James & Meryl Hearst

Farmer-poet James Hearst bequeathed his home to the City of Cedar Falls in 1983 and asked that it be used as an arts center for the community. In 1986, as a result of this gift, the Cedar Falls Art & Culture Board was established by the City of Cedar Falls to oversee the operation of the City’s Cultural Division, which includes the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts. The Art & Culture Board raised funds and in 1988–1989, the poet’s home was reconstructed into what is now the community’s own 12,000-square-foot arts center, complete with two galleries, three classrooms, a sculpture garden, two meeting rooms, office space, and a performing arts facility. More than two million visitors have walked through the doors of the Hearst Center for the Arts since they were opened on May 13, 1989.

James Hearst Legacy Site
“Interpreting The Farmstead”

Funded in part by Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts is pleased to launch this website memorializing the center’s benefactor, the farmer-poet and teacher, James Hearst. ‘Virtually meet’ the man, James Hearst. Witness decades of his life in family photos and in his poetry and autobiographical essays. Discover powerful universal truths cloaked in Hearst’s poetry about everyday life on the farm. Hear his graveled tenor voice as he reads his poems. See this remarkable man in conversation about his unique, challenging, and remarkable life on the audio and video clips found here. Visit the Hearst Legacy Website.