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Living History Farms receives Department of Cultural Affairs grant to present Emancipation Day


Living History Farms has received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to present “Emancipation Day, a Juneteenth Event,” on June 11, 2022.

“This grant supports programming that will explore the history of African Americans in Iowa,” Living History Farms President Ruth Haus said. “We are grateful to Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer and her team for this opportunity.”

Contributors to Emancipation Day will include:

  • Dr. Valerie Grim, who is a Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS) and Director of Undergraduate Studies in AAADS at Indiana University Bloomington. Her expertise includes Rural Studies in America, especially African American rural and cultural life in America.
  • Iowa Judicial District 5 Senior Judge Odell McGhee II, who will relate the story of the founding in Des Moines of the National Bar Association, the professional association of Black attorneys formed when they were denied admission to the American Bar Association.
  • Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit, who will discuss the landmark anti-slavery case “In the Matter of Ralph.”

Living History Farms’ Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 calls for looking at Iowa’s past through a wider lens by taking part in “Civic Season,” a national history initiative that showcases stories of traditionally under-represented populations, including indigenous peoples, African Americans, and immigrants. Civic Season programming at Living History Farms will begin with Emancipation Day, leading to the community-wide celebration of Iowa Juneteenth on June 19 and concluding with Living History Farms’ traditional Independence Day celebration on July 4.

Funding for the new program comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency, which last year recognized the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs as its interim state humanities council partner in Iowa.

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Learn more about Living History Farms at LHF.org. Learn more about the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grants at IowaCulture.gov.

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