Best of the CRANDIC 2021: COVID-19

Cara Picton and her sons, Autzen and Holden, where they’ve spent the 2020-2021 academic year. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

The results are in! Browse the winners of Little Village’s 2021 Best of the CRANDIC competition in the COVID-19 category, honoring local experts, advocates and leaders in the second year of the pandemic.

Best Defender of Science

Dr. Eli Perencevich

Twitter: @eliowa

Dr. Eli Perencevich (video still from Prevention and Infection Control on YouTube)

“Dr. Perencevich has been a steady voice of reason and science during the pandemic, in the face of… gestures to everything.

—Kelcey P.

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Artist

Summer of the Arts’ Music on the Move, featuring Kevin Burt and David Zollo

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Arts and Entertainment

FilmScene at The Chauncey

404 E College St #100, Iowa City 319-358-2555

FilmScene on the Ped Mall

118 E College St, Iowa City

Andrew Sherburne - FilmScene - Ped Mall
FilmScene Executive Director Andrew Sherburne in the newly renovated lobby at the theater’s Ped Mall location. — Jason Smith / Little Village

“Art house cinema, but at home. Bags of popcorn, but to go. Movies, but outside.”

—Nick B.

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Community

Iowa City Public Library

123 S Linn St 319-356-5200

“Safety first resonates. They haven’t caved to peer pressure and have gone a million miles above and beyond to provide everyone with things from the library for all ages.”

—Paul M.

“They never stopped teaching and engaging throughout the pandemic.”

—Jamie H.

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Goods & Services

Iowa City Farmers Market/Field to Family online market

Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

“Truly miracle workers! How did they pull it together? And so smoothly, when the world was chaos. It was so amazing as a patron to still be able to get my goods without the in-person experience. And I have to imagine a great opportunity that farmers were still able to get their goods to their fans. In the online format, I found that I ended up trying [more] new vendors than I had in my previous farmers market routine and really enjoying it. It was also neat that I got some of the stories of the vendors that I just never asked about in the in-person format when I would hand my money and take my tomatoes.”

—Becca D.

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Recreation

Mercer Park Aquatic Center Pool: Swim appointment scheduling

2701 Bradford Drive, Iowa City

Best Pandemic Adaptation: Retail

Prairie Lights Books: Book delivery service

15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City 319-337-2681

Best Pandemic Beacon of Rationality

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague

Mayor Bruce Teague reads his new mask order for all residents and visitors of Iowa City, due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. — City of Iowa City/video still

“Mayor Teague was one of the first to defiantly stand up for us against our dangerously irrational governor, Kim Reynolds. He has continued to do so throughout the pandemic, and I have no doubt that his actions have helped to save lives. Thank you, Mayor Teague, for your unwavering support and care for your citizens!”

—Greg W.

Best Pandemic Mood-Booster

Skating inflatables

Laura Claps, Sara Montgomery and Diana Williams skate on Reno Street in Iowa City, Thursday, April 2, 2020. — Jason Smith/Little Village

”A T-rex and a unicorn roller skate down the street” sounds like the set-up for a silly joke. In Iowa City, it’s a delightful reality at a time when fun distractions are as good as gold. The minds and skating talents behind the costumes are Laura Claps (the T-rex) and Sara Montgomery (the unicorn), Iowa City residents, partners and 10-year roller derby players.
“[Sara] said, ‘You know, tomorrow we should just put these costumes on and skate around and just wave,’” Claps explained. “Really our target audience was kids who are at home, sitting in the window just kind of looking out … It’s just gotten an incredible reaction from the community, kids and adults included.”

(From the article “Iowa City’s inflatable roller-skating animal brigade lifts spirits during COVID-19 crisis” by Emma McClatchey, published April 10, 2020)

Best Pandemic Remodel

North Linn Street, Iowa City

Best Streamed Performance

Mission Creek Festival, Ghost Creek

The uncertain divide between dream and life. — ‘Ghost Creek’ still

“Last year, when COVID-19 was just beginning to establish its kudzu control over us, the cancellation of Mission Creek 2020 was what shook many of us in eastern Iowa out of our illusions of isolation and personal safety. Now, almost a year later, Ghost Creek is telling us gently that illusion is OK again—that it might not yet be safe to gather, but it’s safe to dream of gathering. It’s safe to hope. … Benjamin Handler, who adapted and directed the piece, has a distinct knack for this kind of storytelling: the kind that invites, if not outright forces, the viewer to overlay their own experiences, that exists more as a conversation than a declamation.”

(From the article “Ghost Creek shimmers in the fog of our pandemic-fatigued minds” by Genevieve Trainor, published Feb. 18)

Best Switch to Streaming

FilmScene: Virtual screening room

Best Vaccine Advocate

Brian Finley, Creator of Iowa Vaccine Alerts

@IAVaccineAlerts on Twitter

@IAVaccineAlerts was created by Brian Finley of Iowa City and amassed more than 23,000 followers in its first month.

“In the absence of a scheduling resource for all Iowans who qualify for COVID-19 vaccination, one Iowa City web developer got creative. The @IAVaccineAlerts Twitter account, created by University of Iowa Information Technology Services employee Brian Finley, is perhaps the most efficient vaccine scheduling aid in Iowa. Finley automated the account to tweet whenever a retail vaccine site (specifically, Hy-Vee, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies across the state) has available appointments. The openings can be fleeting, but each tweet is another opportunity for an Iowan to nab a spot—a scrappy sort of process familiar to those who have tried to score tickets online to a popular concert or musical.”

(From the article “Vaccine appointments can feel elusive. This Iowa Twitter account helps” by Emma McClatchey, published March 19)

Most Commendable COVID-19 Mitigation Game

The Haunted Bookshop

Books bequeathed in a “Surprise Me!” bag from Haunted Bookshop. — Celine Robins/Little Village

219 N Gilbert St, Iowa City 319-337-2996

“Steadfast in protecting us and keeping us up to date on inventory, with cool new options for Surprise Bags.”

—Kelcey P.

Worst Governor of Iowa During the Pandemic

Gov. Kim Reynolds discusses COVID-19 during a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. — video still

Gov. Kim Reynolds

Little Village’s Best of the CRANDIC is presented by City of Iowa City.

See who else won!

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