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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Small Town, Big Benefits
posted: Tuesday, September 06, 2011  Post Comment

There are many of us in the Corridor who have lived in larger cities and either returned to make our home here or came for a visit and never left. As someone who was born in a very small town north of Cedar Rapids and left the Corridor for a few years to explore larger cities, I made a conscious decision to return to the Corridor to raise my son. And while doing so meant leaving all the cultural amenities associated with a big city, it didn’t mean leaving culture behind. In fact, in many ways, my cultural experience has grown since returning to Iowa.

Where else can a person get first-hand experience working with such a variety of arts and culture organizations? I find the opportunities to get involved are endless and diverse. Whether I am looking for something to help further my career knowledge and professional development, or planning a family outing that offers a new experience for my son, I have found it here.

The variety of events happening all the time in the Corridor astounds me. As a person who likes to do a little bit of everything, I have found that there is always something new to try. From historical tours to improvisational comedy troupes; from a nationally recognized community theatre to a library that thinks beyond the traditional. The opportunities really are endless and I am thrilled.

I have learned in the last few years that you don’t have to leave the Corridor to experience something remarkable. Take the upcoming TEDxIowaCity event, for example. This national program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. And it is happening right here in our neighborhood.

On September 9, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is bringing Food Network star and bestselling author Alton Brown to Cedar Rapids. This type of event has not happened before but will now happen each fall as part of a new series—Inside Out. And this is just one of several author readings done by the local libraries to celebrate literacy and libraries.

Our Corridor is bursting with activities—see—it is up to each of us to take full advantage of them. And it is up to each of us to be a part of the planning and creating and imagining and inspiring so that the next generation, like my son, will grow up knowing that in his hometown there is always something to do.

-- Amber Mussman, ICCA Board Member and Public Information Officer/Adult Programming Coordinator at the Cedar Rapids Public Library

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