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State Historical Society of Iowa

Celebrate Iowa Gala showcases art, culture and entertainment

Nov 9, 2020

The 9th annual Celebrate Iowa Gala will be hosted virtually on Friday, Dec. 11.

The state’s premier cultural celebration, presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, will offer guests once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to meet notable Iowans, watch an Iowa movie star add his handprints to the Wall of Fame at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, and enjoy musical performances at iconic Iowa venues, including the American Gothic House in Eldon and the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

The virtual event also offers guests a chance to meet other Iowans, near and far, as Iowa heads into its 175th year of statehood. Iowa joined the Union on Dec. 28, 1846.

“The virtual celebration will showcase the best of Iowa’s arts, history, film, foods and culture from iconic Iowa locations,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “This year’s Celebrate Iowa Gala is a chance to connect with proud Iowans from every corner of the state – and from across the country – to have fun and remind ourselves of all the extraordinary, only-in-Iowa things we have in common.”

The program starts at 6 p.m. with a VIP reception, followed by a 7 p.m. showcase of Iowa culture and then an 8 p.m. cultural mixer, when guests will have a chance to enjoy live entertainment and participate in a few guided experiences. Highlights from the evening will include a visit to the Donna Reed Center for the Performing Arts in Denison, a performance at the beautiful Art Church in Malvern, and a glimpse of the vast collection of Haitian artwork at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. A few famous Iowans will pop in, too.

Proceeds from the event will support statewide educational programs and exhibitions offered by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

9th Annual Celebrate Iowa Gala

Virtual Event, Friday, December 11, 2020
6 p.m. – Virtual VIP Reception
7 p.m. – Virtual Celebrate Iowa Gala
8 p.m. – Virtual Cultural Mixer

Tickets are $25 for the 7 p.m. gala, $100 for the gala and cultural mixer, and $250 for an all-access pass for the whole evening, including the VIP Reception. Sponsorships start at $500, which entitle sponsors to all-access passes plus recognition benefits. This year’s virtual tickets are 100 percent tax-deductible.

For more details, please visit

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.