CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (July 20, 2023) — The African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI) is marking its 30th anniversary with a birthday party at the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Saturday, August 5, 10AM–1PM. The free event will include live music, Iowa-author storytimes, spoken word performances, activities, snacks, exhibits and more.

For thirty years, the African American Museum of Iowa has served as the state museum for black history. Equipped with a passion for uncovering and sharing the untold stories of Iowa’s African American history, members of Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids set out on a mission in 1993. From a humble dream to a store front in Westdale Mall and a successful campaign to a new building in 2003, the Museum continues to exceed expectations. Over the years, annual changing exhibits have examined African American contributions to music, the military, literature, and invention and also explored the impact of migration, beauty culture, and modern protest on past and present societal norms.

The Museum’s historical and cultural assets serve not only as tools for sharing this important story but also for inspiring a love of this state, inviting Iowans to be proud of their home, and inspiring visitors to make Iowa their home away from home.

Today, the AAMI’s building is closed to accommodate the organization’s $5M renovation project. During the closure, the AAMI has made an intentional effort to partner with organizations around the state, including the Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL). The AAMI exhibit, Suspended: Systemic Oppression in Our Schools, has been on display in the third floor gallery of the CRPL.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to continue to work with great community partners like the Cedar Rapids Public Library, and are looking forward to celebrating with each of you as we mark this milestone anniversary.” — LaNisha Cassell, AAMI Executive Director.

About The African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI):

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.

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