Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Former DSM woman creates a new museum in Washington, D.C.

Former DSM woman creates a new museum in Washington, D.C.

...Introducing Planet Word!

No transcript...


Ann B. Friedman built a museum called Planet Word in the heart of Washington, D.C., within walking distance of the White House and the Washington Mall.

When did you last talk with someone responsible for building a museum worth north of $50 million, money which she both raised and contributed? Yeah, me too. Never.

Listen to the podcast (or read the rough transcript included). It’s a story of vision, commitment, and persistence, a chronicle of inspiration we can all use today.

Planet Word opened in 2020 and promises to be an attraction designed to have young and old visitors immerse themselves in a new kind of ‘edutainment:’ This state-of-the-art facility harnesses technology by bringing an experiential feeling for language.

Listen to Ann explain how it came to be in her own words. Her description of the ‘Speaking Willow’ installation (pictured above) is enticing. To her delight, the museum has become a place where young adults gather, finding it a cool place for social meet-ups.

You’ll find our conversation with Ann Friedman fascinating, and as is always the case, our participants contribute great questions to the dialogue. You’ll also hear her talk about her family of origin, including Matthew and Kay Bucksbaum, and her husband, Tom Friedman, for whom she provides first-line editing functions for the books he writes. Friedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

The podcast will make you want to move up your next trip to Washington, D.C., and explore the museum she envisioned and brought to life.

Words matter. Actions matter. And Ann B. Friedman has created a form of enlightenment that will enhance visitors for generations.

Unsettled - with Charity Nebbe

Next Monday, our guest will be Iowa Public Radio’s exemplary host, Charity Nebbe. We’ll talk about her new podcast, Unsettled, and all kinds of things we all want to know about this accomplished radio and television personality.

The Zoom link is sent to all subscribers on Monday morning.


Attention new subscribers. The Okoboji Writers’ Retreat will be held September 22-25, 2024, with over 50 speakers. That’s a lot of expertise for a conference of no more than 300 people, but it ensures our workshops are small and interactive. We’ll have experts on just about any topic that interests you: memoir, getting started, fiction, nonfiction, spoken word, getting published, writing a screenplay, movie, or play. And more.

New this year, is a track with 12 songwriters who are planning exciting workshops just for those who want to learn how to write songs. Some will hold workshops on the business of songwriting and performance.

Most of all, it’s a time to spend three days just for you, to hang out with engaging, fun, curious, smart people.

There’s a story in everyone. Let us help you tell yours.

Come! We’ll have some serious fun.


The Iowa Writers’ Collaborative

I’m proud to be a founding Iowa Writers’ Collaborative member. Check the roundup of columns from last week to discover things about Iowa you didn’t know and a very different interpretation to the Iowa Caucus than national media portrayed.

Oh, there’s humor, sports, and entertainment news, too.

Most of all, it’s an impressive array of talented professional writers who share an interest in the state. Check it out:

Iowa Writers Collaborative
Your Commentary Roundup: life, death, AEA, abortion, politics, Trump, violence, sports talk, poetry...
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P.S. I am so grateful you are here.

Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
The Iowa Potluck features commentary, stories and interviews with notable leaders. Feel free to join our growing tribe, where you'll find a smart, engaged community of readers.