2024! If you...
12/15/2023

The AAMI and Kirkwood Community College are partnering to bring "Black Women Walking" to the stage in March 2024! If you or someone you know is interested in auditioning, please use the sign up link attached: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D4EA4A72EA6F8C34-26391821-black?fbclid=IwAR367KBOo5uD5MohUyzfy4aPW0IpCEbauX1OHK6BGHQ3-W9_JCPUXnheFco #/

Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact us to learn more!

DESCRIPTION Black Women Walking Written by Karen F. Williams Adapted and Directed by Kevvin L. Taylor SYNOPSIS Black Women Walking is an award-winning, breathtaking theatrical production that combines monologues, movement, music, and multimedia to bring to life the stories of courageous black he**in...

Thanks to Leadership for Five Seasons for visiting Power and Impact, AAMI's newest exhibit in partnership with Cedar Rap...
12/12/2023

Thanks to Leadership for Five Seasons for visiting Power and Impact, AAMI's newest exhibit in partnership with Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and Grant Wood Studio! If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to plan you visit to CRMA soon!

Calling all  ! Learn more about this event at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.
12/08/2023

Calling all ! Learn more about this event at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

December 16th—learn about and celebrate Kwanzaa with the African American Museum of Iowa. Create crafts with your family, discover harvest festival traditions from parts of West and Southeast Africa, and learn some Swahili. Registration is open now; reserve your spot at girlscoutstoday.org.

We're looking forward to seeing our Ames friends tonight at Dog-Eared Books Ames for a discussion of "All Boys Aren't Bl...
12/05/2023

We're looking forward to seeing our Ames friends tonight at Dog-Eared Books Ames for a discussion of "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson!

Thank you to everyone who visited the AAMI exhibit, "Suspended: Systemic Oppression in Our Schools" at the Iowa City Pub...
12/02/2023

Thank you to everyone who visited the AAMI exhibit, "Suspended: Systemic Oppression in Our Schools" at the Iowa City Public Library! And thank you to ICPL for encouraging conversation about this important topic! Visit www.blackiowa.org/events to explore other locations to see a copy of this traveling exhibit.

Can't wait to see you all in Ames next week for  !
11/30/2023

Can't wait to see you all in Ames next week for !

Meet up with the African American Museum of Iowa for a brand-new book club, Book Club 802. We will be reading and discussing "All Boys Aren’t Blue" by George M. Johnson, one of the most frequently banned books in Iowa. Discussion will take place at Dog Eared Books on December 5 at 6:00 PM.

Book club participants will receive 10% off their purchase of "All Boys Aren’t Blue" at Dog-Eared Books.

Registration preferred but not required! https://dogearedbooksames.com/pop-up-book-club-802/

  Did you know the AAMI is the only statewide museum devoted to preserving African American history and culture? We invi...
11/29/2023

Did you know the AAMI is the only statewide museum devoted to preserving African American history and culture? We invite you to be part of our mission. Make a donation today to help support the AAMI's non-profit mission by visiting www.blackiowa.org/donate.

Learn more about the AAMI's new program, What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultural Fair happening tomorrow (11/19) from 1...
11/19/2023

Learn more about the AAMI's new program, What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultural Fair happening tomorrow (11/19) from 1-4:30 at the Indian Creek Nature Center!

Sydney O'hare from the African American Museum of Iowa Joins Iowa's News Now to talk about their "What's Before Dinner" Event.

11/17/2023
This Sunday the AAMI is launching a new program - What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultural Fair at Indian Creek Nature C...
11/17/2023

This Sunday the AAMI is launching a new program - What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultural Fair at Indian Creek Nature Center. Learn more about Iowa’s farmers like Mari Hunt Wassink of Black Earth Gardens - we love this quote about what farming means to her. Check out ways to grow your own herbs in the winter, and explore ways to eat more sustainably this Sunday (11/19) from 1-4:30!

Join the AAMI this Sunday from 1:00-4:30 PM at the Indian Creek Nature Center for "What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultu...
11/16/2023

Join the AAMI this Sunday from 1:00-4:30 PM at the Indian Creek Nature Center for "What's Before Dinner: Black Agricultural Fair."

Did you know the USDA reports that there are about 84,900 farms in Iowa, but only approximately only 72 of them are Black-owned? That's less than 1%! The African American Museum of Iowa is excited to team up with Black farmers and agricultural organizations to showcase some of the amazing work they are doing to provide eastern Iowa with local, culturally relevant, and fresh food. Meet some of our area farmers, learn about ways you can start your own gardens in the winter, and take home some seeds!

UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 5.The AAMI's roaming book club: Book Club 802 will be in Am...
11/14/2023

UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 5.

The AAMI's roaming book club: Book Club 802 will be in Ames at Dog-Eared Books Ames Tuesday, December 5 for a discussion of All Boys Aren't Blue!

Book Club 802 is a collaboration with a variety of independent bookstores across the state. Book Club 802 gets its name from Iowa House File 802. This legislation bans Iowa governmental entities, including public schools and colleges, from teaching what some consider divisive concepts. As a non-governmental entity, the AAMI can and will continue to talk about race, racism, and systemic oppression, and we invite everyone to join us in the conversation.

Learn more at www.blackiowa.org/events

📷: Book Club 802 @ Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City.

"As a parent of a child in public school, I was dismayed by the recent statewide bans on books and divisive topics and w...
11/07/2023

"As a parent of a child in public school, I was dismayed by the recent statewide bans on books and divisive topics and was determined to learn more. I decided to attend a meeting for a Book Club 802 after seeing it advertised at my local bookstore and found myself participating in a meaningful discussion with knowledgeable and empathetic individuals. Book Club 802 is a great space for me to not only engage with new topics but also to learn more about the educational opportunities being denied to students in Iowa." - Devan K, Book Club 802 attendee.

Join the discussion tomorrow (11/7) in Des Moines at Beaverdale Books at 6:30 PM! The AAMI is bringing our traveling book club to this local bookstore for a discussion of Wake: The Hidden History of Women Led Slave Revolts. Let us know you're coming: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-club-802-with-beaverdale-books-tickets-735881921637?aff=oddtdtcreator

11/01/2023

Teens! Join us and the African American Museum of Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 2 to 3 p.m. for a guided exploration of the Suspended exhibit. Create art, enjoy snacks and add book recs to your TBR list! https://ow.ly/ZXe750PW3WV

What a wealth of talent we have here in Iowa! Learn more about these incredible artists and the pieces they've created a...
10/28/2023

What a wealth of talent we have here in Iowa! Learn more about these incredible artists and the pieces they've created at "Power and Impact." This new exhibit opens TODAY and is a partnership between the African American Museum of Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art current page! Visit www.blackiowa.org/PowerAndImpact to learn more!

10/26/2023

An Article about . Jill has a fabulous installation in our Power and Imact exhibition. A collaboration between the AAMI and the CRMA. Collaborations are amazing!
https://tinyurl.com/2p9enhuv

American Museum of Iowa

AAMI's newest exhibit opens this Saturday! A partnership with Cedar Rapids Museum of Art current page, "Power and Impact...
10/26/2023

AAMI's newest exhibit opens this Saturday! A partnership with Cedar Rapids Museum of Art current page, "Power and Impact" explores the contemporary visual arts being produced through the unique perspective of Black artists in Iowa. Read more about the exhibit and partnership in this piece by Diana Nollen.

African American Museum turns to Cedar Rapids Museum of art for gallery space

Halloween is quickly approaching and with it, we've lots of discussion regarding Halloween decorations in the area. We t...
10/25/2023

Halloween is quickly approaching and with it, we've lots of discussion regarding Halloween decorations in the area. We thought this article might be an interesting read:

"You could see a hanged skeleton and see nothing more than a hung skeleton. But Mitchell, who studies how meaning is conveyed with words, objects, gestures and expressions, says that image carries a deeper meaning. 'Once [hanging] starts to be a race-centered form of terror, it never turns back,' she explains. The hangman's noose is loaded with the history of racial terror in the United States. And, she says, we're still living with that legacy."

Sure, you want your house to look as scary as possible. But certain haunting images are better left in the past.

See you tomorrow (10/24 at 7 PM) Java John’s Coffee House in Decorah for a discussion of Wake: The Hidden History of Sla...
10/23/2023

See you tomorrow (10/24 at 7 PM) Java John’s Coffee House in Decorah for a discussion of Wake: The Hidden History of Slave Revolts with Dragonfly Books and Oneota Valley Literary Foundation!

AAMI's Curator and Collections Manager, Felicite Wolfe, sits down with KCRG-TV9 Everyday Iowa's Catherine Blades for a d...
10/21/2023

AAMI's Curator and Collections Manager, Felicite Wolfe, sits down with KCRG-TV9 Everyday Iowa's Catherine Blades for a discussion of the Museum's newest exhibit, Power and Impact, and an update on the on-going building renovation project!
https://www.kcrg.com/news/everyday-iowa/

Yesterday, Lulu Merle Johnson (1907-1995) was honored by  Lead Change. She was selected as one of the 2023 Iowa Women of...
10/20/2023

Yesterday, Lulu Merle Johnson (1907-1995) was honored by Lead Change. She was selected as one of the 2023 Iowa Women of Achievement. The AAMI nominated Johnson for this award for her trailblazing accomplishments: not only was she the first African-American woman to receive a PhD from the University of Iowa, she also serves as the namesake for Johnson County. Her name will be memorialized on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines.

You can learn more about Johnson's story at youtube.com/

Address

55 12th Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
52401

Opening Hours

Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

(319) 862-2101

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Our Story

Our History

The African American Museum of Iowa was founded by a small group of members of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids in 1993. The church provided meeting space and money to launch the organization.

The current facility was built in 2003. During the flood of 2008, we took on 5.5 feet of water and closed for several months to repair and rebuild. The museum reopened in in 2009 with our current permanent exhibit, Endless Possibilities.

Our Mission


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