Iowa Communities Competing To Host Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit

Photo: Smithsonian Institution

(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa communities have the opportunity to host a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit.

“Spark! Places of Innovation” will come to Iowa in 2024 through a partnership between the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street program, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Humanities Council. The exhibition uses photographs, engaging interactives, videos and augmented reality to explore the unique combination of places, people and circumstances that sparks innovation and reveals why it flourishes in some rural places but not others.

“Bringing the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibition to the state delivers new opportunities for Iowans,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “This exhibition will give our rural communities and students a chance to access this Smithsonian-quality experience that can connect students to interdisciplinary learning programs – history, humanities, culture, arts, science, and innovation.”

“Iowans have a strong connection to the history of our state,” State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. “We encourage them to look into hosting this exhibit and explore the many different ways they can generate and adopt innovative ideas to strengthen their communities.”

Iowa communities can become part of the exhibit by contacting the Smithsonian and sharing their experiences with a wide range of possibilities, including: Creating solutions to common rural community challenges; innovating or inventing a new tool or craft; developing cultural programming, art spaces, social justice initiatives, or sparking transformative conversations between people who'd normally not engage with each other. Technological, social, cultural, artistic, or a combination of all of these – innovation is as unique as each community and the Smithsonian would like to hear from Iowans.

Get more information and apply online at beginning July 1 through Sept. 8

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