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Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'll Make Me A World In Iowa

Press release for the upcoming I'll Make Me a World In Iowa event.

Additional Supporting Sponsor: Walmart

I'll Make Me a World in Iowa Schedule of Events In Des Moines
Click Links for More Info
Everyone is Welcome!
African American History is Every American's History!

Des Moines… I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa (IMMAWII) has parlayed a national challenge to create a one-time regional event into a nationally recognized celebration of the state’s African American heritage. Based on James Weldon Johnson’s classic poem, “The Creation,” that opened with, “And God stepped out on space, And he looked around and said: I’m lonesome - - I’ll make me a world,” this message has grown into the 10th Annual I’ll Make Me World in Iowa as Iowans from all ethnicities and walks of life join to celebrate the art, culture and contributions of Iowa’s African-Americans. Months of preparation culminate in two days of activities, anchored by Education Day (January 25), Embracing the Excellence Grand Gala (January 25) and the festival’s signature Celebration Day (January 26).

Headliners & Performers
2008 will feature more luminaries to add to the list of previous headliners for IMMAWII. Actor Chester Morris and platinum selling recording gospel artists Trin-i-tee 5:7 will highlight an all day Celebration Day beginning at 10:00 AM at the Polk County Convention Complex. Morris has established himself as a popular silver screen talent, with credits that include Brothers, The Best Man, Two Can Play at that Game and Perfect Holiday. Trin-i-tee 5:7 is the platinum-selling female trio, and has achieved a national following for their vibrant musical stylings. Trin-i-tee 5:7 is scheduled to appear at 11:55am, and Morris Chestnut at 3:45pm.

These headliners will be ably supported by three stages of more than 60 performing acts throughout the day, including the event’s newest attraction, the Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Stage. Jazz, Blues, dance, hip hop, martial arts, and other diverse performances deliver on the other two stages, aptly named after George Washington Carver and the James Weldon Johnson (Youth). Comedian Hope Flood from BET’s Comic View also makes an appearance at IMMAWII with a 5:30pm. performance. Look for the complete schedule January 23 at WWW.WORLDINIOWA.ORG.

Exhibitions, demonstrations, a wide range of soul food culinary offerings and much more will greet all who attend this free event. Other highly anticipated attractions include the a variety of vendors selling Afro centric items, the From Fat to PHAT Health Fair, Greek Row with representation form Black fraternities and sororities; workshops from the African American Business Association; a car show presented by Bett’s Auto Campus; and Belly Dancing with the Caravan of Joy. The ever popular Black Doctors and Inventors interactive exhibit is one of many children’s’ activities along with the John R. Grubb YMCA’s Play Area with bounces houses; batting stations and a craft area. Two additional youth focus activities are a puppet show by Eulenspiegel Puppet Touring Theater and Harlem Globe Trotter-like basketball display and workshop by 6 year-old phenom, Chicago’s Lil’ Marquise Walker.

“While I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa does highlight the art, culture and contributions of Iowa’s African-Americans, it truly has become a celebration for all of Iowa,” IMMAWII Executive Director, Betty Andrews explains. “Each and every Iowan can share in the pride of the state’s African-American legacy, and, judging by the diverse crowds that attend the festival, that seems to be exactly what is happening.”

Soul food, celebratory performing arts, visual arts, storytelling, history, demonstrations, exhibitions and a healthy dose of old and new friends uniting under one shared mission have made IMMAWII a unique Iowa celebration. The fellowship, appreciation and information shared these two days in January reverberate well through Black History Month in February and throughout the entire year, leading to anticipation for the next year’s annual renewal of Iowa’s rich history and legacy of African-Americans. Collaborators include the Des Moines Police Department.

Education Day
Celebration Day is preceded on Friday by Education Day when hundreds of Iowa middle and high school students travel to Des Moines to meet and compete in the IMMAWII Black History Game Show competition. These students not only benefit from their preparation for this competition, but experience a variety of demonstrations, exhibitions and performances as they interact with their peers from across Iowa.

The Grand Gala
The Embracing the Excellence Grand Gala, held the evening of January 25 Hy-Vee Hall, is IMMAWII’s only fundraising event and has developed into one of Iowa’s foremost prestige events. From its beginnings as a small gala hosted by Governor and First Lady Vilsack at Terrace Hill, the Gala now recognizes leading contributors to Iowa’s African-American legacy. This year recognizes Iowa Nebraska NAACPState Conference of Branches. (Leading Organization Honoree), Mr. Jimmie Porter (Individual Life Achievement Honoree), and Stacey Walker (Evelyn K Davis Youth Award Winner).

For information on IMMAWII’s programming contact us at 515-288-7171,, or visit WWW.WORLDINIOWA.ORG
Statewide Contacts

Cedar Rapids: Dedric Doolin, 319-560-0482,

Clinton: Tiffany Harris, 563-243-2124,

Quad Cities: Cynthia Clark, 309-786-8698,
Waterloo: Walter Reed, 515-242-5655,

Visit WWW.WORLDINIOWA.ORG to download:

-Official Poster

-Vendor/ Exhibitor Information

-Volunteer Opportunities

-DART Park & Ride Schedule

Year Round Programming
-History at your fingertips! Dial IMMAWII’s Bringing the Legacy to You line at 515-287-8152 to hear a Black History story. You’ll also find a diversity calendar and community information.
-From FAT to PHAT – Promoting Heart-Health Awareness Together: an African-American women’s health initiative

-State-wide Educational Outreach – presentations, resource expertise, collaboration, touring exhibits, etc.

Making History

On February 27, 2006, in a monumentally historic moment, IMMAWII’s theme song, written by Jazz singer Effie Burt was unanimously adopted by the Iowa Legislature as Iowa’s Newest Official State Song for Iowa.

A word from our Platinum Partner Sponsors:

Iowa State University
"It’s a privilege to serve as a Platinum Partner of I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa, one of Iowa’s premier cultural events as the festival celebrates 10 years of highlighting African-American arts and contributions." Says Marc Harding, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Services at Iowa State University and IMMAWII 10th Anniversary Event Co-Chair along with KCCI's Marcus McIntosh. "IMMAWII’s significant emphasis on education is an ideal match, particularly as ISU commemorates its 150 Anniversary this year which includes the legacy of one of our most celebrated alums, George Washington Carver."
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
“We’re excited to be a platinum sponsor of the 10th Anniversary of Iowa’s premiere African-American Festival, I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa,” says Andrea Smith, Senior Corporate Communications Consultant with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “This year’s Celebration Day promises to be better than ever with fun and educational opportunities for the entire family.”
I'll Make Me a World in Iowa
1620 Pleasant Street, Suite 225,
Des Moines, IA 50314
Tel: 515-288-7171

IMMAWII is Powered By Betty Andrews Media

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