Frequently Asked Questions 

Visiting the Museum

Q: What are your hours? 

A: The museum is typically open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. 

Please note that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these hours are subject to change. Refer to hours posted at the front desk and on the Museum’s website (blackiowa.org) for up-to-date information. 

Q: How much is admission? 

A: Adults = $6; Seniors = $5; Students = $3.50; Children Under 5 = Free; Members = Free 

Q: Do you offer guided tours?

A: Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more and must be pre-arranged. If you come to visit and have not arranged a tour, you will do a self-guided visit. 

Q: Why isn’t (a person, a town, an event, etc.) in your exhibits? Why don’t you have an exhibit about (a person, a town, an event, etc.) 

A: Our permanent exhibit overviews African American history from before the transatlantic slave trade until Barack Obama’s election in 2008. With the space we have available, it’s impossible to tell every story but we’ve done our best to pick stories and information that give the best overview and represent communities across the state.  

Our current exhibit changes annually. We choose a new topic every year and solicit community feedback on upcoming exhibits. If you’d like to contribute to these surveys, please follow us on social media or join our email list (you can join on our website).

Programs & Educational Resources

Q: What programs do you have coming up? Where can I find information on the location or time of an upcoming program? 

 A: A schedule of upcoming programs is available under Events. You can also stay up to date on Museum programs by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or subscribing to our email newsletter.

Q: Do you have any traveling resources? 

A: Yes! We have several traveling exhibits and trunks available, in addition to all of our virtual resources. 

Traveling Exhibits: Traveling exhibits are light, portable, and easy to install. They can be borrowed for a fee of $25 plus mileage or shipping, if applicable. The typical reservation period is two weeks, and bookings are on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Traveling Trunks: Traveling trunks enhance your classroom or library with a professionally curated, themed collection of learning materials.  Each trunk includes reading materials, activities, and a curriculum guide with lesson plan ideas for classroom and home schoolteachers. 

Staying Connected

Q: How can I join the museum’s email list? 

A: You can join our email list.

Q: How can I join the museum’s newsletter mailing list? 

A: The Museum’s newsletter, the Iowa Griot, is published three times a year. The newsletter is a member benefit. If you’d like to receive the newsletter, please consider becoming a member. 

 Q: Is the Museum on social media! 

 A: Yes! We are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

 Facebook: African American Museum of Iowa 

 Facebook Community Group: African American Museum of Iowa Community Group

 Twitter: BlackIowa 

 Instagram: BlackIowa 

Membership

Q: How much does it cost to become a member? What are the benefits? 

A: We have many membership levels with varying costs and benefits. You can visit blackiowa.org/membership to join.

Level  Annual Fee  Benefits 
Individual  $35 
  • Unlimited admission for one person. 
  • 10% discount at the Nikee Museum Store 
  • Yearly subscription to the Iowa Griot (the museum’s newsletter) 
  • Invitations to member-only events 
Family  $50  All of the above plus: 

  • Unlimited free admission for immediate family 
Century  $100  All of the above, plus: 

  • Free admission to over 900 museums across the U.S. through the NARM (North American Reciprocal Museum) Association 
Golden  $200  All of the above, plus: 

  • 10% discount on facility rentals 
Platinum  $400  All of the above, plus: 

  • 2 complimentary tickets to the annual History Makers Gala 

Facility Rentals

Q: Could you give me some information about renting your facilities? 

A: Please head to Meeting & Event Space for information on our available spaces and to the rental request form.

Museum History

Q: When was the Museum founded? What is its history?  

A: The museum was founded in 1993 by a group of individuals from Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids. The Museum built and moved into its current location and building in 2003. For more information, head to History, Vision, Mission.

Q: Was the Museum impacted by the flood of 2008? 

A: Yes, the Museum building took on approximately 5 ½ feet of water during the 2008 flood. It damaged the entire first level. We reopened to the public the next year. Though many of the items in our collection were damaged by the flood, the majority were saved.  

Miscellaneous

Q: I’d like to donate something to the museum’s collection. 

A: Please visit Collection Donations for more information on how to contribute to our collection. 

Q: How can I learn more about volunteering or an internship at the Museum? 

A: There are several opportunities for volunteering at the Museum, both temporary and ongoing.  Find information about volunteering and internships.

Q: Why is the store called the Nikee Museum Store? 

A: Nikee is a Ghanaian word that means “gift.”