Czech and Slovak Museum opens temporary location - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Czech and Slovak Museum opens temporary location


Cedar Rapids (KWWL) -- Cedar Rapids's National Czech and Slovak Museum was heavily damaged in this summer's flood. Thursday, they opened a new interim location at Lindale Mall. The museum continued to operate after the flood. The musuem was able to continue most of its programming by borrowing space around cedar rapids, but this space will give the staff more stability and flexibility while they plan for the future.

From Christmas bulbs to couture, the National Czech and Slovak Museum is open for business.

"For the past five or six weeks, we've been out here, working to transform a former photography studio into a space that allows us to have a public presence," Jan Stoffer said.

Even while displaced, the museum put together a new exhibition for the grand opening. "Pack your bags" features items brought to America by immigrants. It's a topic that may strike a chord with local residents forced from their homes.

"A woman brought her cast iron bunt cake pan. This thing must have weighed 10 pounds. Why would she bring that? It makes people think about what they would bring if they were going to be gone from their home forever," Stoffer said.

While plans for a permanent location are still in the works, opening its doors, even temporarily, is a small victory on the road to recovery.

"Actually it's rather remarkable that we can do this. It's only been 4 and a half months since the flood waters have crested. And for us to have a public presence is wonderful," Stoffer said.

The board met recently to look over long term and permanent options for the museum. Part of the city's flood prevention plans could affect the flooded location. For the time being, they plan to be at Lindale Mall for several months. The temporary location includes an exhibition space, meeting room for programs and a book store.

Online Reporter:  Jenn Jarvis

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