2019 CRANDIC Award Winners!


For the 2nd year in a row, the Pentacrest Museums won not one, but TWO Best of the CRANDIC Awards. We are beyond honored! We snagged BEST MUSEUM for the Museum of Natural History and BEST HISTORIC BUILDING for the beautiful Old Capitol Museum.

So, just what is a Best of the CRANDIC Award exactly? Great question! The CRANDIC organizers at Little Village Mag explain, "Long before our neck of the woods was dubbed the ICR or the Corridor, it was known as the CRANDIC—taken from the CR-and-IC train line that has served the area since 1904, "the CRANDIC Route." LV revitalizes the name for their annual award contest of community favorites. Votes for the best businesses, parks, and places are collected and tallied by the local, independent media company which publishes bi-monthly editions of their stylish magazine, and winners are revealed in an exciting special edition each December.

Our museums and galleries offer fun, high-impact learning opportunities as classrooms, laboratories, biological archives, studios, and more to the UI students, faculty, and researchers we serve. But, we are also something much more to our community. We are a foundational bridge between our campus and communitybuilding and strengthening that relationship daily with accessible fun and learning. We get to be the front door to the university for our public, and it turns out, you like us a lot! The CRANDIC Awards are an excellent way to celebrate this.

University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums Director Liz Crooks was delighted at the news of our winnings, "These votes come from youthe folks we serve in the community we love. We know you have amazing options when it comes to history and museums around these parts so we don't take your votes lightly. Thank you!"

We learned of our awards a few months ago and were sworn to secrecy until the big reveal issue, but we were quite surprised by an extra feature on one of our "staff members." We were thrilled to discover a full-page photo of our lovable giant, Rusty the Giant Sloth with the accompanying text,

  • "A beloved feature of the UI Museum of Natural History for 35 years, Rusty the Giant Sloth is not only an exhibit, but the museum's designated mascot and "spokessloth." He may be everyone's favorite Pleistocene pal, but in truth, he's a millennial. Rusty is a mid-1980's reproduction of the extinct Ice Age ground sloth Megalonyx jeffersonii, bearing no original parts. His fur? Harvested from cow tails. Still, it made Rusty a redhead, just like the man his species is named for: Thomas Jefferson."

Grab a copy of the latest Little Village Mag on stands today to see our full-page "thank you," a special feature on Rusty the Giant Sloth, and our award listings while learning more about the other winners in this great CRANDIC area.