Year in Review: 2020 for the Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota

Sretna Nova Godina 2021!

I think it’s safe to say that no one could have imagine what 2020 had in store for us. Our board had its most ambitious year planned, only to cancel the majority of the events. The first cancelled event was the Croatian Heritage Night with the Timberwolves after the NBA cancelled its season.

Even though our events were cancelled, our members worked behind the scenes working on grants, creating a new website, hiring an intern to help with adding pictures to our Noteworthy Minnesota Croatians and creating virtual events for our community including language classes and a cooking class.

We started 2020 as many people did with plans and ideas that had to be readjusted or set aside until calmer times returned. We were able to at least participate in the Balkan Festival in February. Cancellations soon followed so we weren’t able to take part in the Festival of Nations and the International Festival or hold our annual Christmas party due to the pandemic.

Croatia has been devastated by major earthquakes this past year – first March 22nd in Zagreb and most recently December 29th in the Petrinja and Sisak regions. Fundraising through the Croatian Fraternal Union and the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) are the two organizations that I would recommend donating to as I personally know the two organizers. Links will be included for both Go Fund Me’s below. Full disclosure: I am personally involved with the ACAP Go Fund Me fundraising opportunity and it involves over 25+ other Croatian organizations throughout the world. Our organization did make a donation to ACAP while I did make a personal donation to the CFU.

I am always looking for article submissions and ideas for the next CCSM newsletter. Please submit ideas on what you’d like to see in the next newsletter or any events. Also if anyone wants to submit an article, that would be very welcomed. Anyone with a computer can help with the newsletter and our Facebook site. We did hit a new milestone of 500 followers on Facebook in June and less than 6 months later are now at 600 followers! In the last quarter, we had over 160,000 reaches compared to our first year on Facebook where we only had 15,000 views. The number partially grew as a result of our outreach to greater Minnesota and interest from other Croatian groups throughout the world. This type of growth is rewarding but overwhelming too.

We can’t continue this organization without all the wonderful volunteers who help us with the Festival of Nations, the Christmas party, the Friends of the IHRC and many other events as they come up. I can’t even begin to name everyone who has been so gracious with their time to volunteer and help when needed. Your support, attendance and volunteering at our events is very appreciated. Please join us at our annual planning meeting on Thursday January 21st at 7:00 pm am via Zoom to plan activities for the upcoming year. All are welcomed to attend (even if you live in greater Minnesota!)


Andrea Novak Neumann
President, Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota