.Quad City Arts is again collaborating with the Alternating Currents Festival in downtown Davenport Aug. 19-21 to present three events: performances by Squonk, two nights of Silent Disco, and public art project “Before I Die”.
After a successful 2021 Alternating Currents debut, Silent Disco will return to the Skybridge on Friday night and Saturday night from 9 PM to 11 PM. Come party on the Skybridge as three DJs battle it out. Attendees will be provided headphones and are able to switch between the DJs to enjoy a variety of music. It is a unique experience where you determine the music and you determine the volume. It’s easy to be social because there is no music to talk over. This is an 18+ event that requires an ID to participate. DJ’s include DollMiiite, Nozco, DJ Shane Brown, DJ Yesi, V3, and DJ Genesiis.
Progressive rock meets puppetry group Squonk, from Pittsburg, Pa., performed at last year’s Alternating Currents festival for two days. This year’s visit from Squonk expandeds the number of performances by the group to six, including evening performances with illumination. All performances will be Friday, Aug. 19, Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21, in downtown Davenport in the parking lot beneath the Skybridge.
Composer Jackie Dempsey and artist Steve O’Hearn work with an ensemble of 10-20 artists to create post-industrial performances with original music, design, and staging. Their current show, “Hand to Hand” is propelled by two giant puppet hands, each the size of a house and rigged like a sailing ship. The Squonkers, dwarfed by the hands, climb a multi-tiered stage. Squonk's original chamber rock drives a journey that is spectacular, plaintive, and comic. Audience members come together to grab the rigging, each individual powering a larger movement of giant fingers. For more information, visit https://squonk.org/hand-to-hand.
The show schedule for Squonk is as follows:
Friday, August 19 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 20 at 11:30 a.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m.
Sunday, August 21 at 1 p.m.
Each show is 1/2 hour long followed by a "backstage tour" for audience members. Backstage tours follow each performance and are coordinated and led by members of Squonk.
Don't forget to download the Alternating Currents App to stay updated with times and locations on all events and performances! DOWNLOAD THE APP HERE https://bit.ly/AC22APP
Quad City Arts is also placing two sets of Before I Die walls in the City of Davenport. One set in front of the Figge Art Museum and one in Kaiserslautern Square. Before I Die is a global participatory public art project that reimagines our relationship with death and with one another in the public realm. Originally created by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans after the death of a loved one, the public artwork invites people to reflect and share their personal aspirations in public. The Atlantic called it, “one of the most creative community projects ever.” People are encouraged to use the provided chalk to finish the statement, “Before I die I want to…” This interactive piece will change throughout the weekend and cause thought-provoking conversation.
All events are free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets required. Squonk and Before I Die is open to all ages, Silent Disco is an 18+ event.
Volunteers are needed in several roles to assist with these events. We will need people for multiple events and roles here: Load in/load out and daytime info tent/set chaperons for Squonk; set up/tear down, guest registration and headset distribution for Silent Disco.
The 2022 Quad City Arts Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program has wrapped up. This year the program provided over fifty area youth ages 15-21 with a five-week paid summer apprenticeship. These apprentices are created art that positively impacts our community. These projects included mural painting, graphic design, film, and poetry. These projects were made possible through generous support from Black Hawk College, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Modern Woodman of America, and Chris and Mary Rayburn.
Two new murals were completed in Davenport at the intersection of 4th and Pershing led by lead artists Sarah Robb and Heidi Sallows. These murals were designed by the apprentices who wanted to highlight the diversity in our communities. One mural depicts an indigenous person from the Sac and Fox tribal nation who once inhabited these lands. Imagery in the mural includes animals and vegetation that was important to the Sac and Fox people. The original design also featured a tattoo on the arm of the indigenous person, but after a conversation with Juaquin Hamilton the Historical Researcher with the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, it was removed. Hamilton appreciated the attention to detail in the mural overall, but explained the tattoo was the tribal symbol for a tribe in Oklahoma. He also explained that selecting another symbol would leave out some of the tribal nations that occupied these lands.
Across the street the other mural group used a different approach to highlight diversity and encourage interactivity. Wings were incorporated to encourage people to stop and interact with the mural, and if you look a little lower, the apprentices even included some for our furry friends. At first glance the mural looks to be made of random patterns, but a closer inspection will show this was well thought out. Each pattern represents a different culture through the fabrics that they wear.
In Rock Island, Modern Woodmen of America has a new mural outside of their Print Shop and Mail Distribution Office that highlights historical aspects of their history, as well as its relationship to Rock Island and the river. Apprentices were given a tour of the printshop including images of one of their oldest printers, the MWA logo, and the axe symbol. At a time when parades were more prevalent and more involved, MWA used to have a marching axe troupe to participate in parades.
The Graphic Design program, in partnership with Black Hawk College, met at the college with lead artist and BHC faculty member, Annie Oldenburg. The program teaches elements of graphic design and created a vinyl window art project. The project is intended to be installed on a building in Downtown RI later.
From the Graphic Design Group for the above image: "For our cityscape, we included buildings that are significant to the quad cities area and make the skyline as distinctive as it is, as well as including fictional buildings to inspire the growth of our cites in the future."
Notable buildings include: Wells Fargo building, the Figge, the botanical center, both the new and old Kone buildings, the skybridge, hotel Blackhawk, Peterson paper building, Quad Cities art building, as well as the John Deere home and Butterworth home.
From the Graphic Design Group for the above image: A link to the significance of all the figures and displays: Ghosts of the Past.
Poetry was led by emcee, poet, author, and educator, Aubrey “Aubs.” Barnes. Barnes most recently published book titled “It is Good, It is Written.” is available now. Apprentices learned how to write poetry and the many mechanisms used to do so, they also learned about poetry’s intersection with music and culture. Apprentices presented their work throughout the program at community sites including coffee shops and libraries.
Film was led by Jonathan Burnett an independent filmmaker and educator. Burnett is also the Creator, Director, and Lead Instructor of the Urban Exposure Independent Film Program through Azubuike African American Council for the Arts. This program taught students the basics of filmmaking culminating with the creation of a short film written and directed by the apprentices titled, Charlie.
Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines.
For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete projects that enhance the community through the arts. Participants learn the artistic techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.
This program allows young adults to build career and artistic skills, as they work under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Their mentors are accomplished, local artists who are passionate about teaching and encouraging creativity.