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African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa

Building2In 1994, a small group from Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church began a project to preserve the vanishing heritage of African Americans in Iowa. Thirteen years later, the idea has evolved into the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, located in the heart of Cedar Rapids. The museum, which features a variety of permanent and changing exhibits, offers the Heritage Area a significant part of the agricultural story through its interpretation of the role African American’s played.

Currently on display thru Aug. 4, 2008, is the interactive exhibit “Iowa Roots, Global Impact: The Life and Legacy of George Washington Carver.” Funded in part by a grant from Silos & Smokestacks, the exhibit explores Carver’s innovations in agriculture, as well as the connections to today’s agricultural issues.

Additional exhibits include “Doorways: A History of African Americans in Iowa” which includes a section on agriculture and the Gale Sayers Gallery which showcases changing exhibits. The Nikee Museum Store features hand-beaded necklaces, art prints and many other unique gifts imported from Africa and from all parts of the United States. In addition, the museum also offers educational programs, a resource library, cultural collections, conferences, special events and the Iowa Griot newsletter.

The African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa is located at 55 12th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids and is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information, call (319) 862-2101, email info@blackiowa.org or visit www.blackiowa.org.

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