After going virtual in 2021, the Community Cultural Celebration and Expo returns to the Cedar Rapids Public Downtown Library on Sept. 10, from 10 am to 1 pm.
With performances, exhibitors, and art, the day is a festival highlighting Cedar Rapids’ diversity.
Presented alongside the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, the day will start with opening remarks and a mayoral proclamation at 10 am, followed by a youth dance performance by Fuerzas Culturales. Performances in Whipple Auditorium will begin at 10:30 am, with South Indian classical music by Tejas Gururaja, followed by pan-African gospel music by the Amen Choir at 11:15 am, and Musical Story Time at 12:15 pm. Hands Up Communication is the Performance Sponsor for the event.
Community cultural organizations will have tables with information and activities set up, and attendees will be able to participate in the Neighborhood Artist project throughout the day, play games from cultures around the world, and view a civil rights pop-up exhibit. Voter registration will also be happening.
“The diversity of our community is one of our greatest strengths, and as the community’s library, we’re proud to highlight that diversity,” said library Director Dara Schmidt. “We want to make sure everyone in our community feels not just welcomed at the library, but celebrated.”
First held in the spring of 2017, the celebration is moving to September this year to coincide with Welcoming Week, a national initiative to encourage efforts to engage new Americans and create an inclusive and welcoming community.
Coordinated locally by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Welcoming Week events in Cedar Rapids will be held Sept. 9-18 and include Festival Latino on Sept. 18 from 11 am-5 pm at McGrath Amphitheatre and AsianFest, Sept. 24 at noon at NewBo City Market.
This year’s celebration also coincides with the City of Cedar Rapids’ “Welcome is Our Language” campaign, which showcases the many diverse people and places of Cedar Rapids and celebrates the heritage, innovation, and progression of the city.
Find a full Welcoming Week schedule at Cedarrapids.org/our-community/welcoming-week.