An eastern Iowa theater and gallery for diverse artwork is in danger of closing due to declining donations since September 11th. John Herbert is executive director of “Legion Arts of Cedar Rapids” which may shut its doors in April without a boost in funding. Herbert says it’d be a real shame.He says groups from Native Americans to disabled people to gay and lesbian artists are comfortable showing their work here because the philosophy is — the more diversity, the better. Herbert says funding fell about sixty-percent between August and December. He says the stage and gallery are often the setting for “artistic risks” and can do so because they’re -not- affiliated with the city or any university.Many artists who wouldn’t find a voice in other places are welcomed here — from 41 countries over the past decade. We’re remarkably eclectic in our programming. This week, features include a jazz vocalist and a Swedish folk music trio. On March 16th, Herbert says Iowa City singer and songwriter Greg Brown will hold a benefit concert at the Cedar Rapids venue to try and save the alternative arts showplace.The building was built in 1891. Herbert says he’s just sent out five thousand letters to past supporters, urging them to turn out again and save the facility. For more information on the Legion Arts, call (319) 364-1580.
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