Every so often I'm asked, "What is the Wallace Centers of Iowa?" It's a non-profit organization inspired by the Wallace family legacy. The Wallace Centers of Iowa provide a variety of programs and services to build awareness of local food, sustainable agriculture and civility. It serves both urban and rural communities.
There are two locations—one is the Wallace House at 756 16th Street in the Sherman Hill neighborhood on the west edge of downtown Des Moines. The other is the Henry A. Wallace birthplace farm at Orient, Iowa—about 50 miles southwest of Des Moines. It is officially known as the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center.
The Sherman Hill location is the restored home of the Wallace Family from back in the days when they owned Wallaces Farmer and family members worked for the magazine. There was the first Henry Wallace (known as Uncle Henry); his son was Henry C. Wallace; Henry C's son was Henry A. Wallace. There's a neat little museum inside explaining the house and the family's role in Iowa history. It's a free visit filled with interesting information about Iowa, agriculture and U.S. history too.
What about the programs?
To give you an idea of the type of speakers and topics offered, I received a card in the mail in March listing the schedule for April at the Wallace House. The activities include 3 programs:
1) Civility Today: Guest speakers discuss current civility issues and share experiences. Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $20 per person, lunch included. On April 9 Tina Mowry Hadden was guest speaker on "Tapping the Positive Power of Differences to Create Meaningful Results." On April 16 they'll have Carol Spaulding-Kruse of Drake University on "Talking With The Enemy: Dialogue in a Polarized Age." On April 23 it's Aaron Putze of the Iowa Food & Family Project discussing "Fields of Opportunity: How Better Farms Combined with Better Discourse Make a Better Iowa."