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© 2016 Split Rock Studios


Cedar Rapids, IA

African American Museum of Iowa

Interpretive Learning Center

Split Rock Studios partnered with the African American Museum of Iowa after floods destroyed the museum’s former exhibits. The new exhibits are designed with flood threats in mind; the exhibition can be dismantled and evacuated at a moment’s notice.


Visitors experience a dark and crowded slave ship and find a runaway slave hiding at a stop on the Underground Railroad. Later, they must decide whether to walk through a door labeled “Whites Only” or one marked “Colored.” Immersive environments include a classroom—racially integrated in 1867 by the Iowa Supreme Court—and a 1948 lunch counter from Des Moines, Iowa, that was the scene of a sit-in. The exhibition culminates with an opportunity to stand at the very podium used by Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign for the presidency.


African American Museum of Iowa 



Split Rock Studios


Services Provided

Schematic Design

Design Development

Graphic Design

Themed Environments