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AAMI announces groundbreaking ceremony for May 31st

IMAGES: AAMI Building Renderings by Solum Lang Architects LLC
IMAGES: AAMI Building Renderings by Solum Lang Architects LLC
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Cedar Rapids, IA - The African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI) will officially begin its building renovation project with a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

Guests are invited to celebrate this landmark milestone.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the AAMI serves as a voice for the voiceless as Iowa’s only museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s Black history. In 2022, the AAMI launched its capital campaign: Voices Inspiring Progress (VIP).

This campaign was prompted by the City of Cedar Rapids's flood control system. In August 2022, the city began construction on a portion of the flood wall and gate system which is directly impacting the Museum's facilities and operations. AAMI leadership recognized this disruption was an opportunity to address other long-standing maintenance and capacity concerns.

The building renovation will include interior and exterior updates designed to not only change the look of the building, but create sustainability and expand the Museum’s operational capacity, program delivery, and exhibit implementation.

The project’s general contractor, Point Builders, LLC was selected through a publicly bid process, along with our design partner, Solum Lang Architects.

Plans for the renovation have been finalized and work will begin shortly. The Voices Inspiring Progress campaign will fund this project and also aims to raise $1M to support the Museum’s endowment.

To date, the Museum has raised more than $4.6M toward its $6M goal.

Major contributions have come from the City of Cedar Rapids ($1,378,000), Iowa Economic Development Authority: Destination Iowa ($800,000) and Enhance Iowa: CAT ($500,000), the Hall-Perrine Foundation ($750,000), Linn County - American Rescue Plan Act ($333,000), along with many of the Museum’s longstanding business and community partners.

A full list can be found online here.

The Museum anticipates a grand reopening in February 2024.

AAMI executive director LaNisha Cassell and VIP campaign chairman Zach Bohannon will be available immediately following the ceremony to answer any questions.

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Guests are encouraged to use 3rd St SE as the 2nd St and 12th Ave intersection will be closed to traffic.\

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