In the fall of 2018, the City of Cedar Rapids and key partners, including the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Catherine McAuley Center, the Intercultural Center of Iowa, and YPN, applied to participate in the Gateways for Growth program. Welcoming Week is part of these efforts and will be celebrated in Cedar Rapids Sept. 10-19.
According to a news release, Welcoming Week is a nationwide initiative that encourages local support and efforts to engage new Americans and create inclusive and welcoming communities. Making sure that our economy continues to work for all residents will maintain a high quality of life for all members of the community.
There will be various events and programs throughout the community over the course of the week, including AsianFest, Festival Latino and the Sept. 18 Downtown Farmers Market. The Economic Alliance hopes to enhance the awareness of these events and the message of Welcoming Week with impactful visuals and storytelling.
The Alliance will be launching Welcoming Wings, a collection of culture-focused wing installments that people can interact with by taking pictures and sharing their personal stories on social media. Each set of wings has its own story to tell, highlighting different cultures and ethnicities in the community.
The entire collection of wings will come together for a final installment at the Sept. 18 Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market, where several local nonprofits will share their knowledge on Welcoming Week and how it impacts their organizations.
For more information, go to www.welcomingweekcr.com.