Current Partnerships

You can join the conversations surrounding these questions and more through booking or attending any of the following events: 

by Des Moines Metro Opera

Inspired by the world premiere of A Thousand Acres, this series of photographic exhibits, art shows, discussions, plays, book clubs and site-specific events will explore the themes and connections presented by the novel: patriarchy, the passing of land through family and the ties that bind us.


Please visit our events calendar and dmmo.org/acres for more information, updates and added events.

Musicality in Parks

by CARTHA Collaborative Doers for Humanity

We believe that outdoor musical spaces (Singing Nooks) could be designed in public parks in ways that serve as one of many coping/healing platforms which are desperately needed for our next generations of children to feel a sense of joyful togetherness and memory-making despite everything else going on around them. Once current pandemic restrictions are lifted and it is safe to organize intergenerational events, our intent is to host CARTHA gatherings in such Signing Nooks which will provide some random musical sounds combined with the laughter of children amid Mother Nature’s own moods of chirpiness and breeziness. Read more about Musicality in Parks in our downloadable guide.

PAST PROGRAMS UNDER PART ONE FUNDING
Agriculture, Climate Change, & the Death-by-Design of Rural Iowa
by Art Cullen

This presentation by our 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner in Editorial Writing will address environmental and agricultural issues near to the heart of Iowans mainly through the vehicle of the Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit against Buena Vista, Calhoun, and Sac counties over nitrate pollution of the Raccoon River. It will tell how The Storm Lake Times tried to unveil who was actually running the litigation – not the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors, but the Koch Brothers and Monsanto. The presentation will also elaborate on themes from Aldo Leopold, the great conservation philosopher, about how we think we can engineer our way into prosperity but we seem to always end up in the ditch.

Iowa’s Claim to Prize-Winning Authors
by Kurt Meyer

Among the distinguished authors with an Iowa connection are Pulitzer Prize winners Hamlin Garland (1860–1940) and Edna Ferber (1885–1968). Both spent significant childhood years in Iowa—Garland in northeast Iowa, and Ferber in Ottumwa. And both drew on their Iowa backgrounds throughout prolific writing careers. Meyer’s presentation will introduce people to these two often-overlooked/forgotten authors: their lives, their major works, their pioneering careers, and their importance in the literary world, during their prime years as well as today. Although they led very different lives, Meyer will focus on shared talents that made them successful and the personal and professional qualities they held in common.Using Garland and Ferber as examples, Meyer will also suggest informal ways that Iowans can encourage and promote future generations of Pulitzer Prize winners.

The Art of Conservation: A Visit with Ding Darling
by Tom Milligan

In this presentation, Jay N. “Ding” Darling (performed by Milligan) visits with the audience, as an old friend, in his 11th office at The Des Moines Register. Beginning with his early years in Sioux City where as a young boy he became aware of the natural world around him while developing skills as an editorial cartoonist, he recalls his remarkable life journey. His story continues to include two Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoons for the Register and a remarkable career as a nationally-known conservationist. From the introduction of “The Duck Stamp” to the creation of the National Wildlife Federation, Darling’s influence was felt not only through his cartoons but his action as well. Considered by many to be one of the most important members of the modern conservation movement in the first half of the 20th century, the impact of his work is still felt today.

Past Partnerships

Voices Productions

Creative Placemaking

Dubuque, IA

June 1 – July 1, 2018

$20,000

This award provides funding for Phase II of a three-year project, which launched last year with a series of large-scale murals within the cultural corridor of downtown Dubuque. This second phase engages public enrollment in similar programs. During the week of June 25-30, Voices Productions will present a weeklong, no-cost workshop for up to 50 applicants who are interested in learning how to shape the physical and social character of a streetscape or neghborhood by making and strategically placing art in the public sphere. The workshop will consist of classroom lectures and hands-on experience culminating in a four-day project of painting two large-scale murals under the guidance of master muralists.

Fullhart Carnegie Charitable Trust

Carnegie Library Museum Upgrades
Perry, IA

April 23 – November 30, 2018

$5,182

This award will enrich the Carnegie Library Museum in Perry by providing for the addition of three freestanding display walls, which procide space for interactive, rotating exhibits, research, historic photos, and stories. Built in 1904, the Carnegie Library is Perry’s oldest standing public building and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building underwent renovations in 2004, but those renovations did not include space for changing exhibits, which are necessary for attracting repeat visitors and ensuring sustainability for a small town museum.

Okoboji Summer Theatre

Deaf Access Workshops for Production of The Miracle Worker
Okoboji, IA
June 27 – July 31, 2018

$7,020

This July the Okoboji Summer Theatre will produce a performance of The Miracle Worker. In preparation for this production, Humanities Iowa has granted an award for the consultation services of two deaf access experts to train the guest artist team and rehears with them. The experts, Donna Salamoff (former co-director of deaf access for Imagination State) and Lisa Agogliati (former access director for Arena Stage in Washington D.C.), will conduct workshops addressing issues of Basic Sign Language, Facial Expression, Gesturing, and Fingerspelling.

National Tolerance Week

Tolerance Week: A Not So Silent Resistance
April 9-14, 2018

$20,000

The mission of Tolerance Week is to educate, enlighten, and inspire. Using documentary films, live performances, and lectures, Tolerance Week reaches students, families, teachers, and community leaders about the Holocaust and other injustices. It inspires teachers and students to identify sources of discrimination and injustice within their communities and to work to eliminate them.


This will be the 12th Annual Tolerance Week, and all events are free and open to the public. A featured guest of this year’s programming will be Ms. Inge Auerbacher, a Holocaust survivor. Visit the Tolerance Week website for more information.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

“River of Innovation” Exhibit

Dubuque, IA

Spring 2019

$20,000

“River of Innovation” aims to inspire the next generation of river explorers and will be comprised of a 19th century belt-driven machine shop, a series of hands-on exhibits and a modern maker space. These elements will be combined with educational components to form a cohesive and immersive set of experiences for visitors and learners while balancing the Museum & Aquarium’s historical, cultural and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concentrations.

Siouxland Historical Railroad Association

00th Anniversary History of the Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District
Sioux City, IA
October 2017-September 2018

$40,000

The Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District is one of several preserved steam-era railroad shop environments in North America. It celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. The Siouxland Historic Railroad Association will develop educational programs around the history of the site in Sioux City: the former Sioux City Roundhouse, Repair Shops and Engine Terminal, including a permanent exhibit, public programs and a pictorial history book.

Blanden Charitable Foundation

“Daniel Rhodes”
Fort Dodge, IA
September-November, 2017

$10,000

The works of Fort Dodge native Daniel Rhodes will be on exhibit at the Blanden Art Museum. This exhibit will feature a wide variety of his work including ceramic sculptures, drawings and photos. It will highlight a visual story of creation and exploration. This exhibit is part of the 85th anniversary celebration of the Blanden Foundation.