Cedar Rapids looks to boost arts and entertainment industry this summer

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art — Zak Neumann/Little Village

A new initiative from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance aims to rally support for arts, culture and entertainment venues in the city this summer.

The CR Summer Rally program is the latest phase of the Economic Alliance’s Buy Local program, communications manager Jule Day told Little Village. The Economic Alliance announced the Rally C.A.P. effort last summer, which ran from June to October and focused on supporting local businesses and restaurants.

Centering the latest effort around arts, culture and entertainment venues seemed like a “natural fit,” Day said.

“We kind of wanted to shift our rally cry, if you will, to this specific industry,” Day said.

CR Summer Rally, presented in partnership with GreenState Credit Union, will feature a variety of events over the next 10 weeks. The program will highlight 22 Economic Alliance members.

In addition to the events, there be more than 40 chances to win free tickets and swag. Entering to win is easy, Day said. Participants just need to fill out a short online form, providing their name and contact information, to be eligible to win that day’s giveaway. The giveaways will be promoted on the Economic Alliance’s Facebook page and Instagram, and entry forms can be found on the CR Summer Rally website.

Among the prizes will be nature gift baskets from the Indian Creek Nature Center, swag from the local museums, race tickets to Hawkeye Downs, movie tickets to Marcus Theatres, concert tickets and comedy tickets, Day said.

People can enter each giveaway but will need to fill out an online form every time there is a different prize. Once someone wins, they are no longer eligible to win another prize.

“We’re asking that people come to the Economic Alliance to pick up their prizes. We won’t be mailing anything out, but it is as simple as that,” Day said.

There is an online calendar that makes it easy for residents to keep up with all of the events happening in the city this summer, including concerts, comedy shows, upcoming exhibits and more.

“We’re excited to get people out of their homes, bring a little bit of normalcy hopefully back to people after a really strange year,” Day said. “Nobody should have blank calendars this summer. There’s so much to do.”

“This is something that can be for families, as well as just a night out. There’s truly something for everybody.”

The organizations participating in the CR Summer Rally include:

• African American Museum of Iowa

• AirFX Trampoline Park

• Bloomsbury Farm

• Brucemore

• Cedar Rapids Kernels

• Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

• Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

• CSPS Hall

• Grant Wood Studio and Visitor Center

• Hawkeye Downs Speedway and Expo Center

• The History Center

• ImOn Ice Arena

• Indian Creek Nature Center

• National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

• NewBo City Market

• Orchestra Iowa

• Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

• Theatre Cedar Rapids

• VenuWorks: Paramount Theatre, Alliant Energy PowerHouse and McGrath Amphitheatre

• Marcus Cedar Rapids Cinema

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