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State Historical Society of Iowa

Celebrate Iowa Gala returns to State Historical Building Dec. 8

Nov 14, 2023

DES MOINES – The State Historical Society of Iowa invites Iowans from all corners of the state to enjoy homegrown art, history, food and entertainment during the Celebrate Iowa Gala on Friday, Dec. 8, at the State Historical Building of Iowa.

Now in its 12th year, the gala returns to the State Historical Building for the first time since 2018, following the end of a 5-year renovation project that included a new roof, window-walls and other capital improvements that provide a safer and more secure environment to protect, preserve and share the society’s vast collection of more than 200 million pieces of Iowa history.

As the state’s premier cultural celebration, the gala showcases a mix of new highlights and popular traditions that recognize Iowa’s history, humanities, creativity and community spirit.

“The gala offers attendees an ‘all-Iowa experience’ with some of the state’s best music, food and entertainment,” State Curator Leo Landis said. “It has consistently been one of the finest events of the holiday season while also supporting Iowa history and helping us sustain Iowa’s historical legacy.”

For more than a decade, the gala has raised critical funds for statewide programs of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Funds from the gala have helped the society develop new exhibits, create educational programs, preserve artifacts, and provide outreach programs in all parts of the state.

At this year’s gala, guests can enjoy:

Music from Stutterin’ Jimmy and the Goosebumps and The Punching Pandas. A ticketed VIP reception will feature Emma Butterworth.

Artwork by Portrait Studio and Iowa Artist Cynthia O’Hern, who will showcase a contemporary felt art installation inside the State Historical Museum of Iowa.

Food and beverages from some of Iowa’s finest farms, dairies, restaurants, breweries and distilleries.

Tickets range from $125 to $250, with discounted $100 tickets for young professionals (40 and younger). Proceeds from the event go to the Iowa Historical Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that supports statewide initiatives for the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Celebrate Iowa Gala

When: 7-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, with a ticketed VIP reception at 6 p.m.

Where: State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street, Des Moines

Tickets and details:

The State Historical Society of Iowa has been a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy since 1857. With a dual mission of preservation and education, it maintains a museum, two research centers, and seven historic sites. The society preserves and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources through a variety of statewide programs, exhibitions and projects while serving as an advocate for Iowa’s past and connector to the future. The society is part of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. Follow the State Historical Society of Iowa on Facebook and Instagram.