Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov,
MOINES) – The State Historical Society of Iowa will host a reception next week to celebrate the opening of “Caucus Iowa,” a 10,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the history of the Iowa caucuses.
The reception will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007 at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historical East Village. Lt. Governor Patty Judge will offer comments at 6 p.m. and the exhibit will open for preview tours. Admission is $50 and RSVP’s are requested by 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007 at 515-281-5111. Proceeds support the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.
“Caucus Iowa,” which opens to the public at 9 a.m. Oct. 5, offers museum visitors a first-hand look at the Iowa caucuses – how they work, why they work, their affect on candidates and how they differ from every other step to the White House. It also features interactive polling kiosks, documentaries, a public issues forum, and voter registration information.
The exhibit showcases the Iowa caucuses’ rise to national prominence in the 1970s, explores “retail politics” in a typical coffee shop and recreates a gymnasium and living room as they would appear on caucus night. The exhibit also includes interactive kiosks where visitors can vote on issues and be part of a special straw poll of current candidates.
The exhibit also examines the impact the media has had on transforming the caucuses into an international event, and a public forum space will be available to political campaigns, groups, organizations and schools for special programming.
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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