On Thursday, June 7th Governor Terry Branstad will proclaim June 11-17, 2012 as Iowa Museum Week. During this week, Iowa’s museums will raise awareness of their programs and celebrate what makes them unique community assets. Iowa’s ninety-nine counties are home to hundreds of historical societies and specialized museums as well as to major regional collections in art, history, agricultural, botanical and living collections. Iowa’s museums are important community assets, attracting visitors to area hotels, restaurants, and recreational areas; providing education and outreach for all ages; driving both incoming tourism revenue and job creation; and contributing to the overall quality of life that makes Iowa’s communities great places to live, work, and raise a family.
Governor Branstad has recognized the importance of Iowa’s museums in his proclamation, stating that Iowa Museum Week will celebrate the crucial role of Iowa’s museums in preserving the historical fabric and memory of our state through preservation of artifacts and archives; in providing educational resources and programs which expand learning opportunities for all ages; in contributing to a vibrant community and state economy through job creation, purchase of goods and services, and by attracting tourism revenue to the community and state; and in their significant role in enhancing community quality of life.
A 2011 survey of 174 Iowa museums (about half of all Iowa museums) found that they maintain 5.4 million artifacts of all types. They employ 1,464 individuals and depend upon 28,416 volunteers. Surveyed Iowa museums served 4.2 million visitors in 2010 and provided 11,105 public programs. Those museums participating in the survey had a total operating budget of $57 million in 2010, portions of which derived from individuals, community, county, state and federal sources.
Brucemore, Iowa’s only National Trust Historic Site, will offer buy one get one free mansion tours in honor of Iowa Museum Week June 12 through 17. Mansion tours are offered March through December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m. Tours begin on the hour and last approximately 50 minutes. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children between the ages of 6 and 18, and free to Brucemore members. Purchase tickets in the Brucemore Store and Visitor Center. Please contact Brucemore at (319) 362-7375 or visit www.brucemore.org for more information.
Iowa’s museums are supported in their missions by the Iowa Museum Association, a statewide association of museums including art centers and art museums, botanical gardens, children's museums, historic sites, historical societies, living history sites, nature centers, natural history museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.
The mission of the Iowa Museum Association is to provide quality training and development to Iowa museum professionals and volunteers, advocate for support of Iowa’s museums, and build a strong community of museums and museum supporters in Iowa.
For more information on Iowa museums or the Iowa Museum Association, please visit www.iowamuseums.org or contact Cynthia Sweet at