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State Historical Society of Iowa

Chris Kramer to Lead Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

Jan 8, 2019

DES MOINES – With nearly 20 years experience as a leader in Iowa's cultural heritage and museum development, Chris Kramer takes the helm today as director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Kramer's appointment today.

"I am excited to lead the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and thank Governor Reynolds for this amazing opportunity," Kramer said.

"As we continue to address our state’s need to attract and retain a globally-minded workforce, quality of life amenities are critical to the equation," she said. "Our agency is committed to offering world-class arts and cultural experiences in vibrant communities where creativity can spark innovation and become the economic driver for development in our larger cities and rural areas."

Kramer joined the department as deputy director in 2011 and was named acting director in 2017. During that time, she led its mission-based efforts to be a catalyst for the creative economy; support arts, social studies and Iowa history education; strengthen the skills of arts, history and cultural leaders; and revitalize Iowa communities by building upon the authentic character that makes them attractive places to live, work and raise a family.

"All of these efforts stem from our hub at the State Historical Building, where we showcase Iowa and are working to emulate best practices in our museum and archives, and through our interactions with those leading arts, media, history and historic preservation." Kramer said. "By maintaining our focus on mission-driven outcomes and building on our momentum, it is easy to believe the best days are ahead for Iowa."

Prior to joining DCA, Kramer served 12 years as vice president of the Science Center of Iowa where she managed a $62 million capital campaign, the largest museum capital campaign undertaken in Iowa. There she was part of growing audiences engaged with STEM learning programs, interactive exhibits and IMAX films, and blockbuster exhibits such as "Titanic," "Race: Are We So Different?," "Da Vinci" and "Body Worlds" through strategic partnerships with all sectors. She lives in Clive with her husband, Dan, and has three children, Alex, Jack and Lucy.

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.