Our Network

Collaboration is at the heart of what we do.

Whether it’s volunteering at a community event, producing special content or facilitating a community building conversation of our own, we believe that the skills of journalism and community building can do more when used in tandem.

Through our collaboration with local and national networks, we believe that solutions and opportunities in our areas of intent have endless possibility.

In addition to our friends inside The Gazette Company (including FusionFarm, The Gazette, KCRG and Hoopla), these are the organizations we have been proud to partner with, creating connections across the Corridor (listed alphabetically).

We’re always looking for new opportunities, too – whether it’s collaboration or story ideas. The WCH team has a variety of tools and resources to assist in creating the right framework and facilitation for your community chat. Contact Quinn Pettifer for details (319)-398-8240  or quinn.pettifer@thegazettecompany.com.

Where we’re going…

Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission

Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission

The Civil Rights Commission and We Create Here are working jointly on a video contest to help fight housing discrimination in the Cedar Rapids metro area.

Learn more about the Civil Rights Commission here >
Enter the video contest here >

Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors BureauCedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

The CRACVB is dedicated to the development and marketing of an appealing new destination, attracting visitors for a diverse set of pursuits, thus enhancing the economy of the region. We Create Here is working with the CVB to facilitate community conversations.

Learn more on the CVB website >

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic AllianceCedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance leads economic and community development efforts through their core functions of business support, economic development, community development, public policy and regional development. We Create Here participates in the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market — one of the largest open air markets in the Midwest.

Learn more about the market >

City of Cedar RapidsCity of Cedar Rapids

The National Civic League announced Cedar Rapids as an All-America City award winner for 2014, recognizing  the city as a place where citizens work to overcome city-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results. The Cedar Rapids application focused on neighborhood revitalization, commitment to arts and culture, and creating a culture of health and well-being. The 40-person delegation intends to continue sharing the stories of Cedar Rapids.

Read Quinn’s reflections on the experience >
Replay our live chat with City of Cedar Rapids officials >

Diversity focus Cedar RapidsDiversity Focus

In the words of Chad Simmons, executive director of Diversity Focus, the organization is focused on connecting people to their tribes. Diversity Focus has helped We Create Here by sharing our content through their social media channels. Diversity Focus staff also regularly attend conversations and gatherings facilitated by We Create Here. Diversity Focus also supports We Create Here by sharing our content on their website.

Check out the Diversity Focus site >
Find the fellows’ blogs >

IowaBragIowa Brag

#IowaBrag, a social media campaign celebrating Iowa, and PickYourPace.com, a recruiting and information site about living in Iowa’s Creative Corridor, are helping us to share the stories of our Iowa Essay Series.

Tweet #IowaBrag >
Visit PickYourPace.com >
View all the Iowa essays here >

ICAD Group (Iowa City Area Development Group)Iowa City Area Development Group

ICAD provides economic development and workforce development services for interstate commerce companies in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. This organization is also the operational and promotional support hub for the Iowa City and Coralville CoLabs –space designed to  foster an open innovation workspace.

ICAD’s website >
Our coverage of ICAD >

ICCA - Iowa Cultural Corridor AllianceIowa Cultural Corridor Alliance

The mission of ICCA is to promote the varied cultural activities of its partner organizations and to nurture a sustainable cultural community in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. This is done through advocacy-focused events, educational programming, arts and culture awareness, cultural tourism, and building strong relationships throughout the community. We Create Here is working with ICCA stakeholders to facilitate community conversations on the arts in Iowa.

Learn more at culturalcorridor.org >

Iowa Startup Accelerator

Iowa Startup Accelerator

We Create Here partnered with the Iowa Startup Accelerator to tell the stories of the mentors. Nearly 100 talented entrepreneurs and business leaders are donating their time to the first class of startups, who will join the accelerator in August 2014.

Visit the Accelerator website >
Find the mentor profiles >

Jones County Economic Development and Create Your AnamosaJones County Economic Development

What role do small towns play in the seven-county Corridor region? We Create Here is working with Jones County Economic Development and other stakeholders to produce a new event, called Create Your Anamosa, to discuss what future citizens want to create for their town.

Jones County Economic Development website >

Journalism that MattersJournalism That Matters / ASNE

Peggy Holman, executive director and co-founder of Journalism that Matters, has provided us with guidance and direction on how to best facilitate and host community conversations. Through Journalism that Matter’s partnership with the American Society of News Editors, We Create Here is one of three organizations nationwide working to engage our community around topics of inclusion and diversity.

Journalism that matters work and initiatives >
Visit the Engagement Hub, a resource for journalists and community builders >

Next Gen Summit Cedar RapidsNext Gen. Summit

The Next Gen. Summit brings together local and national experts to talk about current and upcoming workforce in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Attendees can choose from a variety of workshops, to learn more and interact with topics like building your professional image, entrepreneurship, harnessing your strengths, leadership skills, the future of workforce, social media and more. This year’s summit is scheduled for October 1 in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Learn more at www.nextgensummiticc.org >

Regional Economic Development Institute, Cedar Rapids IowaRED-I

The goal of the Regional Economic Development Institute is to attract, retain, empower and sustain African-American business leaders through entrepreneurship activities within the Corridor and the state of Iowa. Karl Cassell, RED-I’s executive director, and other members of the organization have been featured in articles on minority entrepreneurs in We Create Here as well as in a video interview about the formation of the organization. The organization also supports us by showcasing our work on their website.

Visit the Red-I site >

Seed Here Studio, entrepreneurial community buildingSeed Here Studio

Andy Stoll, Amanda Styron-West, Kris Fassler and the entire Seed Here Studio crew are mentors and friends in the creative world, especially to Sarah. Seed Here has been doing community building work in Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for years, and the team has recently produced big events like EntreFEST and Creative Week.

Seed Here website >
Follow Seed Here on Facebook for entrepreneurial updates >

 Startup GenomeStartup Genome

One of Sarah’s big goals is to create a map or guide to the local startup community, and Startup Genome has been a great tool. They are a startup themselves, and changing all the time, but their team has given us an inside peek into the development process.

Find updates on the community mapping project >
Submit data >
See the Creative Corridor on Startup Genome >

Trees Forever Marion IowaTrees Forever

We are partnering with Trees Forever to produce a series of videos on the benefits of urban trees, highlight their work to replace neighborhood trees vulnerable to pests, their work on urban orchards, and their TreeKeeper program where they train people to take care of the trees in their neighborhood.

Learn more on the Trees Forever site >

Where we’ve been…

Coe College

We Create Here worked with students in Terri Donofrio’s Media & Mass Communication class at Coe College to get their insight and input on the future of media and journalism. Students presented their final ideas to We Create here as part of the students’ final exam.


Our team was proud to be part of Iowa’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs! We helped promote the conference, led a community conversation on diversity and entrepreneurship, and pitched in other places as the three-day event took over Iowa City.

EntreFEST website >
Best of FEST on  We Create Here >
VIDEO: Empowering communities through conversation; how do diversity and entrepreneurship intersect? >

Matthew 25

After Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids, we kept the conversation about abandoned homes in Cedar Rapids going by bringing together the nonprofit Matthew 25, the City of Cedar Rapids, and other interested citizens.

Visit the Matthew 25 website >
Leading my first open space gathering…and killing zombies >

Regional Rotary conference

Rotary District 5970 Conference  was held in April 2014 in downtown Cedar Rapids. Rotaries from across Iowa had opportunities to learn about best practices, a variety of resources and recruitment for the next generation of Rotarians.

The Solesbee Group

The Solesbee Group is a woman-owned business located in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. This organization provides expertise in the areas of organizational development, funding strategies, community building and strategic communications. Corridor projects include the Workplace Revolution, launched in June 2014.

Learn more at thesolesbeegroup.com >
Workplace Revolution live coverage >
Six takeaways from Workplace Revolution 2014 >

Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids

Startup Weekends are wonderful, high impact events for the startup community. We were proud to play our small part in promoting the first one in Cedar Rapids, and Sarah got out of her comfort zone by participating in a team.

Visit the Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids website >
Next event in the Corridor – Iowa City, Oct. 3-5 >
Reflections from Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids on We Create Here >
Follow along with Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids alums Turnstile Cards, now in Lincoln for the NMotion Accelerator >


We’re always looking for new partnerships to help spread knowledge and community in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. If you’ve read this far, we definitely want to hear from you. Drop us a note at engage@wecreatehere.net.