Events/Announcements Feed

Four sculptures to be installed in parks September 30

Cedar Rapids, IA – On September 30, Public Art Appreciation Day in Cedar Rapids, the Downtown Cedar Rapids Rotary Club will install four sculptures in Bever, Cherry Hill, Jones and Noelridge Parks. The installation will be completed by volunteers at each park from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.  The artwork was purchased from local artist Tom Newport. The $10,000 project also includes landscaping around each sculpture.

“Our parks are well-attended and beautiful. They are an integral part of family life in the city. Through this project we will have a beautiful piece of art in each quadrant of the community,” said Barbara Green, project coordinator.

The Downtown Rotary Club identified the need for public art in signature parks that were heavily used by the public. They worked with Bill Stamats, Visual Arts Commission Chairman, Barbara Green, Rotarian and Vice-Chairman of the Visual Arts Commission, and Daniel Gibbins, Parks Superintendent, to purchase the art, confirm and mark the sites. A rock marker with the name of the sculpture and artist will be placed at each location. The City of Cedar Rapids will provide the land, foundation and base, marker and future maintenance.

“Public art brings value to a city by creating a sense of identity for the city as a whole and also specifically for neighborhoods. Public art can create a visual distinction for a city while also being a key factor in the cultural scene of that city. The cultural scene, in turn, makes the city more dynamic for its denizens and aids in attracting businesses and tourism dollars. Public art is accessible to everyone and is essentially “owned” by all the citizens of a community. While not necessarily aiming to be high-brow, public art can stimulate a person’s imagination, spark an opinion, and engage people in conversation,” said Bill Stamats.

The Cedar Rapids City Council proclaimed September 30, Public Art Appreciation Day, during a City Council meeting on September 12. At the meeting they recognized Mark and Jan Spielman for their donation of a sculpture, Luna de Pecos, for Ellis Park. Mount Mercy University students, Julie Wise and Kelsey Bills, were also recognized for their donation of a painting, Community, to the City of Cedar Rapids. The painting was completed in the fall of 2016 to commemorate the efforts to protect Cedar Rapids during the 2016 flood event. It has been installed in the City Services Center, near Time Check Hall, so it can be viewed by staff and the public when the room is used for events. 

The City of Cedar Rapids owns 140 pieces of art at an estimated value over $7.6 million. Cedar Rapids has large public sculptures in and around Greene Square, including the spiral sculpture created by internationally recognized artist Bruce Beasley. The city also has public artwork by the McGrath Amphitheater and other locations in the downtown area. The Visual Arts Commission assists with the acquisition and promotion of art in public spaces in Cedar Rapids.

History, Tea and Fun – Downton Abbey Style – at Ushers Ferry

Cedar Rapids, IA – Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation invites anyone with Downton Abbey withdrawal to put on their elegant attire and pay a social call to Ushers Ferry on Sunday, October 8 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Guests will spend the afternoon in the newly restored Schulze Cottage, listening to music and enjoying tea and dainties from the period, served from fine china and silver. 

The fee for program #214604-01 is $20/person for residents and $24/person for non-residents. All ages are welcome. Advance registration is required. Call Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation at 319-286-5566 or go to

Community Foundation awards community grants

IOWA CITY – The Community Foundation of Johnson County (CFJC) will award more than $248,336 to 53 area nonprofit organizations. The presentation will be made at the CFJC Grant Award Luncheon on Sept. 28, 2017, at the Coralville Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

RSM and US Bank are co-sponsors of the Grant Award Luncheon.

Sarah Maiers, CFJC president, said during this grant cycle the foundation received 85 grant requests for more than $789,537 to fund programs and projects. “We are grateful to our many contributors and volunteers for their financial support and gifts of time that champion these very deserving organizations. We are able to transform this support into meaningful programs and projects that benefit residents and our communities.”

Executive Director Dave Lewis said the organization’s recently renamed grant endowment fund, “Growing Better Together,” will provide service to the area. He encouraged others to give to the fund to grow the number and amount of grants awarded. “Together, we are giving for good and helping those who need it most.”

The nonprofit organizations receiving grants receive recognition at the luncheon include the following:

Arts / Culture / Humanities

Combined Efforts – Performing Arts for All

Filmscene – Filmscene Improvement Project

Orchestra Iowa – 2017-2018 Music in the Schools Outreach Program

Riverside Theatre – Strategic Planning

The Iowa Children’s Museum – Accessible Arts Education for Kindergarten Students 


4Cs Community Child Care – Strong from the Start

Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa – Bridging the Gap, Civics, Leadership and Language Education for New Iowans

Friendship Community Project – Friendship Community Project

ICCompassion – Immigrant Refugee Tutoring Project

ICCSD Foundation – LiveArts @Hancher

ICCSD Foundation – School of the Wild

ICCSD Foundation – Visiting Author Program

Iowa City Darwin Day Inc – 2018 Iowa City Darwin Day

Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature – One Book Two Book Children Literature Festival

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) – Changing the Future for At-Risk Students

Iowa Valley RC&D (fiscal sponsor) – Let’s Grow! Education Program

Iowa Youth Writing Project – Junior High Writing Conference

Jefferson Monroe Friends of the Library – Meeting Room Chairs

Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa – Overcoming the Achievement Divide: Addressing Local Skills Gaps

Kirkwood Community College Foundation – ESL Service Expansion

Kirkwood Community College – Tree-Cycled Learning

Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County - NCJC B.R.I.D.G.E.S. [Bringing Refugees and Immigrants Diverse and Guided Educational Supports]

CCA North Bend Elementary School Parent Teacher Group - Installation of Handicap-accessible and Inclusive Playground Equipment at North Bend Elementary

The ARC of Southeast Iowa – Daycare for Disabilities

The James Gang dba Antelope Lending Library – Hills Elementary After School Bookmobile

United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties – Early Literacy Kit Project 

Environment / Animals

Bur Oak Land Trust - Educating the Community about Woodlands: Installing Interpretive Signs at Shimek Ravine

Bur Oak Land Trust - Creating Community Impact: A Bridge in Turkey Creek Nature Preserve to Allow Recreation and Land Stewardship

Friends of the Animal Center Foundation – Community Outreach Brochures

Friends of the Animal Center Foundation – Humane Education Coloring Books

Health / Human Services

Aging Services - Aging Services Chore Program

Coralville Community Food Pantry - School Break Nutrition Program

Domestic Violence Intervention Program - Providing Emergency Services to Victims of Domestic Violence

Elder Services Inc. – Meals on Wheels

Elder Services Inc. – Medical Transportation

Free Lunch Program – Free Lunch Meals

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois - Leadership and Character Building Program - Financial Assistance

Grace United Methodist Church – Grace Playground

Healthy Kids School-based Health Clinic – Healthy Immigrant Kids Project

Hills Firefighter Association - Storage Locker Upgrade

Inside Out Re-Entry - Inside Out Re-Entry Community

Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic - Chronic Disease Management for Immigrants in Need

Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic - Expanding Women's Healthcare at the Free Clinic

Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity - Helping Hands Program

National Alliance on Mental Illness - R Place Expand Services

North Liberty Community Betterment - North Liberty Summer Lunch and Fun Program

North Liberty Community Pantry - Wholesale Food Inventory

Table to Table – Fresh Food Rescue and Distribution

The Bird House - Hospice Home of Johnson County - Hospice Home Fund for Providing Sliding Scale Fee for Low Income Residents of Johnson County

The Crisis Center of Johnson County - Emergency Assistance for North Liberty

The Crisis Center of Johnson County - Emergency Assistance for Coralville

The Crisis Center of Johnson County - Emergency Assistance for Iowa City

The Crisis Center of Johnson County - Mobile Crisis Outreach Program Follow-up Counselor

University of Iowa - Fall Prevention Awareness and Call to Action

University of Iowa on behalf of Rape Victim Advocacy Program - 24-hour Sexual Assault Crisis Response

Public / Societal Benefit

Bike Library – Kids Bike Repair

City of Solon - SRNA - Phase IV - Solon Splash Pad

LIFEChurch – Servolution

Swisher American Legion – Fence Installation

Take A Kid Outdoors (TAKO) - Rotary Shelter -Stone Fireplace

CFJC also awarded grants from the following community fund affiliates and donor-advised funds that address our ever-changing community needs and opportunities: 5224Good, AM Rotary, Angerer, Brandt, Boyd McGurk, Butler-Rettig, Bywater, Catalano, Hills Bank & Trust, Nowak Family, Potter and Savin, Schwab-Burford, Karen Terra, Vandenberg, Westemeyer, Winokur, Coralville Community Fund, North Liberty Community Fund, Swisher Community Fund and Tiffin Community Fund.

The Community Foundation of Johnson County advances philanthropy by connecting nonprofits with donors who care. The Foundation administers $26 million in assets and has distributed more than $11 million in grants. CFJC supports more than 200 nonprofit organizations, family funds and community fund affiliates at a cost of less than 2 percent.  CFJC accomplishes its goal – grow philanthropy for the greater community good . . . for good  . . . for ever.

All invited to speed ‘friendshipping' a twist on speed dating

Adults of all ages are invited for an afternoon of speed “friendshipping” from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, at The Center.  

Although the event will use the speed dating format, it is meant for finding friends instead of dates. This is an opportunity for participants to meet and chat with people of all ages, have fun, and potentially take the first step in creating new and lasting relationships.

The event will start with a group ice breaker activity, shift to one-on-one conversations, and wrap up with socializing and snacks from a build-your-own trail mix bar.

There is no cost to attend, but interested participants are asked to sign-up in advance by calling 319-356-5220.

This is the inaugural event of The Center's intergenerational social group, a collaboration of Senior Center members, University of Iowa students, and community members of all ages. The group will hold monthly events this fall to encourage people of all ages to come and make connections across generations in a fun and informal setting. Their goal is to provide people with opportunities to get more involved in the community, stimulate their social routines, break down barriers between age groups, meet new people, and have fun with adults of all ages.

Save the day for the group’s next event: an intergenerational board game social from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 at The Center.

To learn more about speed “friendshipping” and the intergenerational social group, contact Iowa City Senior Center Community Outreach Specialist Emily Edrington at 319-356-5224 or

Job and Resume Workshops at ICPL

The Iowa City Public Library and the University of Iowa’s Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program have come together to offer job application, resume writing, and job skills workshops on Wednesdays beginning September 27. 

Participants can get help from graduate level students to fill out online job applications, build resumes, and develop interview skills. 

Anyone needing help is welcome to make an appointment. Students will be on-hand from 1 to 2:30 p.m. for 30 minute appointments. This partnership will continue at the same time every Wednesday from September 27 through November 29. 

Registration for this service are suggested but walk-ins are welcome. To reserve a time spot or two, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200 or go to

Related:  Corridor Area Jobs

Register Now for Fall Leaf Tour on October 12

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation is offering the annual Fall Leaf Tour for adults ages 50 and up on October 12. Participants will travel by motor coach to view the fall splendor of the Mississippi Valley, visit the apple orchards near Gays Mills and enjoy a late lunch at Breitbach’s in Balltown. The bus departs from the Walmart parking lot in Marion at 8:30 a.m. and will return at 6:30 p.m.

Advance registration is required for this tour. The cost is $60 for residents and $68 for non-residents. The fee includes lunch and transportation. Call 319-286-5566 or go to to register for program #201103-01.