Help us show the impact of Iowa museums - not just fair-weather educators, community anchors, tourism magnets, economic engines.  How is your museum serving the community throughout the COVID-19 crisis?


Connect with Community

The Sunday drive is making a come-back.  Help your community find interesting sites for drive-by viewing.  Check out the The History Center's Linn There Done That!

There are lots of ways to offer content - websites, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Stories among them.

Share objects and lessons through the Iowa Museum Association's Teaching Iowa History.


Pete Malmberg shared that at Forest Park Museum and satellite sites in Dallas County they are trying to put less fragile artifacts with signage in office windows and posting a large number of things on social media.

Rachael Mullins shared that (among other things), the Putnam Museum and Science Center is participating in a nation-wide initiative called “Heart Hunters” designed to give families a safe and fun way to get their children out and about in the community without danger of exposure.

As the Quad Cities' Smithsonian Affiliate, the Putnam is reaching out to their community to ask them to help document this time in Quad Cities' history. They've begun to hear from people who are starting to keep journals of personal experiences, sharing stories about their time at home, travel quarantines, and how COVID-19 is touching the lives of Quad Citians.

Reiman Gardens is sharing videos of the gardens  -

Julia Franklin, Anderson Gallery Manager, Drake University, is asking peple to document their kitchen tables, that are now being used more as a central hub for work, school, maskmaking, games, and eating.  She has started new pages on Instagram and Facebook @kitchentabletimes to share.

Julie Huffman-klinkowitz, Cedar Falls Historical Society, is clipping and saving newspaper articles from the local paper relating to the state’s response to the virus, state and local illness and death numbers, and the effect on local businesses and daily life.

Dan Jones, Living History Farms, suggested collecting locally made face masks when this is over.

Jared McDonald, Madison County Historical Complex, shared that they are now leaving their grounds open all night, lights on, and allowing the community to walk and stroll through their many acres at any time.  Security cameras show people strolling the grounds even during the middle of the night.  Local police have been informed that the Historical Complex grounds are remaining open all night and have increased friendly patrols to support this.

Similarly, green spaces have been made more available at the Museum of Danish America and Harrison County Historical Village, where they are also encouraging chalk art on the paved trails.

Jennifer Kovarik, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, is contacting teachers she typically works with in other ways, and offering resources for distance learning. Downloadable worksheets or pick-up packets and kits may be helpful to many.

The Dubuque Museum of Art has added a permanent collections gallery on the Collection page.

Message from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
We’ve got a challenge for you! We are encouraging our museum friends to engage their audiences as curators of their own history. Your home is your museum. On Monday, April 13 the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (@RiverMuseum) will be sharing a call for artifacts on social media, asking our community to share a photo of an item from their home with a description detailing it and its significance to their lived history. Similar to how our curators accept artifacts into our collections, we consider the significance of each item we keep in our homes. We will share the full press release and hashtag Monday. Additionally, we have a page on our website that will be collecting all submissions that include the hashtag. We’ll even be tagging a few of our Iowa partners, so stay tuned!

Eric Anderson, Blanden Art Museum has downloadable education art packets.

Casie Vance, Ames Historical Society, is hosting Facebook live on Thursdays to engage with the community.

Jennifer Cooley, State Historical Society of Iowa, has launched "Goldie at Home" for kids 12 and under.

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum and the Cedar Falls Historical Society are posting "meet the staff" videos on their Facebook pages.

The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is hosting virtual Friday night community gatherings.

The Museum of Natural History is challenging its audience to journal about nature walks.

The Figge Art Museum is hosting community-curated art shows on social media.

Nic Hartmann, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, is sharing his Folklife 101 Series - a new crash course on folk and traditional arts that teaches what folklife means, and means to the world.

Museums working with Farmers Markets - information from Kathy Dirks, Harrison County Historical Village


The first is the Farmers Market Coalition.  They keep updating information continually.

This link is “COVID-19 Safety Protocols For Food Distribution & Purchases” that was put together by the Maryland Farmers Market Association, Future Harvest – Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and Historic Lewis Farmers Markets.  It’s one of the best resources we’ve found so far.