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Community Cultural Celebration and Expo 2021

The fifth annual Community Cultural Celebration and Expo will be held virtually in 2021 with a week of celebrations and stories hosted by the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

The community is invited to take part in the Celebration by sharing their favorite family recipe, which will be combined to create a Community Celebration Cookbook to be released for download this spring.

Share your favorite holiday recipe or a food that is special to your culture or community.

Please submit your recipe here.

Read with Us

Free copies of the book Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio are available at the following locations:

African American Museum of Iowa
Catherine McAuley Center
Downtown Library
Ladd Library

Grab your copy and join us on Saturday, March 27, at 10 am for a Community Read Along on our Facebook page.

When Grace Campbell’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race.

In this story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought — and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

Celebrate with Us

The week will kick off with a proclamation from Mayor Brad Hart, presented at 10 am on Monday, March 22. Videos will be shared throughout the week, airing daily at 10 am, to celebrate the diverse community in Cedar Rapids and share the message that You Belong Here

Community Organizations

Join us in celebrating our community with these community partners.

Umaru Baldu, Investigator for the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission, celebrates our message of inclusion and shares how the Commission works every day to support the rights of all members of our community.

Dara Schmidt, Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, kicks off the CCCE with a special message. We also hear from Ms. Bolar’s 1st Grade Class at Cedar River Academy, and Kelly Montijo Fink with the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs.

Cedar River Academy at Taylor Elementary School 
Mrs. Bolar’s First Grade Class 

The Cedar River Academy is a magnet school on the southwest side that provides a hands-on approach to learning, with a mission to develop a community of high achieving, future ready learners with a passion for the sustainability of their environment, community, and themselves. 

Iowa Commission of Native American Affairs 
Commissioner Kelly Montijo Fink 

The Commission, which includes eleven voting members appointed by the governor, works in concert with Native American individuals and groups in the state to advance the interests of Native Americans in the areas of human rights, including access to justice, economic equality, and the elimination of discrimination. 

Hear more from Kelly from her appearance on the Library’s “Read Woke: Indigenous Voices” program: Read Woke: Indigenous Voices with Kelly Montijo Fink 

HACAP (Hawkeye Area Community Action Program) 

Creative Communications & Development Director Whitney Sanger 

HACAP is a community action agency serving 9 counties in Eastern Iowa. They run a regional food bank that serves more than 10 million meals annually through partner agencies and provide other services in areas including homelessness services, programs for veterans, early childhood support and more. 

Temple Judah shares a special peek into their home and a message of welcome to all. We also hear from board members of Asian Fest, part of Iowa Asian Alliance, and LaNisha Cassell, Executive Director of the African American Museum of Iowa.

Temple Judah

Temple Judah is a community that worships God in accordance with the faith of Judaism, cultivates a love and understanding of the Jewish heritage, and builds fellowship with Jewish people everywhere. 

AsianFest, part of the Iowa Asian Alliance 

AsianFest celebrates Asian cultures in the Corridor in a free, family-friendly public festival in Cedar Rapids. The festival features food vendors, cultural performances, music, dance and information about different Asian cultures. 

African American Museum of Iowa 

The African American Museum of Iowa is a statewide museum dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and teaching Iowa’s African American history. 

In this video, we hear the Iowa Association of the Deaf share a message of inclusion and opportunities to connect. Hear from Playtime Poppy Children’s Theatre, and Iowa Irish as they share our message of inclusion.

Iowa Association of the Deaf, Inc.

 The Iowa Association of the Deaf (IAD) began in 1881, one year after the National Association of the Deaf began. IAD has been incorporated since 1898. It is a state organization of, by, and for the deaf. 

Playtime Poppy Children’s Theatre

Playtime Poppy Children’s Theatre engages, educates and entertains our community through interactive children’s theatre productions and arts-integrated theatre education. 

Iowa Irish

Iowa Irish celebrates Irish culture, history, and offers Irish language classes. 

Amani Community Services 

Amani Community Services is a culturally specific domestic violence and sexual assault agency serving African Americans in Black Hawk and Linn Counties. They provide counseling, outreach services, personal advocacy, legal advocacy, children’s programming and information and referrals. 

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art 

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art started as an art club in 1895. Today, the downtown museum Located in downtown Cedar Rapids, has more than 7,700 works of arts, showcasing local artists like Grant Wood and Marvin Cone alongside art from around the world and from Roman antiquity to the present. 


SaPaDaPaSo stands for Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Society, and the non-profit organization has been organizing annual Saint Patrick’s Day festivities in Cedar Rapids since 1976.

Red Cedar Chamber Orchestra 

Violinist Miera Kim and cellist Carey Bostian are the core ensemble members of this nonprofit, which invites guest artists from around the U.S. to join them for innovative programming with an engaging narrative. Each season, Red Cedar Chamber Music brings nearly 100 enlightening and entertaining performances to audiences in Eastern Iowa and beyond. 

Catherine McAuley Center

With a shelter for women in crisis, refugee resettlement services and English language classes for immigrants, Catherine McAuley Center seeks to promote the well-being and dignity of individuals in need.

In our last video of the week, we hear from Rock 108 Weekday DJ Ned, Friends of India, some members of the Waypoint staff, United We March Forward Executive Director Mugisha Bwenge, and PFLAG CR President Jen Rowray.

Rock 108

Rock 108 is a Hiawatha-based radio station, originally founded in 1968. 

Friends of India

The Friends of India Association of Cedar Rapids (FOICR) was established in 1994 to celebrate and sustain Indian heritage and culture. They organize cultural entertainment and educational programs, advocate for the community, and fundraise for humanitarian causes. 


Waypoint provides support and resources to individuals experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, and poverty. They have been around for more than 125 years, serving a community resources for those in need.  

United We March Forward

United We March Forward is a community-based organization serving the African immigrant and refugee community in the Cedar Rapids area, seeking to provide education, encouragement and empowerment.


LULAC Cedar Rapids is the local chapter of the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 1,000 LULAC councils nationwide. The organization involves and serves all Hispanic nationality groups.

PFLAG Cedar Rapids

PFLAG Cedar Rapids advocates at the state, local and federal level for full legal equality for LGBTQ people and their families so that all people can work, study, play, pray and live safely and happily. The local chapters provide support groups, education and advocacy. 

The Community Cultural Celebration and Expo is presented by: