Thursday, March 13, 2014

Festival Focuses on Iowa's Role in the World

Alta Vista, Bettendorf, Camanche, Elkader, Humboldt, Jamaica, McGregor, Persia, Rome, Zwingle—far-flung corners of the world have found their way into the very names of Iowa cities and towns. The 2014 Iowa Humanities Festival, “A World at Home | A Home in the World,” invites you to travel the world while staying right at home in the “French” city of Des Moines.

On Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., we welcome you to join us first at the beautiful, historic Salisbury House, which is itself made from treasures that its initial owners gathered from around the world. Faculty members and cultural leaders from Cornell College, Drake University, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, Salisbury House, and the Des Moines Art Center will share their discoveries of the connections between “home” and the world—including a Mexican mural in Cedar Rapids, the German origins of the Iowa Institute of Science and Arts in Dubuque, Midwestern teachers at work in 19th-century Argentina, northern nuns teaching in African American schools of the American South, the movement of Willa Cather’s work through Sri Lanka, the powerful work of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta in Iowa, Vietnamese and Japanese Iowans, and far more.

Registration Now Open

The Festival also includes tours of the treasures housed in the Salisbury Library and a closing panel and reception at the Des Moines Art Center. Tickets, which are $10 and can be purchased at the Salisbury House website, include a box lunch featuring a choice of presentations on the pleasures of chai and the Arabic roots of Elkader.

The Iowa Humanities Festival was started in 2013 to bring together Iowa-based scholars, museum directors, librarians, and personal collectors for a public event designed to celebrate the continuing importance of art, literature, libraries and museums, and to provide thoughtful reflection on our state’s cultural heritage. Inspired by the long-running Chicago Humanities Festival, this year’s Festival is curated by Barbara Ching (Iowa State University), Jeff Fleming (Des Moines Art Center), Shuchi Kapila (Grinnell College), Teresa Mangum (University of Iowa), Craig Owens (Drake University), and Eric Smith (Salisbury House). The event is a collaboration of Drake University, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the Des Moines Art Center, and Salisbury House.

For questions about registration, contact the Salisbury House at 515-274-1777. For questions about the Iowa Humanities Festival, the speakers and its history, please contact the Obermann Center at 319-335-4034.