A traveling exhibit exploring issues of Midwestern history and identity will stop at Wartburg College Tuesday, Oct. 6.


Housed in a retrofitted school bus, “At Home in the Heartland: How Midwesterners Got to Be ‘Us’” will be outside Neumann Auditorium from 2 to 5:30 p.m.


The free exhibit examines how the Midwest developed differently than other regions, how Iowa’s settlement distinguished it from its neighbors, and what blesses and burdens the state today.


“One of the most important roles for history is to help us understand how we came to be the people we are. This exhibit will help us understand the role of both past and place in shaping us as Midwesterners,” said Terrence Lindell, professor of history, who helped bring the event to Wartburg.


The “BUS-eum,” a project of the Mason City nonprofit TRACES Center for History and Culture, will visit all 99 Iowa counties within the next 18 months. Michael Luick-Thrams, TRACES director, will present his new book, “Chasing Restless Roots: The Dreams that Lured Us Across America,” at the Wartburg stop. At 4:30 p.m., he will discuss the current European refugee crisis. Luick-Thrams spends part of each year in Dresden, Germany, and experienced the country's reaction this spring and summer as refugees fleeing war, poverty and ecological disaster sought safe haven in Europe. 


“TRACES gathers, preserves and presents stories of people’s lives, past and present—many of which have laid beneath dust left by time’s passage,” Luick-Thrams said. “By learning lessons from the past, we might rise above what otherwise could demean us and keeps us from moving forward as individuals, families, communities and a nation.”


The exhibit is supported in part by Humanities Iowa, the John K. & Luise V. Hanson Foundation, the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation, Chester P. Luick Memorial Trust, Vander Haags Inc. and local hosts. 


For more information, see www.roots.traces.org/at-home-in-the-heartland, email staff@TRACES.org or contact Lindell at 319-352-8344.