History of the
Cedar Rapids Community Concert Association
The Cedar Rapids Community Concert Association has a long and illustrious history of providing exceptional entertainment at a great price to the people of Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area. The CRCCA began in 1930 as a new way to offer top-name entertainers to smaller cities. Rather than hiring the act and then, hopefully, selling enough tickets to pay for the act, community concert associations would raise the money first through memberships, and then secure a season of concerts in advance.
Many communities had adopted this same philosophy during the Depression years. At that time, there were 42 community concert associations in the country. But even the Great Depression could not deter the need for quality live entertainment. Food for the soul was as important as food on the table, and by 1940, 335 community concert associations were actively answering that need.
Through the years, the Cedar Rapids Community Concert Association has hosted such top name popular, jazz and classical acts as Nelson Eddy, Yehudi Menuhin, Boston Pops, Joffrey Theater Ballet, and Tommy Dorsey, as well as symphony orchestras from major cities and gifted performers from around the world – all at a price everyone could afford.
Community concert members pay one low price for the entire season. In the 1950’s, a general membership was only $3.00. As with everything, though, prices have risen through the years. The CRCCA’s first concert season cost $3,300 total. The 2008-2009 season budgeted over $52,000 for five acts, with additional costs for the venue.
The CRCCA still offers the best entertainment bargain around. This year, general admission membership is just $40.00. That’s only $40 for admission to five of the best acts around - Sean Jones, the John Jorgenson Quintet, American Pop with Three Hits and a Miss, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet, and The Redhead Express.
The Cedar Rapids Community Concert Association mission is to provide the community with high quality cultural entertainment at a cost affordable to everyone – and is proving again, in its 81st season, to do just that.