New Traveling Exhibition Tells a Story of Liberty and the American Experience – Grand Opening this Friday, June 26, 2015, from 6:00-8:00pm

Photo: Emancipation Day, Richmond, Virginia, 1905, Image courtesy of Library of Congress.

(Cedar Rapids, IA) – The African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI) is excited to announce that is has been selected to host the national traveling exhibition, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963.” The grand opening will take place on Friday, June 26, 2015, from 6:00-8:00pm. Admission to the museum is free while it hosts “Changing America.”

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a host site for ‘Changing America,’” said AAMI Curator Brianna Wright. “The exhibition content will allow us to delve even deeper into exploring the decades of struggle, sacrifice, and labor that have gone into the pursuit of equal rights. We’ve never hosted a traveling exhibition like this before and have a great lineup of programs planned for all ages that will explore the themes of the exhibition.”

Based upon an original interactive exhibition developed by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, this traveling version examines the impact of two great people’s movements that resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963. Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them, yet they are linked in a larger story of liberty and the American experience – one that has had a profound impact on the generations that followed. The exhibition tells the story of how these two pivotal events came into being, a century apart, and how they helped put the nation on a course to fulfill its commitment to liberty and justice for all.

“Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and is part of NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” which brings four outstanding films on the civil rights movement to communities across the United States (see http://createdequal.neh.gov).

“Created Equal” encourages communities across the country to revisit and reflect on the long history of civil rights in America. The exhibition will travel to 50 venues across the nation, accompanied by public programming that will help audiences understand and discuss the relationship between these two great people’s movements. The museum is sponsoring free programs and other public events in connection with the exhibition. Contact 319-862-2101 or visit www.blackiowa.org for more information. “Changing America” will be on display at the museum until August 7, 2015.

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