Living History Farms receives $193K federal grant

URBANDALE, Iowa–Living History Farms has received a $193,402 Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funds will expand the interactive museum’s exploration of Ioway culture, the immigrant experience in Iowa, and African-American history in Iowa.

The SHARP grant, intended to preserve humanities jobs and support the reopening and rebuilding of humanities programs, will increase museum staff capacity by funding eight positions in 2022. Those positions will include year-round associates, seasonal associates, and interns at the 1700 Ioway Farm site and the 1870s Flynn Farm site. Staff at the Ioway Farm will play an important role in next year’s recognition of the 40th anniversary of that site. The grant will also allow the museum to hire a program registrar and a curator of collections and archives and to partner in a community-wide Juneteenth celebration in 2022.

“A key National Endowment for the Humanities initiative as we approach the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States is ‘A More Perfect Union,’” Living History Farms President Ruth Haus said: “A primary objective in all of Living History Farms’ offerings is to build creativity, curiosity, and empathy. We can fulfill both goals by telling more inclusive stories of Iowa’s rural history, including early Ioway farmers, immigrants who owned and worked at the Flynn Farm, and African-Americans who owned or worked on Iowa farms. Telling these stories will also support Iowa’s standards for teaching social studies, history, and civics.”

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced a total of $87.8 million in SHARP grants today. Other Iowa organizations that received grants were Loras College, the Dubuque Museum of Art, and the Iowa Museum Association.

Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor history museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences. In addition to the Ioway and Flynn farm sites, Living History Farms includes the 1850 Pioneer Farm, the 1900 Horse-Powered Farm, and the 1876 Town of Walnut Hill. Living History Farms acknowledges that it is located in the traditional territory of the Báxoje (Ioway), Osakiwaki (Sauk), and Meskwaki (Fox). The museum is open for touring May through October. Find more information at

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