You might have seen a new face around the office recently as we've welcomed a new Festival of Trees Administrator! Katie Padavich has been part of facility decor for Festival of Trees for two years so we feel like she's already part of the team. She's been hitting the ground running and there's nothing she's afraid to take on. We love her can-do attitude and we can't wait to see her vision of Festival come to life. If you see Katie around, give her a high-five, she's doing a fantastic job! Get to know more about Katie in our questionnaire below.
Are you a Quad Cities native?
Yes, born and raised in the corn fields of Illinois. Edgington was my home for most of my childhood. Graduated from Rockridge High School in 2001
What brought you to the Quad Cities?
Moved to Davenport in Jan 2002 to attend college at Marycrest International University on a softball scholarship.
What is your biggest achievement/goal/moment of success to date – personal or professional?
I own my own business, Mississippi Marketplace in Davenport since 2018, which is a thriving 19,000 sq foot indoor flea market. I'm a stepmother of 2 amazing kids, Kayla Padavich 19 yrs old, and Cole Padavich 22 yrs old. I'm married to Jason Padavich since 2017.
How did you first learn about Quad City Arts?
My friend Lori Byrd brought me to Festival of Trees two years ago to chair décor with her and at that time I learned of Quad City Arts and all the fun they bring to the Quad Cities through so many events like Chalk Art Fest, Riverssance, Visiting Artist Series and of course the biggest one of all, Festival of Trees!
What are you most excited for in your role at Quad City Arts?
Creating an amazing event, Festival of Trees, that includes art, community, and fun--- that also funds all the amazing programs at Quad City Arts. It is really the impact on the community that drives me. The awe and wonder of Festival of Trees, but also being able to offer creativity in local artists that they may not know is available. Being just a small part of a huge overall goal and community building event is such an honor.
What is your favorite arts experience in the Quad Cities?
Festival of Trees of course!
What is your favorite arts experience outside of the Quad Cities?
I focus a lot on baseball events, I would consider those art experiences because they're completely immersive! It's amazing watching people in their element, doing what they do BEST!
Who is your favorite artist? (This can be any artist – visual, performing, etc.)
Dick Van Dyke – he is a creative legend, actor, entertainer, and comedian. When I think about him I have to smile. When I watched him as a child in the moment I knew that everything would be okay, he brings me comfort.
What is one thing that might surprise people about you?
I did ultimate fighting at Stars and Stripes in my early 20s and trained at a small gym in downtown Rock Island. I did this to stay in shape for the upcoming softball season. In my mid 30s I found a large passion for being in front of the camera. I am published in 5 small fashion magazines.
What are you currently watching on Netflix or TV?
Finally broke down and watching Yellowstone, just finished Peaky Blinders
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Where is the best pizza in the Quad Cities (or where you are from)?
I really like Happy Joes BLT pizza, it is my absolute favorite. But Casey's Taco pizza is a close second. I know that a lot of Quad Citians would not consider either of those a Quad City style pizza but I don’t care, my heart lies with Happy Joes. I am a huge wing fan. Traditional wings with buffalo sauce, everywhere I go… if they have good wings that is what I am getting.
What is your favorite book?
Podcast about sports history, reading makes me sleepy!
Where is your go-to place for inspiration?
My Lolli, she is the best source of confidence and support. Lolli never lets me forget all that I have accomplished and all that I still can accomplish. Lolli is like my second mom, she took me in after my mom passed.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
To be honest I live my dreams every single day, I am a small business owner which allows me to impact my community in positive ways and now I have a position with Festival of Trees that lets me do the same! I consider myself lucky to have two positions that I truly choose to do every day.
If you could have a drink with any artist living or dead, who would it be?
Dolly Parton – I feel she would give me an honest perspective on the goods and bads of fame, and how she as survived all aspects of her life. She's an incredible philanthropist and a constant do-gooder! She inspires me!