Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs presents 10th annual Celebrate Iowa Gala

Nov 19, 2021

Iowans from across the state are invited to enjoy uniquely Iowan art, history, food and entertainment during the 10th annual Celebrate Iowa Gala presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The state’s premier cultural celebration returns to an in-person format Friday, Dec. 10, at the historic Scottish Rite Consistory, 519 Park St. in Des Moines, as Iowa revs up for its 175th statehood anniversary. Iowa joined the Union on Dec. 28, 1846.

“The gala will feature the best of Iowa at a time when people are ready to celebrate in-person again with live music, culture and the culinary arts,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. “This event will build momentum as Iowa’s creative sector reopens. It’s part of our statewide campaign to encourage Iowans to ‘Re-Imagine, Re-Engage and Re-Connect’ with arts and culture -- and each other.”

Over the last decade, the Celebrate Iowa Gala has raised critical dollars for statewide programs of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Funds from the gala have helped the society create new exhibits, develop educational programs for children and lifelong learners, increase access to the state’s vast collection and launch a mobile museum in a custom-built Winnebago that recently embarked on its second 99-county tour.

After last year’s virtual gala, this year’s event returns to an in-person format featuring live musical performances by the Awful Purdies, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Phineas Pope; an exhibit of new artwork inspired by Iowa history; a pop-up display from the State Historical Museum of Iowa, hand-drawn portraits from the Portrait Studio; and specialties from some of Iowa’s most popular restaurants. Plus, guests will be able to sample a signature “Iowa 175” cocktail from the Mississippi River Distilling Co. in LeClaire, as well as an “1846 Corn Lager,” produced with old-fashioned brewing techniques at Court Avenue Brewing Co. in Des Moines.

Support for this year's gala comes from presenting sponsors MidAmerican Energy and Musco Lighting, with additional funding from Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Trevor and Heather Bell, Ambassador Terry and Chris Branstad, Catch Des Moines, Clear Mortgage -- Carrie Hansen Mortgage Team, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Corteva Agriscience, Court Avenue Brewing Co., Tyler and Stacie De Haan, Delta Dental, Francis & Associates, Greater Des Moines Partnership, GreenState Credit Union, Homesteaders Life Company, Hy-Vee, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Iowa Bankers Association, Iowa Credit Union League, Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Josephs Jewelers, Dr. Jim and Mary Ellen Kimball, Chris and Dan Kramer, Kum & Go, Dr. Randall and Kelly Lengeling, Lucas County Historical Society, Neumann Monson Architects, Niebur Family Foundation Fund, Parrot Farms, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, Prairie Meadows, Preservation Iowa, Principal, Rasmussen Group, Rob Sand and Christine Lauridsen Sand, SHAZAM, and Technology Association of Iowa. Event partners include Atlantic Bottling Company, Baratta’s, Business Record, CLE Productions, Court Avenue Brewing Co., Doll Distributing, Fareway, Kesling Photography, Mississippi River Distilling Co., Scottish Rite Consistory and Stuart Alexander Productions.

Celebrate Iowa Gala 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 of the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Celebrate Iowa Gala

When: 7-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10; a VIP reception starts at 6 p.m.

Where: Scottish Rite Consistory, 519 Park Street, Des Moines

Tickets & Details: 515-281-5111,

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the State Historical Society of Iowa, including the State Historic Preservation Office; the Iowa Arts Council; the interim Iowa Humanities Council; and Produce Iowa, the state office of media production – empower Iowans to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting to the people, places and points of pride that define our state.