The governor and lieutenant governor today announced the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs’ third annual “Celebrate Iowa Gala” will be December 12th at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. “It’s a celebration of Iowa’s arts, history and culture. Along with the First Lady, I am proud to serve as the honorary chair of this special event. Proceeds from the gala will support programs and initiatives through the Iowa Historical Foundation, ” Branstad says.
Branstad says director, Norman Lear will be a special guest at this year’s event. “On the 45th anniversary of the movie “Cold Turkey ,” which was filmed in Greenfield, Winterset and Des Moines,” Branstad says. “In fact part of it was filmed at Terrace Hill and I think part of it even in the capitol here in the library.” Lear also produced several television shows, including “The Andy Williams Show,” “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” His other films include “The Princess Bride” and “Stand by Me.” He recently released a new memoir entitled “Even This I Get to Experience.”
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says Lear’s appearance is one part of the gala. “During the gala, attendees will also have the opportunity to preview the opening of a new exhibit called, “Making Art Public,” Reynolds explains. “The exhibit commemorates the 35th anniversary of the initiative to place art in public buildings, and the history of art in Iowa.”
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs director, Mary Cownie, says the gala will feature all kinds of food with Iowa connections. She says that includes Iowa’s Best Burger from the Brick City Grill in Ames, an edible cupcake mural from Creme Cupcake in Des Moines and beverages from the River City Distillery in LeClaire.
Cownie says they’ve tried to include all parts of the state in the celebration and so far have been seeing a lot of interest in the event. “We’ve raised over 135,000, we still have two weeks to go, and we have donations that come in and then online ticket sales and people can mail in requests,” Cownie says. “We’ve already exceeded our goal, which was $125,000.”
Cownie says you can go on-line to sign up for the gala at www.culturalaffairs.org/gala. Governor Branstad says he has seen the movie “Cold Turkey,” which featured Dick Van Dyke. “It was about quitting smoking, and you know it was way ahead of its time, if you think about it,” Branstad says. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds lived in the area and says she remembers the filming. “I have Dick Van Dyke’s autograph in my autograph book, as a small child (we) traveled to Winterset when they were filming Cold Turkey,” Reynolds says. “I have the autography if I can find the autography book. It was a big moment.”
The gala begins at 7 p.m. on December 12th and runs until 11 p.m.