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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release: August 23, 2013

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Tiny Circus’ film about RAGBRAI now on display at State Historical Museum

Be the first to see “The RAGBRAI Community” in the “Riding Through History” exhibition

DES MOINES – A new stop-motion animation film that captures the spirit of RAGBRAI© is now on display in the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s “Riding Through History” exhibition.

Created by Tiny Circus of Grinnell, “The RAGBRAI Community” is a collaborative project produced in partnership with the State Historical Museum and the Iowa Arts Council, divisions of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

“Iowans and others from around the world have experienced RAGBRAI since it launched 41 years ago,” State Historical Museum of Iowa Director Susan Kloewer said. “This film captures its essence as a cultural and historical institution and it’s a wonderful addition to the Riding Through History exhibition.”

During RAGBRAI last month, Tiny Circus members followed the route, stopping to record audio interviews with cyclists and people in host communities. In each overnight town, the team set up a mobile studio and recruited volunteers to make simple, stop-action animated scenes to illustrate the stories from the audio interviews.

The volunteers created unique paper forms and moved them into new positions to be filmed – shot-by-shot – using the stop-motion technology. In Des Moines, volunteers themselves became living “figurines” near the State Capitol, where they were filmed in numerous shapes and formations.

“Tiny Circus facilitators worked with hundreds of RAGBRAI riders and residents and they really brought a lot of energy and excitement to this project,” Tiny Circus member Carlos Ferguson said. “We are very grateful for their participation, and we would also like to thank the Iowa Arts Council for making this project possible and the State Historical Museum for including it in the exhibit.”

Riding Through History opened in July and caught the attention of thousands of riders as they passed through Des Moines. Bike enthusiasts, RAGBRAI rider hosts, history lovers and the reporters who shared their stories over four decades experienced the new exhibit during its opening night.

The 3,000-square-foot exhibition showcases artifacts, stories, photos and videos that reflect the cycling experience in Iowa, including a bicycle from 1869 owned by Wesley Redhead, one of the first ridden in the state.

The exhibition also highlights RAGBRAI as one of Iowa’s iconic traditions, largest cultural events and economic drivers. Tens of thousands of Iowans are connected to this topic through their participation as a RAGBRAI rider, resident of a town on the RAGBRAI route or simply being a cyclist who enjoys Iowa’s trails.

The exhibit was developed in partnership with The Des Moines Register and Register Media, who ensure RAGBRAI’s tradition continues as the longest, largest and oldest bicycle event in the world. The State Historical Museum plans to keep the exhibit open through 2015.

Visiting information: The State Historical Museum is at 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs is responsible for developing the state’s interest in the areas of the arts, history and other cultural matters with the advice and assistance from its two divisions: the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council. DCA preserves, researches, interprets and promotes an awareness and understanding of local, state and regional history and stimulates and encourages the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and public interest and participation in them. It implements tourism-related art and history projects as directed by the General Assembly and designs a comprehensive, statewide, long-range plan with the assistance of the Iowa Arts Council to develop the arts in Iowa. More information about DCA is available at www.culturalaffairs.org.



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