2017 Mobile Museum Call for Participation

Submit your exhibit proposal using the webform.

On behalf of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED), the Pentacrest Museums and Office of the State Archaeologist invite UI departments to participate in the development of exhibits for the 2017 UI Mobile Museum.  The Mobile Museum, which is sponsored by OVPRED, is a custom-built 38-foot RV.  The specific intent of the Mobile Museum is to showcase UI’s research and creativity statewide, enhancing the appreciation of all Iowans for the work of the university’s faculty, staff, and students.  It travels throughout Iowa for outreach and education events; venues include the Iowa State Fair, RAGBRAI, county fairs, and school and library presentations, among many others. Since launching in 2014, the Mobile Museum has reached over 74,000 visitors in 58 counties in Iowa, and these numbers continue to grow.  This project highlights important research that affects people all across the state of Iowa in an engaging, high-impact manner.  It also provides an excellent mechanism for faculty and staff to expand the broader impacts of their research and creative projects.

The Mobile Museum team seeks a combination of compelling exhibits from across the humanities, arts, and sciences at the University of Iowa.  The museum includes two distinct kinds of exhibits: object-based physical exhibits and digital exhibits presented on 46-inch touchscreens.  The three physical exhibits are replaced each winter, with each new set displayed for an entire summer season.  Applications not accepted for one the three physical exhibits may be considered for the development of a digital exhibit.  In some cases, it may be possible to add or enhance digital exhibits after the beginning of the travel season, and some digital content may be displayed for more than one year. 

Departments, faculty, or staff interested in exhibiting in the Mobile Museum should submit a proposal using the webform at discover.research.uiowa.edu/2017-proposal-submission-form.  You will need to address the following points:

For all proposals:

  • What makes the proposed exhibit appropriate for the Mobile Museum?
  • What explicit links will the exhibit have to ongoing UI research or creative work?
  • What will make the exhibit particularly interesting or relevant to Iowans?
  • What resources (financial, in-kind effort, volunteerism) can you contribute to the exhibit?
  • Would you be willing to accompany the Mobile Museum occasionally to provide subject matter expertise (note that selected exhibit partners are required to assist at the State Fair)?

For those interested in developing a physical exhibit:

  • What is the basic outline, summary content, or storyline of your exhibit?
  • How will your work resonate with a public audience? 
  • What objects or types of objects could be presented with your exhibit?
  • What photos, videos, or other media could you provide?
  • What, if any, non-digital interactive or hands-on components could be included with the exhibit? 
  • What, if any, digital interactive content could be included with the exhibit?

For those interested in developing digital-only content:

  • What is the basic outline, summary content, or storyline of your exhibit? 
  • What photos, videos, or other media could you provide?
  • What interactive elements would help illustrate your story? 
  • Do these interactive elements already exist, or would they require development?

With all proposals, identify a primary contact person as well as participants anticipated to be involved (including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff as appropriate for your proposal). Mobile Museum staff will assist each selected team with the development and design of the exhibit based on your proposal.  Proposals selected for development will require completion of an agreement document with OVPRED.

Priority will be given to exhibit proposals that include:

  • A clear, strong focus on current ongoing research or creative activity at the University of Iowa
  • Student involvement in the research or creative activity
  • A commitment of departmental/program resources or efforts (faculty or staff time, student time, funding, demonstrations, digital component development, hardware, volunteer docent time, etc.)

If you have questions about this opportunity or the project, please contact J.C. Gillett, the Mobile Museum Educator, at jeffrey-gillett@uiowa.edu.

All proposals are due by July 31.

The timeline for final exhibit planning and development is as follows:

  • July 31: Proposals due
  • August 12: Exhibits for 2017 chosen and departmental contacts notified; introductory meeting and planning begins
  • October 17: Draft written content due; objects and media material selected.
  • November 21: Mobile Museum Staff comments/reviews of draft materials due back to proposers
  • January 9: Final written content due
  • January-March: Exhibit design finalized; component fabrication; printing; installation.
  • March 13: Exhibit mockups installed and available for comment
  • March 17: Proposed changes to mockup due
  • April 1: Mobile Museum 2017 ready for travel.

The timeline for some digital-only exhibits may be more flexible, as digital content can be added throughout the year.  Please contact the Mobile Museum Educator with questions.


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