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Early Start to New Bohemia Rebirth

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The seeds for rebirth in Cedar Rapids New Bohemia District following the 2008 Floods were planted well before the river rose five years ago. The idea for a haven for artists and creativity stated long before with Marvin Cone.

"Marvin Cone is an absolutely great artist and he's an inspiration for all art people, said Dean Schwarz, a Ceramic Artist who was born in Cedar Rapids.

In the early 20th Century, cone spent time in what would alter be transformed into the New Bohemia District.

He taught at Coe College, and promoted, the role that art can play in not only the college but in the community and certainly the role it plays in this neighborhood, said the Producing Director of Legion Arts, Mel Andringa.

Some say that spirit is the driving force behind the post-flood recovery in NewBo.

The goal is to, not just put Cedar Rapids back the way it was but to really try to form the region into an even more interesting and more thriving place, said Creative Week Volunteer Andy Stoll.

"I think it's great that there's a home for creativity in Cedar Rapids in a community where people can really feel at home, said Marion resident Nick Jared.

Events like this one, in the shadows of buildings damaged in the 2008 floods, show how far NewBo has come, but that there's still work to be done.

"Some have already been revitalized and are ready to go but others still need some work so it's showcasing those and showcasing the opportunities there still are for reinvestment in the area, said the Executive Director for the Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street Program Jennifer Pruden.

"It's not going to be overnight so it's going to take a lot of work and just a lot of fortitude to keep bringing this forward for the community, said Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street Program Board Member Sara Reasner.
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