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Des Moines Art Center and Iowa International Center bring awareness to World Refugee Day

Posted on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith 
Tel: 515.271.0343 

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Des Moines Art Center and Iowa International Center bring awareness to World Refugee Day

DES MOINES, IOWA (June 2019) – 

In honor of World Refugee Day, observed annually on June 20, the Art Center and Iowa International Center present the following events that bring awareness to the plight of refugees throughout the world.

Self-Guided Tour of the Art Center’s collection inspired by World Refugee Day, June 15 – 23, during regular museum hours*
Film screening: Human Flow, a film by renowned artist Ai Weiwei, June 17 / 7 pm
Panel discussion: “See Me, Hear Me: Stories of Refugees in Des Moines,” June 20 / 7 pm

Self-Guided Tour
Art Center visitors may pick up a self-guided tour brochure highlighting a selection of works in the collection by artists who fled their native countries under duress and went on to create art that enriches and expands our human capacities for growth, curiosity and empathy.

Film Screening
Monday, June 17 / 7 pm
Human Flow, 2017
Ai Weiwei, director
2 hours 15 minutes / Rated PG-13
Levitt Auditorium / Free and open to the public

More than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary sheds light on both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

Panel Discussion
“See Me, Hear Me: Stories of Refugees in Des Moines”
Thursday, June 20 / 7 – 8:30 pm
Levitt Auditorium / Free and open to the public

This moderated panel discussion highlights personal stories from refugees in Iowa. Audience members will hear about their journeys, challenges and triumphs, honoring them as contributors to the diversity of the state. These speakers bring awareness of the continual need to assist refugee populations coming to Iowa.

The panelists are Sue Moe, from the ethnic Karen community; Wasan Waham from Baghdad, Iraq; and Sharon Ndikurugamba, who was born in Rwanda and grew up in Kenya. The moderator is Claudia Schabel, President of Schabel Solutions, who has more than a decade of experience as a Diversity and Inclusion strategist for Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

*Museum Hours

Tuesday / Wednesday / Friday / 11 am – 4 pm
Thursday / 11 am – 9 pm
Saturday / Noon – 4 pm
Closed Monday

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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