Cedar Falls Community Foundation Announces Grants Made to Local Organizations

September 1, 2021

August 2021

Cedar Falls Community Foundation Grants Made to Local Organizations
The Cedar Falls Community Foundation Board of Directors has approved grants to six area nonprofits totaling $77,227.00. Applications were accepted April through June, 2021, to the Rownd Trust, the Diamond Arts and History Fund, and the Cedar Falls Enhancement Fund, through the Community Foundation’s online application portal at www.cf-communityfoundation.org

The new Cedar Falls High School Indoor Natatorium project was awarded $32,500 from the Rownd Trust. The City and the school district currently share the use of and expenses for two indoor swimming pools, one at Peet Junior High and one at Holmes Junior High. Both pools are heavily used, and both, built in the 1970s, are nearing the ends of their useful lives. The Peet pool will be closed within two years to make way for classroom expansion. The Holmes pool needs significant repairs. To prevent the cancellation or reduction of existing aquatic programs, a new pool will be built in conjunction with the new Cedar Falls High School. This will provide Cedar Falls with a facility for the next 50 years and support program growth in water safety education, fitness, recreational and competitive swimming opportunities.

The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Renovation and Expansion project was awarded $32,500 from the Rownd Trust. The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center was dedicated in April 2000 and since that time has become a regional destination for the performing arts. Annually hosting 120,000 guests and more than 600 events including 300 performances, the GBPAC showcases the world’s finest artists, ensembles of the UNI School of Music, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, and many other regional events. The GBPAC’s current $14.9 million renovation project will encompass both renovations as well as expansion to create a multipurpose event space and patron lounge as well as modernize the box office and service counters.
The Cedar Falls Veterans Park project to establish a Gold Star Family Memorial monument in Veterans Park was awarded $5,000. The project is seeking to raise $40,000 to support four marble structures which will further honor the many families who have sacrificed in service for the United States.

The Cedar Falls Historical Society Ice House Museum Interactive Learning project was awarded $3,100 from the Diamond Art & History Fund. The Ice House Museum will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2022. In order to help mark this occasion, the Cedar Falls Historical Society will provide free take-home activities to help visitors remember their visit to the Ice House Museum. This activity is a punchout puzzle that fits together similar to a 3-D puzzle, complete with a moving waterwheel. In the process of putting together the punchout visitors will have an interactive experience related to what they learned at the museum about water power and ice harvesting on the Cedar River. The Ice House Museum typically has between 2,500 and 3,000 visitors each year and tells the story of the Cedar River’s impact on the development of Cedar Falls.

The UNI Foundation was awarded $3,307 to support the project, “Eddie Bowles’s Cedar Falls.” Eddie Bowles (1885-1985) was a Cedar Falls blues guitarist whose contributions have not been fully documented. As a young man in New Orleans, Bowles moved in the same circles as jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Kid Ory, but by the time he settled in Cedar Falls (around 1917) he had stopped performing and worked a series of manual labor jobs in the Cedar Valley, where he was one of Cedar Falls’ first African American residents. This project will include an exhibit at the Hearst Center, a digital “Best of Eddie Bowles” album, a historical walking/biking tour and a Midwinter Blues Getaway. The goal of the project is to increase awareness of the history of Cedar Falls, particularly the unique role played by Eddie Bowles.

The Cedar Falls Historic Preservation Commission was awarded $820 to repair the Sessions gravestone monument in Fairview Cemetery. The Historic Preservation Commission is a voice for historic preservation through efforts such as educational programs and events and by supporting projects that enhance historical resources. As a Certified Local Government, Cedar Falls’ Historic Preservation Commission implements the program requirements issued by the State of Iowa to maintain that status. The Cedar Falls Historic Preservation Commission identified the Sessions tombstone in Fairview Cemetery as an important commemoration of two generations of the Sessions family in need of repair. The stone memorializes William and Elmira Sessions and their son, Fitzroy Sessions, who served as Cedar Falls’ first Marshall and street commissioner. The home he built at 1021 Clay Street in 1867 still stands. Black Hawk Memorial will repair the base of the gravestone and put the stone back together.

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation (CFCF) is a nationally accredited community foundation working with donors to make a difference in Cedar Falls. The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is located inside Farmers State Bank, 6th and Main Street, Cedar Falls, and is accessible by appointment, phone 319.243.9170, email: director@cf-communityfoundation.org, and website: www.cf-communityfoundation.org.