Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. The city lies on both banks of the Cedar River, 20 miles (32 km) north of Iowa City and 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Des Moines, the state's capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor of Linn, Benton, Cedar, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.
As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 126,326. The estimated population of the three-county Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the nearby cities of Marion and Hiawatha, was 255,452 in 2008. Cedar Rapids is an economic hub of the state, located in the core of the Interstate 380.
A flourishing center for arts and culture in Eastern Iowa, the city is home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Paramount Theatre, Orchestra Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the African-American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa, the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance. In the 1990s and 2000s, several Cedar Rapidians became well-known actors, including Bobby Driscoll, Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood, and Ron Livingston. The city is the setting for the musical The Pajama Game and the comedy film Cedar Rapids.
Among the famous people who have lived in Cedar Rapids are American Gothic painter Grant Wood, journalist and historian William L. Shirer, writer and photographer Carl Van Vechten, and aerodynamics pioneer Dr. Alexander Lippisch. The area has also produced professional athletes such as Landon Cassill, Ryan Sweeney, Trent Green, Zach Johnson, and Kurt Warner, as well as Mark Walter, co-owner and chairman of baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the "City of Five Seasons", for the "fifth season", which is time to enjoy the other four. The symbol of the five seasons is the Tree of Five Seasons sculpture in downtown along the north river bank. The name "Five Seasons" and representations of the sculpture appear throughout the city in many forms.
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