Tourism Cedar Rapids Blog

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National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

Connecting People to Czech and Slovak History & Culture

The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year from across the country and around the world to learn about and celebrate Czech and Slovak history and culture through innovative experiences and interactive exhibits. Universal themes of culture, freedom, democracy and immigration are likewise celebrated as the museum continues its mission of engaging the global community with unique Czech, Slovak and American stories and history.

A National Smithsonian Affiliate, this stately museum on the banks of the Cedar River is an iconic landmark of strength and resiliency. Guests can explore the permanent exhibit, Faces of Freedom, and an authentic immigrant home from the 1890s. NCSML also offers several events and programs throughout the year such as an online cooking series, author visits, walking tours, community programs and four temporary exhibit spaces that are updated regularly with new and exciting displays. 

The Skala Bartizal Library actively collects materials that document Czech and Slovak history and culture within both European and American contexts. The library attracts scholars and authors, as well as Czech- and Slovak-Americans looking to research their family heritage. Library staff is available to assist visitors with both quick questions and substantial research projects (with advance booking).Experience the NCSML’s commitment to lifelong learning, community building and cross-cultural connections through year-long programming full of experience, history, creativity and fun!

In the spring, discover Magic and Mystery: Mardi Gras and Carnival Traditions, an Egg Decorating Masterclass and performances by Janara Kellerman and Jana Sibera. Summer will feature rotating exhibit openings including Moravian Painting and walking tours of Czech Village and New Bohemia. BrewNost, NCSML’s autumn staple, is the Midwest’s premier international beer festival featuring food and beverages from some of the area’s finest restaurants, local breweries and distilleries, along with international beers, wine, and spirits. And winter brings the return of the Old World Christmas Market! Enjoy free admission for holiday crafts, artisans’ market, live performances, and the hugely popular cookie walk!

CELEBRATE!

This year, NCSML celebrates its 50th Anniversary! A whole host of special events are planned in 2024 including week-long, summer workshops offered on art, kroje making and culture. In October and November, watch for “Echoes of the Past to Celebrate for the Present and Future,” a ten-day program in collaboration with Cedar Rapids Opera and the Prague Opera. It will feature all aspects of the music of Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak including a light show, workshops, a fashion show and a production of Rusalka. For a fully updated list of musical performances, folk and art workshops for all ages and all the exciting 2024 events, visit ncsml.org. BrewNost, NCSML’s autumn staple, is the Midwest’s premier international beer festival featuring food and beverages from some of the area’s finest restaurants, local breweries and distilleries, along with international beers, wine and spirits. And winter brings the return of the Old World Christmas Market! Enjoy free admission for holiday crafts, artisans’ market, live performances and the hugely popular cookie walk! NCSML is also a premier space for large and small events in Eastern Iowa, facilitating company meetings, cocktail receptions, weddings and more. Check out all the options for hosting your own 2024 special event. 

SEE! 

Don’t miss the 2024 featured exhibits…

The National Collection: 
50 Years of NCSML, Smith Gallery
March 16 - January 12, 2025

NCSML has collected significant Czech and Slovak artifacts and archival materials for 50 years. Highlights from the collections are featured, including a rare fish scale kroj, an original Andy Warhol silkscreen, stunning garnet jewelry, beautiful porcelain and glass, a Jawa motorcycle and so much more.

Alphonse Mucha:
Master of Art Nouveau, Petrik Gallery
May 4 - September 1, 2024

 

Presented are 75 works including rare original lithographs and proofs, paintings, drawings, posters, books, and portfolios from the Dhawan Collection, one of the finest private collections of Mucha’s works in the U.S. Mucha is most often remembered for the prominent 
role he played in shaping the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the 20th century.

SHOP!

Stop by the Museum Store while at NCSML for one of the largest selections in the area of imported products that connect with Czech and Slovak culture. Stunning glass ornaments are available year round, along with garnets, apparel, books, and gifts for all ages. 

 

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
1400 Inspiration Place, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
319-362-8500
ncsml.org

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