Quad City Arts

Photo of Quad City Arts

Quad City Arts

[Music] [Music] so my name is kevin maynard a little bit about me is i actually went to school at western illinois university where my undergrad is in accounting and i have a master's in business administration with a focus in finance so at quad city arts we do a little bit of everything in the arts so we have obviously the gallery that we're recording this in today but we also have a gallery and the quad cities international airport we have a public sculpture program so many of the public sculptures that you see throughout the quad cities are our part of ours or we help facilitate their installation and their purchase in addition to that we have other programs like the chalk art festival that's going to be happening in downtown rock island we also have a festival of trees and festival trees is sort of a it's a big i mean it is the kickoff to the holiday season here in the quad cities it's also a big economic boon for the quad city region but for us most importantly it helps fund most of the things that we do so we are obviously very uh very happy with that event and the success of that event the great thing about about arts and culture and really just about an arts organization is that it really takes all kinds um you know my i guess my art uh would be understanding how the business aspect of things work and you know making sure that you know artists are able to get paid or that we're able to you know continue to do programming because we have the funding um that is a very important role and so without that i mean we could still have a lot of art and a lot of things happening in the quad cities but you know it doesn't create a good artist community but we also are finding that as uh like as aged like a in low in younger younger age brackets people are more focused on public art when they're choosing a place to live so when people you know in the the millennial and the gen z generation are looking for a place to live they're considering public art they want to be in a place that has art and that's you know that's murals that's sculptures and that's also performers in performing arts centers so that's why one of the big things we're doing here is we want to push more public garden to our community to get people like you to stay and to you know want to you know start your life here or start your business here but that's the other thing is that businesses so like creativity huge um fortune 500 companies list create lists creativity in their top three of what they're looking for so being able to have a creative population in the u.s is absolutely huge and that is created through the arts and through engaging with the arts so there's all sorts of other health benefits and tourism benefits but the more arctic community has it drives cultural tourism and cultural tourists spend nearly twice as much when they're visiting a community so that's why public art is important to the quad cities

[Music] do [Music] so my name is kevin maynard a little bit about me is i actually went to school at western illinois university where my undergrad is in accounting and i have a master's in business administration with a focus in finance i have always been very passionate about the arts and originally you know i was wanting to be an accountant and i realized that i think i'd be very i don't think i'd be very happy being just an accountant so i was able to find a position or a career that merged my passion for business as well as my passion for the arts which eventually led me here to quad city arts where i'm the executive director so at quad city arts we do a little bit of everything in the arts so we have obviously the gallery that we're recording this in today but we also have a gallery and the quad cities international airport we have a public sculpture program so many of the public sculptures that you see throughout the quad cities are our part of ours or we help facilitate their installation and their purchase we also have a visiting artist series where we put performing artists into the schools throughout the quad cities so in a given year over 30 000 students will see a visiting artist and be able to see a performance and for many of them that's the only performing arts they will see for an entire year so it's a very important program that we have in addition to that we have other programs like the chalk art festival that's going to be happening in downtown rock island we also have a festival of trees and festival trees is sort of a it's a big i mean it is the kickoff to the holiday season here in the quad cities uh it's also a big economic boon for the quad city region um but for us most importantly it helps fund most of the things that we do so we are obviously very uh very happy with that event and the success of that event i will give you like the the cliff notes version of like why the arts are important so uh arts and culture obviously like we love to look at it we love to experience it um but it does more for us than people realize so just by being in this gallery right now or just by going to see a show studies show that you are happier right now you are experiencing less anxiety and that is that is a big thing especially during the time of like you know coming out of a pandemic like there is some hesitancy there is some some anxiety learning how to reintegrate into society so that's huge a fun fact about myself is for whatever reason i am now training to run a marathon i love running like three to five miles like exhilarating uh the thought running 26 sounds terrible but whatever reason i've decided i want to know if i can do it so we're gonna we're gonna find out it'll be at september i think september 26th or right at the end of september there's the qc marathon so i decided that i'm gonna i'm gonna train for it so i knew about quad city arts uh for years because i am prior to well prior to this position i grew up in the quad cities well really just outside of the quad cities in geneseo illinois so i knew about festival of trees i knew a little bit about the programming at quad city arts but eventually my life would lead me to running the orpheum theater in galesburg illinois and since we were in you know booking performing artists we were working with some of the same artists that were coming to the quad cities to perform with with quad city arts somebody sent me a job posting for this position and said i think you'd be perfect for this and then obviously i did a a whole bunch of research and found out way more about quad city arts what makes the quad cities special to me is it's it's got that it has the amenities of a very large city but it has that small town feel so what i love about you know i live in rock island and i love that i know that i know my neighbors i talk with my neighbors and you know at the same time i also can enjoy a broadway show with the adler i can see great bands coming through at the tax layer center the rust belt there's just about everything uh there's there's everything like i have everything that i want right here in the quad cities especially when it comes to arts and culture because that's obviously very passionate uh very i'm very passionate about that some of the murals that a lot a lot of the murals that you see throughout the quad cities are actually facilitated um through us through various artists um or through our metro arts program so a lot of the murals you see are actually done by students who are ages 15 to 21. um and then obviously there is a there's you know some graffiti art and some different tagging that happens but i'm one of those people that i like we actually enjoy a lot of graffiti art i mean when you see stuff coming through on especially the trains right out here like there's some really great art out there and honestly if we could figure out how to tap into that and showcase that that's just another um just another avenue for the arts is there a program that you guys could start where they could do graffiti art here in a more organized manner so we've actually we've talked about a lot of different ideas on a way to do that um part of the difficulty with with most arts endeavors is um well it's twofold it's finding the right artist and then obviously it's funding so but yeah i think that there is there is an avenue to make that happen and i think that uh i would say eventually you will see a similar program to that stylistically we're starting to see different forms of art show up on walls especially like on our public streets a great example of that is the spiegel building in moline moline put out a call for an artist and they found an artist that they wanted to basically have the message of possibility and so the artist they found his name was brandon niece who is a local artist as well but he created something that is it's really impressive but it's very different stylistically than what we have in the quad cities and so what we're actually kind of starting to notice is that um stylistically more people want that style but they also want like large-scale murals so a lot of our murals that you see throughout the quad cities tend to be you know six to eight feet uh and down and then obviously like very wide a lot of retaining walls um underneath bridges that kind of stuff um which is great um and it's it's it's a lot of fun um the bigger biggest reason for it being so low is that well you don't have to rent a lift it's a lot easier to put kids on a ladder or some scaffolding versus you know a big boom lift but what i think is we're seeing that trend is that people want to see more large-scale stuff so they want to see you know the side of a building covered with a mural and i think that you'll see that soon we're part of the quad cities cultural trust which is a basically it's a funding mechanism for six partners um so we have a very close relationship with the trust but those other partners being the figgy river music experience uh city symphony the botanical center and the putnam so we have a good relationship with those arts and culture entities a very close relationship because of our partner status with the cultural trust but in addition to that i mean we try to work with a number of artists and other arts organizations because we believe in that that saying you know a rising tide raises all boats um that is very true in the arc so the more art that we can have in the quad cities the better the quad cities is and just the better the region is and so more opportunities for artists helps attract younger folks um so that is a so we do our best to try to keep in touch with all of those uh all those folks we also currently are working with kwqc to partner with them on their qc live show which happens every friday and to highlight local artists but also be able to showcase some of their artwork as well on that show i don't play an instrument um i i don't really draw or anything um i do occasionally act um it's been a while since i've been on the stage i mean years ago i did shows at play crafters barn theater as well as richmond hill barn theater and a couple other places locally and then honestly with work i just kind of took a hiatus from it so i would love to learn how to paint um but if you've ever ever just like picked up a brush like it's not that easy the great thing about about arts and culture and really just about an arts organization is that it really takes all kinds um you know my i guess my art uh would be understanding how the business aspect of things work and you know making sure that you know artists are able to get paid or that we're able to you know continue to do programming because we have the funding that is a very important role and so without that i mean we could still have a lot of art and a lot of things happening in the quad cities but you know it doesn't create a good artist community one of our biggest goals is that when anything happens in relation to the arts that that artist is getting paid because that is important that's how you grow a good community of good culture so the the gallery that we're standing in right now in the gallery at the quad cities international airport those we put out a call we use a service called cafe and so artists are typically looking to showcase their work and be able to sell their work so they find us that way but we're also trying to like advertise to them and let them know like hey show your cool stuff here but when it comes to specific projects we will also put out a call but sometimes you know it's a very particular style and so we might search out somebody for that in the same sense that when we do put our calls we do search out certain artists because we want to make sure that we're reaching a wide demographic of folks as far as like places to go in the quad cities i love running on the bike path and i love running in our downtowns because it takes you past a lot of public sculptures and a lot of murals and so there's always if i veer off my normal path i find a sculpture that i didn't know existed or a mural i didn't know existed and i you know try to try to tell people about that the figgy obviously is a is a fantastic attraction um really impressive building but also get some really great exhibits coming in i think in june they have a pop art exhibit which is going to be really fantastic that's my places to go to i guess for art words of advice for aspiring artists so one of the coolest things that i that we started during the pandemic that were that we have continued i will say we are on a break for the summer right now is i have have the pleasure of getting to interview artists on our artist interview series called seven with kevin and so it's on our youtube video it's on our uh facebook pages um but through that like i've learned a lot we always ask them like what's your piece of advice and almost consistently it comes down to create art uh practice look at art you like uh like listen to music you like and try to replicate that that's the way that that you get better at your skill is really just by doing it so my best advice is get out there and create art and find places to showcase your art it can be very daunting to you know put your put your artwork out there to be able to be seen on the walls but without that you can never really get better putting yourself out there for calls a lot of times you can get feedback um like our visual arts director don if you ask if you put in your artwork to to showcase and wanted some feedback she would tell you this is this is why you didn't get accepted this time around and it helps artists to be able to do a little bit better or to you know maybe just sometimes it's just taking better pictures of your of your work because that's a that's a skill in itself i had a friend who uh who saw the posting online read the description and was like this is you which i was very flattered by i always say i was very flattered and i was like i don't know if i shared that same thought but obviously i applied and and here i am but really what led me down the path of the arts is growing up i love performing i love being on the stage for the longest time i was going to school to be an actor and then really i didn't even get into college before i realized like oh i like acting as a hobby i don't know if i'm going to like it as much if it's where my food is coming from i also am very much a person who plans things out so not knowing where my next gig is going to be i think would cause me a lot of anxiety so i went did a 180 and started studying business because i happened to like math and numbers as well i was working for an arts presenting organization at western western illinois university and i was actually in my master's program and my uh mentor with that organization said to me that like basically made a comment that you know people do this in the real world like they book artists and i am almost afraid like a shame to say like it never occurred to me that like i could leave college and still like work with artists like in the arts like i was just like oh no now i go be an accountant this is what i do uh but that's really it it's like i i just kept involved with the arts and realized that eventually this is what i wanted to do was i have a passion for it and i wanted to be able to kind of move that along like move the arts forward and i'm happy to be able to do that right in the area that i grew up we are partnering with alternating current sound because we are bringing in a really cool and weird artist the group is called squonk opera the show that they will be doing is called hand to hand and it is a jam-band-esque group of musicians who create like really fantastic music but sort of the the catches that they have in this particular show uh giant hands that are on either side of the stage and we're talking like 20 plus feet high hands that are pneumatic and fully articulating uh so during alternating currents um for at the beginning of august you will be able you'll be driving down river drive in davenport and you will see these giant hands right right underneath the sky bridge they're good musicians um but just seeing the way that like they they articulate and move with these hands and incorporate the hands into the show uh it's like i can't even do it justice describing it it's just delightfully weird due to covid um we trying to figure out how to reopen and how to do things safely especially you know over the past year it's like what will be okay and so we settled that over the summer almost all of our events uh we decided we're going to be outside if we're doing a public event we're going to do it outside because that's the safest way to do things right now and we wanted something big and something weird and we both uh our performing arts director and i separately in life had met squonk or seen like talked with their agent and it just kind of sort of filed it away we neither we just didn't have the time or a venue to go where can we do this but this year was like we're doing all the outdoor stuff we want to do something big and weird so this is the time like let's bring in squonk so that's how we we reached out to them and then um basically through conversations i mean we um we like to partner with alternating currents for things in the past we definitely support having an arts festival in the quad cities and we found out when it was and we said hey we've got this group and we showed it to them they're like yes this is this is exactly what we want and that that's pretty much how that how that came to be so as an industry arts and culture took a massive hit across the u.s and really across the globe arts organizations were the first to close and we were the last to reopen and still well i guess last week various that yeah last week the state of illinois like we can finally have full capacities and audiences um most theaters are not though like they're still moving towards you know capacity limits and pots [Music] as an industry throughout for just 2020 or well i guess for the last year we are down over 52 percent um in revenue so that is that's huge and that's industry-wide so obviously there are there are varying degrees there so here in the quad cities um i mean we saw a complete stop for a little bit of art we did see some really creative things happen we saw a lot of people you know quickly make that shift online and figure out how to use zoom and facebook and other platforms to still get art out there so one of the coolest things that i think really happened during covet is it taught artists to better utilize their social media so we're seeing you know we always saw a lot of people selling art through their social media we're seeing that done more and i think done better and i think people are more successful at being able to market themselves on on social media and really their website so that's a that's a great positive that happened from it um but i mean arts industries arts uh arts organizations we are we're down on revenue we're down in performances and that's because we haven't been able to put people have been able to put butts in seats and put people into buildings and i think that right now especially you're going to start seeing a big shift i mean everything's coming back and everybody wants to do something right now so other aspects of the arts students especially when we start looking at socioeconomic status so the lower you are in the socioeconomic ladder like this plays a bigger percentage so students who experience art um and have art an arts-rich experience while they like every year while they're going to school are more likely to graduate from high school they are more likely to go to college and they're also more likely to go to college for things like becoming a doctor or a lawyer so it's not just like oh i'm going to go be an actor i'm going to go write poetry because that's what people think like oh well he's artistic so he's gonna go and you know become a poetry major and you're like no like a lot of these people like yes they become poetry majors they become artists but a lot of them are going they're being doctors they're being lawyers so they're doing a lot of like uh you know things that are sort of uh that you may not think that they would go towards uh the other things is that statistically uh they score higher about a hundred points higher on sats um if you're more involved with the arts as you grow older the more you do art specifically creating art or participating in art so like uh you know things like drink and draws like just going out and doing something like that or going to art galleries or going to see shows your brain for whatever reason helps push off dementia at that point by using art and that's like for our aging population that is huge so you know for parents and grandparents like they should be coloring they should be playing an instrument they should be dancing they should be going out and seeing art for younger demographics especially like especially public art is increasingly important because public art people want to visit places that have cool art i mean if you think of any place that you want to go visit or like that you like visiting i can almost guarantee you there is good public art there or there are performances happening in the performing arts center or in the bars but we also are finding that as uh like as aged like a in low in younger younger age brackets people are more focused on public art when they're choosing a place to live so when people you know in the the millennial and the gen z generation are looking for a place to live they're considering public art they want to be in a place that has art and that's you know that's murals that's sculptures and that's also performers and performing arts centers so that's why one of the big things we're doing here is we want to push more public art into our community to get people like you to stay and to you know want to you know start your life here or start your business here but that's the other thing is that businesses so like creativity huge um fortune 500 companies list create creativity in their top three of what they're looking for so being able to have a creative population in the us is absolutely huge and that is created through the arts and through engaging with the arts so there's all sorts of other health benefits um and tourism benefits but the more arctic community has it drives cultural tourism uh and cultural tourists spend nearly twice as much when they're visiting the community so that's why public art is important to the quad cities

Photo of Quad Cities Arts
Photo of Quad Cities Arts
Photo of Quad Cities Arts
Photo of Quad Cities Arts
Photo of Quad Cities Arts

Quad City Arts is all about bringing the QC community together through the arts. They serve more than 350,000 people every year! This is achieved through visiting artists that perform at schools so that children have access to the arts at no cost.

They organize sculpture making as well as the presentation of them throughout the QC. On top of that, they run a Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program that connects young adults (15-21) with paid opportunities in the field of art.

Make sure to watch the interviews for more information!

Located at: 1715 2nd Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

Have a question? Call today: 309-793-1213

Check out Quad City Art's Social Media:
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube
Twitter