Community

C-SPAN TV to feature Cedar Rapids on weekend special

Mays Island on the Cedar River showing the Veterans Memorial Building, Linn County Courthouse, and Linn County Jail in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Mays Island on the Cedar River showing the Veterans Memorial Building, Linn County Courthouse, and Linn County Jail in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — National, commercial-free public affairs network C-SPAN has announced plans for a weekend of coverage focused on Cedar Rapids, its history and literary life.

A team of producers, camera operators and large broadcast vehicles were expected to arrive in town over the weekend and are slated to be here through Thursday as they film, edit and produce a series of stories. It’s part of the network’s series on history and literature in small- to mid-sized U.S. cities that airs the first and third weekend each month on C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3.

“We look for cities that have great stories to tell,” said Ashley Hill, a producer and community relations representative for C-SPAN.

A welcome reception is slated for 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Whipple Auditorium at Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE. Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart, Iowa’s 1st District U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, History Center historian Mark Stoffer Hunter, and others will present as they unveil the topics and stories the network plans to tell.

The segments are scheduled to air during a “special Cedar Rapids feature weekend” on March 16-17. Literary programming would air on BookTV/C-SPAN 2, which is Mediacom channel 87, and history programming on American History TV/C-SPAN 3 or Mediacom channel 88.

Hart, who is expected to participate in a one-on-one interview for the program, said the exposure is good news for Cedar Rapids.

“They just said there are things happening in Cedar Rapids and have happened in Cedar Rapids that the rest of the country would be interested in hearing about,” Hart said. “I think it is just going to help showcase a lot of cool things that have happened here.”

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Mediacom helped select Cedar Rapids to be featured, said Phyllis Peters, a spokesperson for Mediacom. She said the rich Czech-Slovak history, vibrancy from Mount Mercy University and Coe College, and ties to Grant Wood were among the lures. Plus, cities such as Cedar Rapids are often overlooked in the national spotlight.

“Too often attentions goes to bigger cities or all these mid-sized areas get combined into the same groupings,” Peters said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

When to watch

• March 15: An interview with Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart, Washington Journal on C-SPAN. Segment to be included with regular program that starts at 6 a.m.

• March 16: 11 a.m., authors, literary life on BookTV/C-SPAN 2

• March 17: 1 p.m., history features on AHTV/C-SPAN 3

• More information at c-span.org/citiestour

• TV: (Mediacom listings) C-SPAN, Channel 97 or 85-3. C-SPAN 2 (Book TV), Channel 87 or 85-21. C-SPAN 3 (American History TV), Channel 88 or 85-13.

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