As the Executive Director of Quad City Arts, this probably does not come as a surprise, but in times of uncertainty, I look towards the art sector. It always reminds me of why I love the creative community.
Within 24 hours of large gatherings being cancelled putting the performing arts industry on hold, we had Broadways stars, touring musicians, and more taking to social media to provide an outlet so the show could go on or so the music didn’t die. As more time passed, we saw comprehensive lists of where we could see free concerts, free operas, art demonstrations, etc. As I said, we adapt.
This isn’t to say that industries outside of the arts are not adapting. It does however help highlight why studies done by Americans for the Arts shows that businesses list creativity as a top three trait for new hires. In these times we are seeing those creative types put forth some of their best work. Often for little more than to entertain people and help them pass some time or to teach them something new. It is truly inspiring.
So how is Quad City Arts adapting? We are using this time to tell our story like we never have before, and we are adapting our programs to fit the “new norm” whenever possible. At a time when we are asked to shelter-in-place to help flatten the curve, we are launching more digital content, like this new blog. We are also adapting our annual high school art show. In past years, we packed close to 300 people into our gallery to recognize young artists in the Quad Cities Area. This year, we are recording it for your viewing pleasure and launching the 43rd Annual High School Art Invitational entirely online.
We are also using this time to help support and enhance our arts community. By sharing the great things local artists are doing, and by encouraging everyone to use this time to create, we are helping to keep the arts alive, while maintaining appropriate social distance. To further encourage the creation of new art, we will be hosting a group show to highlight new works created during this time sometime in the future. We plan to present the show after this is all over. Stay tuned.
Adapting isn’t always easy, but we know it is necessary. I’m excited to see what other adaptations are ahead both for Quad City Arts and the arts sector as we whole.
Thank you for supporting us, supporting our team, and supporting the arts through these challenging times.
Kevin L. Maynard
Executive Director Quad City Arts