SINCE 1974, THE VISITING ARTIST SERIES Has MADE THE PERFORMING ARTS ACCESSIBLE BY BRINGING THE PROGRAM DIRECTLY TO SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY SITES. THE PROGRAM HAS BROUGHT MORE THAN 600 ARTISTS TO THE QUAD CITIES, 424 RESIDENCIES, 10,000 SCHOOL VISITS, 400 CONCERTS, AND REACHED OVER 2.6 MILLION PEOPLE in our community.
About The VISITING ARTIST SERIES
Since 1974, the Visiting Artist Series has engaged Quad City residents of all ages in quality arts experiences with professional performing artists. These unique outreaches serve students of all ages in both public and private schools and colleges, in urban, suburban, and rural districts in both eastern Iowa and western Illinois.
Visiting Artists can provide a variety of different performance formats and are listed below.
Visiting Artists can provide a variety of different performance formats and are listed below.
2023/2024 Visiting Artist Series Line-up
Pakistani American author
IN RESIDENCE JULY 10-12
Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author and interfaith activist. She writes the popular children’s early reader series “Yasmin” and other books for children, including chapter books, graphic novels, and picture books. Her middle grade novels include “A Place At The Table” co-written with Laura Shovan (a Sydney Taylor Notable 2021), “A Thousand Questions” (a South Asia Book Award Honor 2021) and “Yusuf Azeem Is Not A Hero”. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and children.
Native Pride Productions
Native American dance and music
IN RESIDENCE DEC. 4-9
Larry Yazzie is a Native American (Meskwaki/Dine) and charismatic performing artist, actor. He is also the founder of the Native Pride Dancers of Native Pride Productions based now in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry is also a Fancy, Northern Style Traditional, and Eagle dancer. Each of these styles of Native American Dance has a unique look and tells a beautiful story through movement and music. Larry shares stories and teaches about traditional Native American as well as contemporary styles of dance blended with traditional Native American and mainstream music during his solo and troupe performances.
Larry Yazzie is a proud member of the Meskwaki Nation in Central Iowa and is a respected member of the community. He is a two-time world champion Fancy dancer (Schemitzun Powwow) and has been awarded top honors at powwows across the United States and Canada.
Palestinian-American composer and multi- instrumentalist
IN RESIDENCE APRIL 15-20
Wanees Zarour is an award winning Palestinian-American composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist steeped in maqam and jazz music. He is a community leader who believes in creating an environment that is conducive to artistic expression and collective music making. Zarour directs the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, co-directs the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra, and leads 'East Loop,' a septet that explores the intersections between the maqam and jazz traditions.
Born into a family of musicians, Zarour started his Western classical training on the violin at the age of 7 at the Edward Said Conservatory of Music where he showed extraordinary talent and fast advancement in his musical education. A few years after, Zarour started his training in Maqam, Middle Eastern Repertoire, the Arab violin tradition and picked up the buzuq, a long-necked chordophone most common in the Levant region. Zarour is a virtuoso on the buzuq, in addition to playing the oud, violin and percussion.
IN RESIDENCE APRIL 29-MAY4
Kuniko Yamamoto enchants audiences of every age with dramatic storytelling using myths and fables from ancient and modern Japan, spiced with social revelations to educate and amuse. In Magical Mask, Music and Mime of Japan Kuniko uses traditional Japanese music, handcrafted masks, stylized movement, and a touch of magic to create an artistic balance of illusion and reality. For younger children, Origami Tales uses folded paper animals and faces, which come alive in folk tales. Every program encourages audience interaction and participation, with each narrative carefully selected for cultural and moral perspectives. Kuniko offers a variety of workshops including Math Lesson with Origami, Origami Cultural Connections and Visual Arts, Origami and Technology, Origami for Teachers, along with the Koto Green Tea Ceremony.
Singer, songwriter, and producer
IN RESIDENCE MAY 13-17
Originally from the island of O`ahu, Daniel Pak is a singer, songwriter, and producer residing in Seattle, Washington. As frontman for Kore Ionz (2008-2017), Pak shared the stage with reggae royalty, including The Wailers, Steel Pulse, and Toots and the Maytals. Performing as a solo artist since 2018, Pak has shared the stage with Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) and Sir Mix-a-Lot, and is currently working on new music with producers Eric Lilavois (My Chemical Romance), Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Soundgarden), and Thaddeus Turner (Digable Planets). Pak is also the co-founder and executive director of Totem Star, a nonprofit youth record label that for twelve years has supported the artistic development and mentorship of nearly 5,000 aspiring young recording artists in the greater Seattle area.
The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra
Southern big band
IN RESIDENCE NOV. 15-17
Meet your next two best friends – Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson, along with their fabulous big band! With a background in business management and entrepreneurship, Jeremy fervently curates musical arrangements with as diverse musical styles as Gospel to Great American songbook, Texas swing to Broadway, making The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra a big band show unlike any other. Jeremy is passionate about educating the next generation of musicians, specifically in areas of the music business.
Raised in a family of preachers, teachers and Folk/Southern Gospel singers, Clay was born to inspire and entertain. His passion for music performance has developed since childhood over thousands of concerts, musicals and shows on stages from L.A. to NYC, whether playing trombone at nearby elementary schools, crooning for assisted living facilities, or singing at festivals, arenas, or sold-out theaters.
MORE About The VISITING ARTIST SERIES
Create a school-wide learning experience about arts and culture. Hillcrest Elementary School said of Mexico Beyond Mariachi’s visit, “We were very pleased that the students were able to enjoy a little bit of Mexico and the history of different music. This was a very great experience for our students and staff! They were very engaged and happy to participate with the performers. They also learned Spanish!!”
∙Lecture/demonstrations about careers in the arts
Explore real-world applications for the performing arts. West Liberty Middle School said about DJ Dan Quinn, “The organization and presentation of the information to the students was excellent. Dan brought in the career aspect of a DJ to the students and also presented the history. His study guide and materials were very beneficial in getting the students ready for his presentation.”
∙Hands-on workshops with students
Dive into arts skills and techniques with a professional artist. United Township High School students participated in a theatre workshop with Broadway’s Next H!t Musical. “My students had a great time. It is important for them to see adults model free thinking, quick thinking, trusting your gut and not overthinking things, and laughing,” they said.
∙Skills demonstrations for arts students
Discover advanced arts skills and practical knowledge. Pleasant Valley High School students were visited by a Canadian jazz quartet, “The Allison Au Quartet were all wonderful educators and musicians. They did an excellent job of relating to the students and not talking over their heads. In addition, they were outstanding musicians who stayed after to answer several questions from our students. Good musicians and even better people. Thank you for bringing them in.”
Collaborate with a professional artist on a performance. The Rock Island High School Orchestra reflected on their experience performing side-by-side with Grammy-winning ensemble Turtle Island String Quartet, “Thank you so much for the opportunity to play on the concert with the Turtle Island String Quartet. It was an unbelievable experience for us all.”
Significant support for the Visiting Artist Series is provided by: Scott County Regional Authority, National Endowment for the Arts, Bechtel Charitable Trust, Regional Development Authority, Quad Cities Cultural Trust, Iowa Arts Council, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Quad Cities Community Foundation, Arts Midwest GIG Fund, Rock Island Community Foundation, Rauch Family Foundation I, Moline Kiwanis, Kiwanis Club of Davenport, Moline Rotary, Rock Island Rotary, and the Mary Iva Gittens Knouse Trust.
Quad City Arts Visiting Artist Series is the winner of the 1999 William Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence awarded by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. For 50 years, this nationally recognized performing arts residency program has brought distinguished artists and ensembles to Scott, Clinton, and Muscatine counties in Iowa, and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island county in Illinois.
Questions? Contact us!
Interested in learning more about our traditional Visiting Artist Series residency activities? Contact us. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for artists and collaborations.
margot g. day
Performing Arts Director
309.793.1213 ext. 106