Today, we got to partner with the Quad Cities Chamber and shine a light on the arts in our community at "AMp Up Morning Networking: Arts Help Create a Vibrant Community". Kevin Maynard, the executive director for Quad City Arts, passionately spoke about the value of supporting the arts in our community and how Quad City Arts has helped facilitate placemaking in our area. To sum it up, Kevin Maynard quotes, “Everyone wants to live in a cool place. Arts and culture is the ticket to get there!”
This past year, was a challenging year for all. We were operating in the unknown with a global pandemic and looking at civil unrest centering on racial equity. Thankfully, the team at Quad City Arts stepped up to that challenge. We launched programs and content that could serve a purpose in a post-pandemic Quad Cities, my board of directors expanded our board aimed at creating a board that better represented our community, we made key changes to increase equitable access to our programs, and we continue to do so.
We also started looking more at what we wanted Quad City Arts to be and what our role in placemaking was. It led to great things, some of which were seen in both Rock Island and Davenport for Alternating Currents.
Let’s start with education.
It is worth noting that studies in education surrounding the arts centers around students with a low-socio-economic status.
The arts are a powerful tool in and out of schools. Exposure to the arts, specifically the performing arts, has shown to increase empathy. It has also shown to increase understanding of other cultures and leads to acceptance of other cultures. It helps to better understand facial expressions and emotions. AND arts of all kinds continually shows to reduce stress.
Studies center around schools in low-socio-economic status areas, because well-funded schools all HAVE arts programming, because they know it’s value. Quad City Arts reaches area schools, and with the help or area educators we make a valuable impact on our community.
But the arts reaches far beyond health and education. Let’s talk business.
One of our favorite statistics:
So, what is happening locally?
Placemaking is taking a front and center position at the Chamber of Commerce and extensions of the chamber have already had success in placemaking.
This brings us to the final part. What can you do to support our creative community?
Thankfully, we live in a region that is doing more to prioritize public art and placemaking. Quad City Arts continues to partner with organizations throughout the area to make the Quad Cities become THE destination for culture and the ARTS.