CatVideoFest and Summer Family Free Day Aug. 19 at the NCSML

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Saturday, Aug. 19, will be a big day for families and cat lovers at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.

  • First, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., families are invited to take part in Summer Family Free Day at the NCSML featuring a celebration of the exhibition Dale Chihuly: Venetians from the George R. Stroemple Collection. The day also will include all-ages, hands-on activities inspired by Chihuly’s fanciful and elaborate art glass works, tasty food and live music. Activities and admission to museum galleries for the day are free.
  • Then in the evening, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., CatVideoFest will take the stage on the big screen on the museum’s front lawn. There will be cat-inspired activities for all ages, food trucks serving up local eats, a beer garden and 90 minutes of cat videos curated by special guest Will Braden, the national festival coordinator for CatVideoFest and creator of Henri, Le Chat Noir. The Cedar Valley Humane Society will be on hand with information about adoptable cats.

Summer Family Free Day will feature:

10:30am – 12:30pm: 
Deep Dish Divas — Dishin’ up an eclectic mix of vintage novelties, folk, swing, traditional, a cappella and more!
11:00am – 2:00: Sweet Lilly Pi — Interactive Circus Booth: Hoops and Henna, watch as native Iowan hula hooper extrordinaire, Sweet Lilly Pi, attempts to spin as many hoops as possible and learn some hooping and juggling moves yourself!  Children and parents are also invited to the booth for Henna tattoos!
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Linn County Master Gardener, Deb Walser will be sharing knowledge about vegetable and flower container gardening in the Skala Bartizal Library
2:00pm – 4:00pm: Cedar County Cobras — Described as contagious, acoustic rockabilly, dancing bluegrass, or brand new old-time country with the gritty sound of soulful blues.

Family Activities
9:30am – 4:00pm: Museum Store and exhibits open
See Dale Chihuly: Venetians from the George R. Stroemple CollectionTwists and Turns: The Story of Sokol, Faces of Freedom: The Czech and Slovak Journey, and the Sleger Immigrant Home.
9:30am – 4:00pm: Community Sculpture Project
Decorate your own coffee filter “macchia” to add to a large community sculpture.
9:30am – 4:00pm: Make Chihuly-inspired crafts at stations throughout the museum.
10:00am – 4:00pm: CR Sisters Face Painting will be creating colorful face paint designs for visitors in the classroom.

Learn more about Summer Family Free Day here.. Summer Family Free Day is sponsored by CRST International and Wells Fargo. Contributing sponsors are Lu and Katherine Svoboda.

The CatVideoFest event schedule is:

6:30pm – Seating begins; bring your lawn chairs and blankets. No outside alcoholic beverages may be brought into the event area. Cat-inspired activities, plus food and beer garden available.
7:00pm – 9:00pm: CR Sisters Face Painting will be creating colorful face paint designs
8:00pm – (approximately) Cat videos begin, hosted by Will Braden, the national festival coordinator for CatVideoFest and creator of Henri, Le Chat Noir videos.
9:30pm – Event ends.

Learn more about CatVideoFest here. This event is sponsored by CRST International and is presented by the NCSML in partnership with the Cedar Valley Humane Society.

Tickets for CatVideoFest (seating will be limited) are $10/regular admission; $5/students and kids over age 5; free for kids 5 and under, and may be ordered from a link at

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