Read an issue on 15 Oct 1995 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and find what was happening, who was there, and other important and exciting news from the times. You can also check out other issues in The Cedar Rapids Gazette.
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Gazette (Newspaper) - October 15, 1995, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
National czech & slovak museum & Library j a cultural attraction for the world we re going to be a depository of things that people want saved for the future. Rod Jiruska museum executive Board president museum Library plans a changing growing collection by Dick Hogan Gazette staff writer the new National czech & slovak museum & Library in Cedar rapids will not become just a Bunch of Dusty old cases vows Rod Jiruska museum executive Board president. The museum will be Ever changing featuring a variety of local and travelling exhibits that Jiruska Hopes will attract visitors from around the world. This is a City project. It s an Eastern Iowa project even a National project and International project. We re going to be a depository of things that people want saved for the future. This thing is a Benefit for the whole Community not just the czech and slovak people in the Community Jiruska says. The new $2.6 million 18,000-Square-foot facility opened to visitors in March and is being dedicated this week. Former . Sen. Roman Hruska of Nebraska who was privy to the planning and has visited the museum Calls it a Quality production and he predicts a brisk tourist Trade. People from All Over America will be stopping there to see that museum. I think it s a great thing for Cedar rapids and for its people Hruska says. Hruska of czech heritage was strongly involved in the czech fraternal organization Western fraternal life association headquartered in Cedar rapids. Fla was one of the first groups to support the Muse Cedar rapid ans ancestry top countries of family origin of Cedar rape plans who reported single ancestry irom a specific country in the 1990 census United dutch states norwegian 2% so 5%\ 3 6 / Irish Irish 2% other 1% Arab danish French italian scottish swedish source 1990 census less than 1% austrian belgian Canadian finnish French Canadian greek hungarian lithuanian polish romanian russian slovak sub saharan Africa Swiss ukrainian Welsh West Indian yugoslavian Gazette graphic us project. The museum committee thought it was important to get input from prominent people of czech slovak heritage from across the nation explains John Rocarek museum development director. The stylish building at 30 16th ave. So overlooks the Cedar River and dwarfs the adjacent 30-by-60-Square-foot Structure that had housed the museum s artefacts since 1981. The old building was acquired by the City As part of a Greenbelt project then leased to the czech Fine arts foundation for museum use. Donations financed remodelling. The first museum opened in a House at 1607 c St. So in 1978. Already we feel we re too Small. We think we re going to need a Little bit More exhibit space Down the Road Jiruska says of the new building. The Board is looking at upgrading and increasing exhibits a More permanent restoration of the adjacent immigrant Homeland deciding whether to demolish the old building or expand and remodel it to complement the new facility Jiruska says. The new museum will exhibit nearly 5,000 artefacts some 400 years old. It has the largest collection outside the czech and slovak republics and includes nearly 50 authentic National costumes from All regions of the former Czechoslovakia. Volunteer work and Broad based Community financial support brought the project to fruition. Rocarek credits the Hall Perrine foundation and the City with playing vital roles. Cedar rapids has a Rich czech history. Czech immigrants started to arrive around 1850 and were the largest ethnic group to influence the City. This area was on a natural migration route and czechs and slovaks Likely noticed the climate and terrain were similar to their Homeland says Bob Schaffer museum Board member. Some czechs and slovaks kept in touch with their ethnic roots through local schools and organizations but most became americanized. It seems there was Little organized Effort until the Spring of 1973 to preserve their heritage for sharing with others. The successful showing in the Early 70s at the Cedar rapids museum of Art of a collection of czech Art objects gathered from the Community fostered concern from local civic leaders about the Lack of Gazette photo by Chris Stewart preservation of czech immigrants history in Cedar rapids. It was apparent that the need for ethnic groups to americanize their ways had become so successful Here that the ethnic heritage was being lost and forgotten explains Board member Evelyn Lamparek whose grandparents came to this area in the 1850s. The Early 1970s also brought a Challenge from a civic organization called project Pride to a group of younger czech americans that they collect organize and preserve the Community s czech heritage. That resulted in formation of the czech heritage a turn to 4 museum guide Milly Ortner left explains artefacts. Ortner s parents fled Czechoslovakia and came to the United states during world War i. Looking for that perfect Holiday gift shop at the museum store. You la find hand painted eggs imported ceramics glassware & chandeliers Glass blown tree ornaments country wheat Art unique czech train set & much much More. 9 30 to 4 p.m., tuesday saturday it s not too late to Reserve space for the holidays corporate meetings weddings reunions receptions anniversaries birthdays heritage Hall Call now to make your reservations 362-8500 National Quick & slovak Muse
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