Best of the CRANDIC 2020: Community

The results are in! Browse the winners of Little Village’s 2020 Best of the CRANDIC competition in the Community category, representing voters’ favorite people, places, organizations and innovations in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area.

Best Library: Iowa City Public Library

123 S Linn St, Iowa City

Iowa City Public Library employee Mari Redington reads ‘Black is a Rainbow Color’ in a virtual storytime video, July 22, 2020. — ICPL on Facebook

ICPL has it all: books in all formats, movies, art and is always looking for new ways to innovate. Even during COVID the library has continued to find ways to keep people connected to books, to each other and to community resources. — Meredith R.C.

There’s something about public libraries that often feels stigmatizing. This library is not like that. Anyone can hang out here and feel accepted. While most places in liberal cities try, few actually succeed at this. — Biff S.

I miss the familiar faces and anonymity I feel zig-zagging through the book shelves at ICPL so MUCH. — Alice V.

Runner-up: Cedar Rapids Public Library

Best Museum: University of Iowa Natural History Museum

Macbride Hall, N Clinton Street, Iowa City

“Dunky,” a prehistoric shark at the Natural History Museum in Iowa City. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

I love this museum, not only is it a great place to visit but also a fantastic place to work. I love the environment and the in-depth exhibits which feel like you are escaping into a movie set or another world. — Lea P.

Runner-up: Iowa Children’s Museum

Best Historic Building: Old Capitol Building

University of Iowa Pentacrest, Iowa City

Protesters returning to the Pentacrest on Aug. 28, 2020. — Anjali Huynh/Little Village
Runner-up: Brucemore

A local and national treasure right in our own backyard! — Katie B.

Best Place to Volunteer: CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank

1121 S Gilbert Ct, Iowa City
319-351-2726 (crisis line: 1-855-325-4296),

Each year, the staff of CommUnity step up to the needs of the people by offering assistance of all kinds. From answering crisis texts to continuing to provide crisis food distribution during the pandemic, they continue to answer the needs of our people. — Anne D.

Runner-up: Table to Table

Best Elected Official: Bruce Teague, Iowa City Mayor

Video still of Mayor Bruce Teague announcing a face covering mandate in Iowa City, July 21, 2020.

He has his finger on the pulse of the community! — R.H.

It was an honor to have Mayor Teague sing “Amazing Grace” for the inside singers at Oakdale Community Choir. — Bridget T.

Runner-up: TIE! Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor, and Abby Finkenaur, U.S. Representative IA-01

Best Social Justice Advocate: Iowa Freedom Riders

Facebook: @iowafreedomrider
Instagram: @iowafreedomriders
Twitter: @IAFreedomRider

Protesters led by the Iowa Freedom Riders march on 1st Avenue in Coralville, Thursday, June 11, 2020. — Jason Smith/Little Village

Iowa Freedom Riders have brought change and important conversations to the area! — Krista B.

IFR went to the streets and got it done AND they had the stamina and political savvy to work on policy and long-term goals with elected officials. Who else did half as much? Who else even tried? — Nathan K.

IFR is changing our town. If you’re not being changed by their work, you aren’t paying attention. — Elizabeth P.

Runner-up: Stacey Walker

Walker goes beyond politics to bring about positive change to our community. He’s shown the content of his character, and it’s been refreshing to witness. — Chad C.

Best Environmental Advocate: Iowa City Student Climate Strikers

Twitter: @moogysmaszimo

A collage of media coverage of and tweets from the Iowa City Student Climate Strikers. — courtesy of the strikers

These young people are fighting for a future that they’re going to be dealing with more so than any of their elders. And their example humbles me daily. — Jane M.

Runner-up: New Pioneer Food Co-op

Best Local Nonprofit or Charity: Shelter House

429 Southgate Ave, Iowa City

Shelter House is providing great financial support to people with housing needs due to COVID. — Matt D.

Runner-up: TIE! United Action for Youth and CommUnity

Hardest Fightin’ Union: AFSCME Council 61

Runner-up: TIE! Teamsters Local 238, SEIU Local 199 and UE Local 896 (COGS)

Best Neighborhood on the Rise: Iowa City Northside

A section of North Linn Street has been closed to traffic to accomodate “Northside Outside.” Wednesday, June 17. — Matt Steele/Little Village
Runner-up: Czech Village

Best Neighborhood for Families: Longfellow Neighborhood

Iowa City

Among all the positive things about this neighborhood, The Front Porch Music Fest is one of my favorite, and I am not even living there. — F.G.

Runner-up: Iowa City East Side

Best Tourist Attraction: Czech Village/New Bohemia District

Cedar Rapids

Czech Village has been designated by the state of Iowa as a Cultural District. — courtesy of the Czech Village Association’s website.

Great place for families to stop at local restaurants (Aroma!) and shops on the weekend. Check out the Czech and Slovak Museum while you’re there! — Mitchell H.

Runner-up: TIE! Devonian Fossil Gorge and Iowa Pedestrian Mall

Best Yard/Garden: Brucemore’s gardens

2160 Linden Dr SE, Cedar Rapids

Runner-up: University of Iowa Student Gardens

Best Shopping District: Downtown Iowa City

Downtown Iowa City — Zak Neumann/Little Village
Runner-up: Czech Village/New Bohemia District

Best View: Vue Rooftop

On top of the Hilton Garden Inn, 328 S Clinton St, Iowa City

The view from the Vue patio. — Zak Neumann/Little Village
Runner-up: Mount Trashmore

Best Public Restroom: Iowa City Public Library

Runner-up: Von Maur

Von Maur’s bathrooms are an utter respite for a new mom! Places to sit and rest or feed your baby. Dedicated diaper changing room. Doors that go all the way to the floor so when your toddler decides that they need to take off ALL of their clothes to go potty, you have some privacy. — Kate M.

Best Local Twitter Account: Iowa City Police Log (@IC_ActivityLog)

Iowa City Police Log social media manager and book author Chris Patton. — Seth Owens
Runner-up: Iowa Action (@IowaAction)

Best Local Facebook Page: Iowa City Police Log


Runner-up: IC Quarantine Survival

Best Local Hero: Hospital staff

A staffer in UIHC’s MICU, or Medical Intensive Care Unit, where many COVID-19 patients are cared for. — via University of Iowa Health Care on Facebook
Runner-up: Iowa Freedom Riders

Best Local Entrepreneur: Kevin Burt

Runner-up: Nate Kaeding

Best Private School: Scattergood Friends School

1951 Delta Ave, West Branch

They have a beautiful property that means a lot to their community and the area. — Mitchell H.

Runner-up: Willowwind School

Best Pandemic Adaptation – Artist: Public Space One’s yard installation

229 N Gilbert St, Iowa City

Public Space One is an art space that reflects and responds to the questions and issues impacting Iowa City at any point in time. That’s why I think it’s such an important institution for this region. — Biff S.

Runner-up: Megan Gogerty

Best Pandemic Adaptation – Business: Iowa City Public Library

The ICPL has handled COVID especially well — keeping the building closed but continuing to provide excellent service by mail! — Matt D.

Runner-up: Iowa City Farmers Market

Amazing that they’ve converted to online orders so smoothly — it’s not the same as the market but it works really well as a temp solution. — S.U.

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