Musicians, authors, poets and even a well-known game show host are gathering in the central Iowa town of Perry this weekend for the opening of a new immigrant museum. Perry native and entrepreneur Roberta Green Ahmanson says the 1904 Carnegie Library had fallen into disrepair so she had it restored to become the new facility. Green Ahmanson says the museum’s purpose is to “tell the story of the immigrant experience in small town America,” how immigrants shaped our land and how the land shaped them. The facility’s full name is “Hometown Perry, Iowa, A Museum Honoring the Immigrant Experience in Small Town America.” Green Ahmanson says it’s more of a campus than an individual structure, as much of downtown Perry is part of a community showcase. She says the buildings are artifacts and the library-museum itself tells the story of the meaning, history and importance of libraries in literacy, as Iowa is the most literate state in the U.S. Green Ahmanson says a host of events are planned through the weekend including concerts, readings, lectures and walking tours. On the roster: U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser of Ames, authors James Davison Hunter, Jan Karon and Stephen Bloom, platinum-selling Latin singer Jaci Velasquez, baritone singer Jubilant Sykes and “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak. For more information, call (515) 465-2518 or surf to “www.hometownperryiowa.com”.
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