Our Success - Because of You

Dear Friends of NCSML,

Another year is coming much too quickly to an end. As we reflect on 2023, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) met and exceeded their goals for the year. We could not do what we do without you. Your ongoing support enables NCSML to carry out our mission which has become even more critical in our turbulent world.

In May 2023, the NCSML Board of Trustees approved a new Mission: NCSML engages the global community with unique Czech, Slovak, and American stories to inspire individuals with universal themes of culture, freedom, democracy, and immigration. This reflects our cherished immigrant past and our commitment to preserve the freedom and democracy that our ancestors struggled and sacrificed for. The mission also highlights the importance for all of us to preserve our heritage and culture, no matter our background. Preservation of culture and identity is paramount to our future.

Even though 2023 has not yet finished, we have so much to share with you. Here are just some of the highlights:

• We have provided educational programs and tours for over 5,000 elementary, high school, and university students, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Your ongoing support helps us to do this as we do not charge for student tour groups. In addition, we have provided over 60 programs for our community and online for the world.
• NCSML hosted four Smithsonian interns from Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Iowa.

• Major exhibits included: Brilliant Bohemian Garnets, Mad Silkman, Moravian Folk Motifs, and folkjord.
• Two new traveling exhibits were created to add to our collection of 18. These exhibits are available to communities throughout the U.S.

• Several significant acquisitions will increase research opportunities that students and scholars will have in the future.
• Digitization of the library and its archives is ongoing.

Our annual Gala, BrewNost, and upcoming Old World Christmas Market bring our Cedar Rapids community together, as well as people from throughout the U.S. and the Czech and Slovak Republics. As we reflect on 2023, we realize how important your ongoing support is, even as our fall MOST highlighted how “We are Shaped by Our Challenges.” In this article, we referenced the 2008 flood. We also had a major unexpected challenge these last few months to address, when urgent repairs were required on one of our properties, incurring unbudgeted costs of $272,000. Combined with the cost of high-quality programs and events, your support is now more appreciated than ever.

As you consider your year-end giving, please remember NCSML. Your support is key to enabling us to becoming Trip Advisor’s Number 1 tourist recommendation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and for the future. NCSML continues to gain greater national and international visibility, as well, attracting government, cultural, and academic leaders to Cedar Rapids. In 2024, the NCSML will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Watch for our celebratory events which include the completion of a Prague-style orloj with an astronomical clock. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you in 2024. Thank you so much for your continued support. You are our future.

My sincere wishes,
Cecilia Rokusek, Ed.D., M.Sc., RDN
NCSML President & CEO

Your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law. Please mail the donation form to:
1400 Inspiration Place SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

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