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History Center offers student discount with ID

By Mitchell Grauberger
On October 24, 2018

Recently reopened in a permanent location in downtown Cedar Rapids, The History Center offers a museum and programming showing a unique look at the history of Linn County.   

Executive Director at The History Center Jason S. Wright explained, “We have a main gallery that tells the Linn County story but then [we have] two temporary galleries, where we spin stories off the main gallery.  For example, the first gallery, the Wilson gallery, for the next nine months or so is going to tell the quilt story of Linn County.  Partially the artistic, but more about the social impact that quilts had, as far as bringing people together and telling stories and those kinds of things.  The West gallery, for at least the next few years is going to focus on entrepreneurialism in Linn County.” 

Wright went on to talk about some of the programming that The History Center offers. “We believe that the programing we have is fun, vibrant, magnetic…One of the things we do is called Oral Histories Live. So many great stories are in the heads of so many great people in this region.  We interview some of the extraordinary people in Linn County…We’re [also] going to continue our Bite of History.  We go to cool bistros, restaurants throughout the county, and everybody gets a drink and an appetizer, and we tell the story of the region, the town, the block, the building,” he said. 

A full list of upcoming programs can be found on The History Center website, at www.historycenter.org.   

Admission to the museum is $5 with a student ID but there are reasons other than discounts that students can benefit from The History Center. One of these is access to the research library housed there. 

“There’s a lot of stuff on the internet, and the Kirkwood library system is quite robust, but we have stuff that no one else has,” said Wright.  “If someone is looking up a Linn County-centric bit of information, we’re a good place to start.”   

Access to the research library at The History Center requires a membership to the museum ($40 annually for an individual membership) or payment of a $10 daily fee. 

“We have a robust volunteer program.  Everything from working at the front desk, monitoring our little store, being a research librarian, we have some transcriptions that need to happen, whether from paper to digital or recording to digital…For those who are perusing non-profit administration, we do have some internships,” said Wright. 

More information on these opportunities can be found on The History Center website. 

When asked for any final thoughts, Wright said, “No matter if you think you like history or you think you don’t like history, The History Center has something to offer you.  There’s a certain wow factor with the stories that we tell, that seems to entertain, enlighten and educate everybody.”

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