For over 46 years, dancers, actors, singers, musicians, and authors have traveled from across the United States—and occasionally from across the world—for a week in residence with Quad City Arts through our longstanding Visiting Artist Series program. The resulting performances reach tens of thousands of students each season.
When coronavirus precautions made it impossible for artists to visit students in person, we decided to bring the artists, their talents, their performances to students through a multimedia collection: The Visiting Artist Series Educational Resources project. The website offers content from professional artists and ensembles, including brief demonstration videos, study guides, workshop-style videos, and more, all coordinated by Quad City Arts. Each video is subtitled in English and Spanish, allowing a broad audience to access our Educational Resources. This collection of resources stands in for the planned in-person educational residency activities for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021.
Many of the artists included in the Educational Resources site were originally scheduled for an in-person residency in the Quad Cities for this season of the Visiting Artist Series.
The series’ change from in-person residency activities to an online resource center for teachers and parents is not only safe for everyone involved, it allows our artists in residence to present brief videos or documents that complement the classroom curriculum, and it broadens access.
In a typical season, we serve schools in over a dozen districts in both Iowa and Illinois. For our 2019-2020 season, we served 14 districts, which is a high point for us. The limit on serving more districts and more schools, more students, has always been about the logistics of getting artists to area schools within the constraints of the daily school schedule.
The series is no longer limited to performances in a school space during class hours; this exclusive content from 11+ artists is available to students at any school in the area at any time.
Now that we are moving to an online model, the series is accessible to wherever students and the internet are -- public and private schools, homeschooling groups, even non-traditional schooling sites like detention centers and hospitals. Teachers, students, and parents can access performing artists' resources on any device connected to the internet, anytime, anywhere.
Another benefit of this model is that schools can access all of the artists instead of picking to host just one or two for their students. The entire season of artists “in residence” with the Visiting Artist Series is available, from musicians to actors, dancers to storytellers.
We hope that you will find something enlightening and delightful in the work of these artists and welcome your feedback. Enjoy!
Since its beginning in 1974, the Visiting Artist Series has always been a unique cultural asset in the Quad Cities. The 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 master classes at preK sites, elementary, intermediate, and high schools as well as college campuses and community organizations.