Reopening Announcement

The African American Museum of Iowa is excited to announce that our doors will reopen to the public on July 10. At the time of our reopening, we will be hosting the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Voices and Votes in partnership with the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District and the National Czech and Slovak Museum. As we prepare for reopening, we would like to make visitors aware of details that will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Information for Planning Your Visit

  • All visitors over the age of two will be required to wear a mask when inside the Museum. If you do not comply with this guideline, you will be asked to leave. This requirement does not apply to individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition.
  • The Museum will be open with limited hours until further notice:
    • Fridays from 12 PM to 6 PM
    • Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Capacities will be limited in all areas of the AAMI building. Please be aware that you may have to wait outside or in our lobby before entering the exhibits.
  • Visitors are encouraged to set up a contactless pay method on their smart phones, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. If you are unable to use one of these options, please use a card payment or use exact change when paying with cash.
  • Group size will be limited to six visitors and all visitors will be required to maintain a distance of six feet from those not in their group when inside the Museum building.
  • Some of our hands-on activities have been removed or modified. Please enjoy the rest of our exhibits at your own discretion, and thank you for your understanding.

Full visitor details can be found here.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about visiting the Museum during this initial phase of reopening, please use our contact form or call 319-862-2101 during our open hours. For more more details about our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please read our response page.

Our regular admission fees will continue to be in place during this time. Discount admission for SNAP benefit recipients is available through our Museums for All partnership, and limited free passes will be available through the Adventure Pass program for card holders of select Iowa public libraries.

History Adventures Online – Expressions of Black Art

This year we are taking our History Adventures program virtual! This annual summer program provides opportunities for students to keep learning over the summer by engaging with topics from Black history. Each Wednesday through August 12 we will post a video made by AAMI education interns Abigail Kraft and Sophie Pionek featuring stories from history and activities that families can do at home.

This week’s History Adventures Online video is all about Black art! Watch to learn the stories of a few important Black artists and make some art of your own. Share photos of the art you make while watching this video by tagging our Facebook page or @BlackIowa on Twitter and Instagram.

Easy Craft: Juneteenth Flag

Did you know that there is a special flag to celebrate the holiday Juneteenth? This holiday marks the day that the last enslaved people in the United States learned of their freedom after the Civil War. The design of the flag was first drafted in 1997. It includes the colors red, white, and blue of the US flag and star representing the star of Texas with a border representing the star “bursting with new freedom” in honor of the June 19, 1865 proclamation of freedom that was made in Galveston, Texas. You can celebrate Juneteenth at home by making your own Juneteenth flag using paper and glue!

Parents, get started by downloading and printing the craft template.

To get started you will need three pieces of paper (red, white, and blue), scissors, and glue. After printing out the template, cut it out so that you have the waving flag piece, the star, and the star outline.

Using the template, trace and cut out one piece of blue paper and one piece of red paper to resemble a waving flag.

After the pieces are cut out, glue them together so that they overlap slightly. The blue piece is the top of the flag.


After gluing together the red and blue pieces, glue on the star and the star outline.

You now have a waving Juneteenth flag that you can display at home!

Parents, we would love to see the final craft! Share your photo on social media and tag the African American Museum of Iowa (@BlackIowa) and use #JuneteenthAtHome. Happy crafting!


Unwavering Virtual Writing Project

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A Statement from the Executive Director

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Dear Iowans,

The African American Museum of Iowa team and board have been deeply saddened and outraged by continued injustices against black people in our country. In recent days, the Museum has been the focus of an outpouring of support, with offers of individual, community, and organizational collaboration. This is a clear message that what we do matters to communities across the state. The Museum is uniquely poised to serve as a resource for many seeking historical perspectives, real answers, and social justice platforms.

There are many people who were taken off guard by the most recent and traumatizing murders of black people by law enforcement. These instances of police brutality are only more examples of centuries of oppression. There has been a collective gasp of pain and outrage as yet another video has become the witness for the unheard in our society. The exhaustive list of black men, women, and children who have been victimized throughout the history of this country is not new but now being seen through a new lens – one of authenticity and truth.

The mission of the Museum is to preserve, exhibit, and teach the African American heritage of Iowa. Teaching includes exposing the past and recent injustices to impact the strides we can make today and tomorrow. We are weeks away from our annual Juneteenth celebration, which will take on added meaning this year. This year, we won’t just be celebrating, but launching renewed efforts in the fight toward real justice and equality, armed with allies and voices that need to be heard. There has been a unified awakening of many Americans and global citizens to the atrocities faced by black people today and over the last 400 years.

History has demonstrated the injustices are many and the time of action long overdue. I am heartbroken but not hopeless. I pray for peace and justice in our land. We must demand it for the sake of all our children and their children.

Whether you march, implore your legislature, kneel, or stand up to lawlessness, please do consider your own personal responsibility toward ensuring all people are treated with dignity and humanity. All lives don’t matter until Black lives matter!


LaNisha Cassell
Executive Director