Quad City Arts is pleased to announce 2022 Arts Dollars grant awards to 18 organizations and 15 individual artists, 10 of whom are part of the first ever Visual Artist Grant cohort. Since 1990, Quad City Arts has supported the local art community by awarding grants to local artists, non-profit organizations, and schools.
Arts Dollars funds are generously provided by the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. This year, Quad City Arts received additional funding from a funder who wishes to remain anonymous to fund Visual Artist Grants. In total, Quad City Arts granted nearly $140,000 to local artists and organizations during this grant cycle.
Arts Dollars has been granting funds to artists and nonprofits in the Quad Cities region since 1979 thanks to our generous funding partners who believe in the power of the arts to enrich our communities. The funds awarded in the Project and Education categories are an investment in the arts across the six-county region served by Quad City Arts, activating nonprofits and artists who are engaging their community through projects in visual arts, theatre, music, film and more.
The vision that Quad City Arts has in facilitating these grants is that individual artists and nonprofits of all sizes would be able to accomplish projects in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities and that those communities would see a long-lasting benefit from the completed projects, paying artists for their work in the process. Each year, artists and nonprofits apply for grants in one of three categories: Projects, Education, and Capacity-Building. Keep an eye out for our 2023 grant round opening in December!
Capacity-Building grants are highly competitive and specially designed for arts-centered nonprofit organizations who are seeking support to expand their reach and impact through the arts in their community. This category was added in 2016 as Quad City Arts saw a need for small organizations to have access to funds to increase their capacity. Arts Dollars has funded important organizational infrastructure support like strategic planning, database solutions, temporary staff, and more.
This year, Quad City Arts received additional funding from a funder who wishes to remain anonymous to fund Visual Artist Grants. The purpose of these funds is to provide visual artists with the funding they need to focus on their craft. The artists in this cohort also have the unique opportunity to participate in masterclasses coordinated by Quad City Arts.
Our 2022 grant awards were recommended by a panel of community members who sifted through the nearly $130,000* in requests from across the region and approved by Quad City Arts Board of Directors. Please join us in celebrating these individuals and organizations! We are excited about the impact each one will make on our community as they advance their mission and the mission of Quad City Arts: to enrich the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts.
*This amount does not include the Visual Artist Grant requests.
Acrylic on Cotton
Acrylic on Canvas
Large scale photography
Are you a Quad Cities native? What brought you to the Quad Cities?
Yes! I was born in Davenport, and I have lived in East Moline my whole life. My mom is also a QC native, and my dad and his family have lived here since the 80s after they immigrated from Laos.
What is your biggest achievement/goal/moment of success to date – personal or professional?
I think it was getting into the Lockdown show here at QC Arts this past fall. That was the first show I applied for by myself, and I was so proud to be a part of such a great show.
How did you first learn about Quad City Arts?
In 2019 I saw someone on Facebook share a post about Chalkfest, which I entered just for fun. Then I just kept up with Quad City Arts news. I was in the Lockdown show in 2021 and have attended Riverssance and Festival of Trees. When a job position opened up, I felt like I would be a good fit.
What are you most excited for in your role at Quad City Arts?
I am most excited to see the talent we have locally up and close!
What is your favorite arts experience in the Quad Cities?
I love musical theater, and the QC has quite a few community theaters. I think my favorite show was Mary Poppins at the Music Guild a few years ago, but I try to go to as many shows as I can.
What is your favorite arts experience outside of the Quad Cities?
I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art a few years back. At the time they were hosting a traveling exhibit of Impressionist artworks so I got to see several Monet and Degas pieces. I think I was pissing off the security team off--I was standing so close to the artwork trying to take it all in.
Who is your favorite artist? (This can be any artist – visual, performing, etc.)
Just one? Greta Gerwig is an artist I look up to. Her work in Frances Ha was incredibly impactful on me, and her directorial roles in Lady Bird and Little Women were extraordinary.
What is one thing that might surprise people about you?
I have never been on a roller coaster, and I don't really like amusement parks. It's too hot. I don't like the food. I get sick on the rides. I like to say I was born to be mild.
I just finished re-watching the Umbrella Academy and now I'm starting Shtisel, a show about an ultra Orthodox Jewish community.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
I don't want my nerd card revoked, but I don't love either. When it comes to epic space sci-fi, I'm almost exclusively a Doctor Who girl. In terms of nostalgia, I could go with Star Wars though. My brother and I used to hit each other with plastic lightsabers in our backyard and play Lego Star Wars the video game on the Wii.
Where is the best pizza in the Quad Cities (or where you are from)?
Fields of Pizza is my go-to, but honestly is there such a thing as bad pizza??
What is your favorite book?
I'm a huge reader so this is impossible. Today, I'll go with Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Where is your go-to place for inspiration?
I have a huge box of old magazines, receipts, and collage paper in a spare room at home. Whenever I need inspiration I like making something nonsensical with those junk supplies.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I'd be a super good librarian.
Makoto Fujimura is an American artist with a Swedish and Japanese ethnic background, which is similar to mine. He believes in slow living and culture care through art. I'd love to pick his brain.
When you see Abi around, make sure to say hello! We're so lucky to have such a talented new artist on our team!
Brass band quintet High & Mighty Brass Band will visit nine schools in the greater Quad City area during their March 22-25 residence.
Since NYC drummer Evan Howard started the band back in 2009, there’s a reason legendary groups like Galactic, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and Lake Street Dive collaborated with High and Mighty Brass Band. This rotating cast has toured all over the world, including major performances at Bonnaroo, The U.S. Open, and the Governors Ball Music Festival. They entertain crowds with both their original music and fresh take on current and classic cover songs.
The next visiting artist, Mexican folk/rock quintet Jarabe Mexicano, will visit the Quad Cities April 4-8 and present to nine area schools.
Jarabe Mexicano invites audiences on a joyride through a versatile songbook of Mexican Folk as well as rock & roll, Tex-Mex, Latin rock, and reggae-cumbia. Performing on stringed folk instruments accompanied by lively percussion, Jarabe’s dramatic, harmonized vocals in Spanish and English have gained them the admiration of audiences across the country.
Jazz and R&B band LP And the Vinyl will be the final artist in residence for the 2021-2022 Visiting Artist Series.
During their residency April 25-29, they will present to 10 area schools, Moline Public Library, the Butterworth Center, Moline, the Jackson Concert Series at Wesley United Methodist Church, Muscatine, and the Geneseo Public Library. All these events are free and open to the public!
For more information on public events during the spring semester of the Visiting Artist Series, visit www.quadcityarts.com/events.
The series serves students and community members in Clinton, Scott, and Muscatine Counties in Iowa, and Henry, Rock Island, and Mercer Counties in Illinois.
During the 2019-2020 season when artists last visited the Quad Cities, more than 26,600 students participated in the program. Experiences included drama workshops for high school students with an East Coast theatre ensemble, a technique discussion for junior high band students from a Toronto, Canada jazz ensemble, side-by-side concert performance with a Texas string quartet, hip-hop dance presentations on history and technique for elementary students— all arts experiences that students would otherwise not have access to.
Since 1974, the Visiting Artist Series has engaged Quad City residents of all ages in quality arts experiences with professional performing artists. Artists of various disciplines present demonstrations, workshops, and masterclasses at pre-K sites, elementary, intermediate, and high schools as well as college campuses and community organizations.
For more information on this residency program, visit www.quadcityarts.com/vas.
Thank you to our Supporters
Quad City Arts receives significant support for the Visiting Artist Series from Regional Development Authority, Scott County Regional Authority, Bechtel Charitable Trust, National Endowment of the Arts, Iowa Arts Council, Illinois Arts Council, Quad Cities Cultural Trust, Rock Island Community Foundation, Melvin McKay Trust, Mary Iva Gittens Knouse Trust, Moline Rotary, Rauch Family Foundation I, Kiwanis Club of Davenport, and Quad City Arts donors.
As part of Quad City Arts’ continued focus on equity and accessibility the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program expanded program offerings in 2021. In 2021, the program introduced projects in graphic design, poetry, and film. These projects were designed to be accessible to students with interest in multiple creative areas. The graphic design program was developed in partnership with Black Hawk College, so students did not need to provide their own computer, design software licenses, or any other equipment. Film and poetry were also designed in a similar manner. “We are excited to continue to offer more accessible options for our paid arts apprenticeship program,” says Executive Director, Kevin Maynard.
This year’s Metro Arts program will start on Monday, June 6 and end on Thursday, July 7. Apprentices will meet for up to four hours Monday through Thursday. Apprentices receive a stipend of $500, and Senior Apprentices (project leaders) receive a stipend of $750.
"Last year was my first year doing the Summer Mural Painting, and I can confidently say I developed so many skills just within the month and a half of working for Metro Arts. In that short amount of time, I found myself wishing to go to work everyday— which is almost an impossible task when you’re required to work in the one-hundred degree heat with a mask on. Being with the artists around me helped me learn so many new strategies and techniques with painting. They also gave me a whole new perspective on how the process of large projects are made. Most of all, though, the artists around me turned me into a better person. I literally felt myself being more happy and successful in my work, which is a dream everyone wants."
This project will be led by Lead Artist, Aubrey Barnes. Apprentices will learn the elements of creating poetry including rhyming schemes, it’s cross-section with music, and more. Apprentices will have opportunities to workshop and present the pieces they create, and at the end will see their work published in a chapbook.
Aubrey Barnes, Poetry Lead Artist
Aubrey Barnes is an emcee, poet, educator, and author of "Unfin-" and "I'm Not Anti-Love, I Swear." With six years and hundreds of poems and songs under his belt, Aubrey's work encapsulates his unique experience as a black male living in a small region in the Midwest called the Quad Cities; from being a product of rap, to social divides that played a part in shaping his worldview. Aubrey has performed and taught workshops all over; from Chicago, Atlanta, to regions outside the country such as Haiti. He was also ranked number three best slam poet in the state of Iowa in June of 2019 by the Iowa Writers Organization. His poetry workshops consist of teaching the art from the context of rap and battle rap, exposing students to the lyrical and social richness that is within these arts. Being an individual who wears many creative hats, Aubrey aims to provoke ears with his lyrical, battle rap influenced penmanship, as well as provoke thought, with content that reflects all that he has journeyed through, or is journeying through.
Apprentices will work closely with independent filmmaker and educator Jonathan Burnett and learn the art of filmmaking through the entire process. Apprentices will create a short film including writing the script, filming, editing, sound design, and more. Apprentices will learn the elements of film design using professional equipment, but walk away with an understanding that can be translated to creating short films on something as small as a cell phone.
Jonathan Burnett, Film Lead Artist
Independent filmmaker and Educator Jonathan Burnett is a native of Rock Island, Illinois. Jonathan studied and received his training in film production and visual media, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA, and a Master of Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University. He has written, directed, produced, and filmed several projects during his tenure. Jonathan worked on professional films in France, Algeria, and Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the Creator, Director, and Lead Instructor of the Urban Exposure Independent Film Program, a ten week intensive program that teaches the basics of filmmaking to youth in the Midwest. Jonathan’s thesis film “Smoke & Mirrors” completed its festival tour. It has been shown in nine different festivals across the United States and has won 2 awards for Best Short Film and Best Student Film at the Alternating Currents Film Festival in Davenport, Iowa. Jonathan is now an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University and is also working with his father, Honorary Oscar Recipient, Charles Burnett to produce feature films and television content.
Led by Lead Artist, Sarah Robb, apprentices will work with a client to determine their wants in a mural, then work as a team to create two or more concepts to be presented. Once the client offers feedback the apprentices will get to work on making their concept take shape into a beautiful mural.
Sarah Robb, Mural Design Lead Artist
Sarah Jean Robb was raised in Davenport, Iowa. She received her BFA in Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design from Laguna College of Art & Design in Laguna Beach, CA. Sarah devoted nine years to her art career in California entering a variety of exhibits, creating murals and commissioned jobs. Still, the desire to rediscover her roots resulted in moving back to Davenport, IA sixteen years ago where she continues to pursue her passion and career as an artist. Since returning in 2006, she has been the Lead Artist for Mural Design with the QC Arts Metro Arts Summer Youth Program, a position she has been proud to occupy since 2007. Her love for large scale public art murals and working with the community has led to commissioned projects with The City of Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Child Abuse Council, Augustana College, Dress for Success, Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley, Schuetzen Park with German Heritage, and many more.
Under the direction of Annie Oldenburg, apprentices will learn the basics of graphic design using the Adobe suite. In 2021, apprentices created vinyl wraps for windows in Downtown Rock Island to showcase what sort of businesses they wanted to see more of in Downtown Rock Island. The 2022, design project will be similar, but is still being developed.
Annie Oldenburg, Graphic Design Lead Artist
Annie Oldenburg is a conceptual artist working with digital media to explore landscape and disruption. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay and her Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies from the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at Willamette University's Pacific Northwest College of Art. Since earning her degrees, Oldenburg has pursued her passion for pedagogy. She currently teaches studio art and digital media at Black Hawk College.
Oldenburg has exhibited her work in galleries nationwide, including Blue Sky in Oregon, 407 Gallery in Wisconsin, and Resonator in Oklahoma. When she isn't teaching or busy with art, you can find her traveling the country, playing disc golf, and hanging with her pups, Clover and Korra. For more information, or to view some of her recent projects, visit her website: https://www.anniethingart.com/
Apprentices will meet Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
*Friday, July 8 is the only Friday apprentices may be needed to make final touches on projects.*