With social distancing and safety measures in place, the 2020 Quad City Arts’ Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program was still able to move forward, providing thirty area youth, ages 15-21, with five-week paid summer apprenticeships. These apprentices create arts projects that positively impact our community: a mural in Moline, Improv Comedy, and a mural in Rock Island.  These projects were made possible through support from the City of Rock Island, Friendship Manor, Modern Woodman of America, The Moline Foundation, and Renew Moline.

Quad City Arts Metro Arts Bringing Awesome Murals To The AreaThe mural in Moline is underway and located in the courtyard at 1516 6th Avenue on the wall of Bajas Classy Resale. This project is under the direction of Lead Artist Sarah Robb. It is the first ever Metro Arts project in the City of Moline and was supported by Renew Moline and The Moline Foundation. Specifically, The Tom and Karen Getz Memorial Fund was established at The Moline Foundation to support and promote civic pride, youth development and the arts. Tom and Karen served and led innumerable community organizations with energy, commitment, and heart.

“This collaborative mural project exemplifies and honors the legacy of these two truly remarkable community leaders”, Paul Plagenz, President and CEO, Moline Foundation.

Improv comedy meets daily at Schwiebert Park in Rock Island and is led by Lead Artist, Erin Mahr.  Normally, the improv group travels to libraries, coffee shops, and other venues to perform, but this year that has not been an option.

Quad City Arts Metro Arts Bringing Awesome Murals To The AreaHowever, with Illinois entering phase 4 and as more of Iowa continues to open, some performances may happen soon.

The mural in Rock Island is located on the Friendship Manor maintenance building at 11th Street and 21st Avenue. This project is also under the direction of Lead Artist Sarah Robb.  Jeff Condit with Friendship Manor is excited to have Sarah lead this project as she also led the successful mural project inside Friendship Manor in 2019. The project is split into two groups due to the size of the mural. The second mural group will start two-weeks after the first group finishes.

This year’s program started on June 8 and will be completed on July 9, apart from the second Rock Island group.

Quad City Arts Metro Arts Bringing Awesome Murals To The AreaTraditionally the program ends with a live showcase, but this year it will go virtual. On July 9 at 7 PM, Quad City Arts’ newest series, 7 with Kevin Live, will feature the Metro Arts apprentices and talk about this year’s projects.

 About the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship Program

Since the summer of 2000, Metro Arts has provided area youth 15-21 years old with paid summer apprenticeships in various arts disciplines. For five weeks, area youth work together in groups to complete projects that enhance the community through the arts. Participants learn the artistic techniques and applications of their genre while developing personally and professionally.

This program allows young adults to develop new career and artistic skills, build self-confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment as they work under the supervision and mentorship of professional artists. Their mentors are accomplished, local artists who are passionate about teaching and encouraging creativity.



Quad City Arts Metro Arts Bringing Awesome Murals To The Area
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.