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Pop will eat Cedar Rapids? The Iowa Pop Art Festival returns this weekend

Everyday. Ordinary. Bright. Bold. Nondescript. Flashy. Unassuming. Pop: It’s all of those things, and that’s what makes it brilliant. Happening on Saturday May 21 at 10 a.m., the Iowa Pop Art Festival is spread around multiple locations in Cedar Rapids, […]

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Welcome back: Two CRANDIC theater companies return to the stage this weekend

It is late 1968 and Judy Garland is in London — in large part because her erratic behavior and performances have made it difficult for her to perform in the United States. She is preparing for a five-week run at […]

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Taylor Bergen named executive director of CSPS

Taylor Bergen has been named executive director of CSPS, the Cedar Rapids arts organization formerly known as Legion Arts. Bergen had been serving as the interim director since October 2019 after co-founder F. John Herbert stepped down in late September […]

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CSPS uses the pandemic as an opportunity to focus on better serving artists and the community

The decision to use a space as an incubator for the arts and as a cultural gathering place for a community is often difficult, especially in a trendy neighborhood. Despite the fact that it is exactly these kinds of spaces […]

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Taylor Bergen returns to Legion Arts as its interim director

After Taylor Bergen saw a show put on by Legion Arts at CSPS Hall in 2011, he decided he wanted to work for the Cedar Rapids arts organization. He called the next day to see if they were hiring. They weren’t. But a little over three months later, Bergen was hired as a program associate, and worked for Legion Arts for almost four years. Now, Bergen is back at CSPS. He was named interim director of Legion Arts on Wednesday. […]

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‘I have a plan’: Sen. Elizabeth Warren discusses proposed wealth tax and more in Cedar Rapids

It was always expected that Sen. Elizabeth Warren would receive a warm welcome in Cedar Rapids from the Linn Phoenix Club. The group works to elect progressive Democrats at the county level, and Warren is one of the most progressive […]

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Play in verse ‘There Is A Happiness That Morning Is’ masterfully presented

The day after Bernard (Matthew James) and Ellen (Angie Toomsen) are caught making passionate love on the college green, they are informed they must apologize publicly for their display or face termination. The play opens when Bernard takes the stage, lecturing on the ecstasy that is Blake’s poem “Infant Joy” from Songs of Innocence; Ellen’s final class centers on “The Sick Rose” from Songs of Experience. Both characters spend the bulk of the the play connecting the poems to their lives and their 20-year long relationship. […]

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Writers’ Workshop alumnus Kevin Gordon brings his poetry-fueled country blues to CSPS

Most reviews and interviews with Gordon mention that he spent time attending the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa in the late ’80s getting his Masters in Poetry. But during this time he was also performing his music around eastern Iowa. […]

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Woodstock’s break-out chanteuse Melanie heads to Cedar Rapids

Forty-nine years ago this week, a relatively unknown young woman took the stage at perhaps the seminal cultural event in U.S. history. Melanie Safka-Schekeryk was only 22 when the Woodstock Music and Art Fair — “3 Days of Peace & Music,” the posters read — took over a farm in upstate New York and changed the course of music. […]

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On the 10th anniversary of the 2008 flood, Cedar Rapids artist Mel Andringa looks back to look forward

In 2008, he had been considering retirement. Now, he’s curating two major shows, both opening June 7. One is of his own post-flood work (running through July), and will be held at CSPS Hall, the renovated New Bo building that houses his studio and Legion Arts, both of which suffered great losses due to the flood. The other (running through June 16) is a look back at the 2x2xU exhibit that was hanging all around New Bo when the flood came through. […]

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