What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?After a long time in quarantine, things are finally starting to open up, people are getting vaccinated, and things are looking up for our country, and the Quad-Cities!

That’s good news!

And every month, we bring YOU more good news! In conjunction with our partners at KWQC-TV6’s “Paula Sands Live,” we bring you What’s The Good News, a rundown of some of the positive things going on in our community.

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

Twenty-two performers (including 13 in the Q-C) are featured in the “New Beginnings” video.

So, what’s the good news for May? Let’s take a look…

New Theater Coming To Davenport!

A new theater experience, The Mockingbird On Main is coming to 320 N. Main St., in downtown Davenport!

The new performance venue kicked off its existence with NEW BEGINNINGS, a virtual cabaret, available for view online at the venue’s Facebook page. It’s continued with another virtual show, BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN, also available to view online.

The virtual cabaret features well known performers from the Quad Cities and performers from across the United States.

Follow Mockingbird On Main on Facebook here.

Mockingbird on Main performances are sponsored by QuadCities.com!

Rock Island’s Bookmobile Is Back!

With warmer weather and plans for summer outreach in the works, the Rock Island Library2Go mobile bookmobile will roll out a new What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?schedule starting Monday, May 3.

The days and times for Mobile Library stops stay the same: Three stops daily, Monday through Thursday, but some locations have changed.

Library2Go will also appear at the Saturday, May 22 Girl Scouts Imagination event at Hauberg Center, and will visit Spring Forward Learning Center summer learning camps in June and July.

The Rock Island Public Library Children’s Department plans to take advantage of the outdoor setting to offer “Summer2Go with Library2Go” events at area parks. For details, see the Library’s June and July events calendar.

The Mobile Library2Go vehicle extends community access to library materials, held items, return capabilities, library card signup or renewals, and free WIFI access, including ROCK fi homework hotspot connections for Rock Island/Milan school district students. The WIFI signal extends around the vehicle. Staff will bring items out to patrons, as onboard entry is still unavailable due to distance requirements.

For more news from the Rock Island Public Library, visit www.rockislandlibrary.org, follow the library on social media and YouTube, or call 309-732-7323 (READ.)

You can find out more HERE on QuadCities.com!

‘Hamilton’ Star Joining Quad City Symphony Orchestra

“Hamilton” star Renee Elise Goldsberry will perform May 15 with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra in LeClaire Park!

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

The QCSO pops concert with “Hamilton” co-star Renee Elise Goldsberry on May 15 has been moved to Davenport‘s LeClaire Park.

The beautiful 50-year-old California native — best known for originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway smash “Hamilton” – will make her post-Covid live performance debut in the 7:30 p.m. concert, for a long-awaited evening of Broadway, pop, and soul favorites, backed by the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s kind of mind-blowing,” Goldsberry said in a Friday phone interview, noting her entire 2020 pops tour schedule was scrapped due to Covid. “I’m really excited because this — I just can’t believe this exists, this opportunity. This is my first one back.”

First announced in early February 2020, the program was originally scheduled for the Adler Theatre, but was moved outside at the longtime home of the QCSO’s Riverfront Pops concerts.

Under the direction of QCSO music director and conductor Mark Russell Smith, the May 15 event will feature Goldsberry’s band, three female backup singers and selections from Broadway hits including “Hamilton,” “Rent,” and “The Lion King,” plus songs by Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, and more.

For more info, click here.

Local Gallery Exhibit Helping Children In Africa

The intertwined arts of photography, painting and filmmaking can produce a tide of emotion and giving in ways that simple words often cannot. That trio of talents are behind the latest exhibit at Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy, 2967 State St., Bettendorf.

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

Photographer and filmmaker Willie Herath during his November 2019 visit to Niger.

Pat Herath, executive director and founder of Moline-based Wells 4 Wellness, met this spring with Pat Beréskin, the gallery owner, artist, and teacher, who have been longtime friends. The two Pats agreed on an idea of taking photographer Willie Herath’s arresting images of natives in Niger, Africa and using them as inspiration for Bereskin’s advanced students to make pastel and acrylic portraits. Willie is Pat Herath’s son and a documentary filmmaker.

These 20-plus student portraits will be shown in a new gallery exhibit – “Wells of Inspiration” from May 4 to 27 — to help raise money for a well to be drilled at a school in Niamey, Africa, the capital city of the impoverished nation.

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

The Wells 4 Wellness backdrop for photos available at the May 7 reception.

These students in Niamey will finally have clean drinking water. With the funds raised, they will not only be putting in a well, but also a water tower, solar panel, and solar pump, according to Herath.

“When the thought of water comes up, we do not second-guess about it being clean and safe to drink,” she said recently. “However, those in Niger simply do not have that luxury. The luxury of water to them is a necessity to us.”

Wells 4 Wellness is a nonprofit organization the former nurse founded in 2010, which is committed to providing clean drinking water to the nation of Niger, in west-central Africa. It has raised about $7,000 toward its goal of $8,000 for the new well at the school in Niamey in Niger.

Fewer than half of Niger’s population of 20 million has access to clean water, and it’s estimated every one out of four children dies before the age of 5, according to Wells 4 Wellness.

The Bereskin Gallery will host a free reception on Friday, May 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to showcase the student portraits and Willie Herath’s Niger photos. The event will include packaged refreshments, a documentary from Wells 4 Wellness (“Bottom of the List”) and opportunities to donate to this school that needs water.

Figge Museum Awards Arts Scholarships

The Figge Art Museum, Davenport, has announced the 2021 recipients of the prestigious $12,000 Brand Boeshaar scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to students who wish to earn a degree in fine arts, graphic design, architecture or art education at a college or university.

The Figge Art Museum has awarded four new $12,000 art scholarships to three Davenport students and a Moline student. The Figge Art Museum is at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport.

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

The Figge Art Museum is at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport.

Davenport resident Lillian L. Brand established the Brand Boeshaar Scholarship in memory of her nephew, William Brand Boeshaar, an art student who attended St. Ambrose University. The four scholarships are each named after one of Lillian L. Brand’s family members. The 2021 scholarship recipients – who each receive $12,000 – are:

The Lillian L. Brand Scholarship:

Alondra Gomez, Homeschooled, Moline

The Isabelle M. Brand Scholarship:

Makayla Smith, Davenport Central High, Creative Arts Academy

The Lucille Brand Boeshaar Scholarship:

La Della Gallagher, Davenport Central, Creative Arts Academy

The William Brand Boeshaar Scholarship:

Hayden Intveld, Davenport Central, Creative Arts Academy

There were two honorable mentions: Hanna Litterer, Marquette Catholic School and Mya Diabira, Bettendorf High School, who received $500 each from the Don Heggen Memorial Scholarship Fund.

East Moline High School Students Take Part In Statewide Choir

Choir students at United Township High School in East Moline have orchestrated creative ways to make beautiful music together, despite the

What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?

Forty members of the Bradley Honor Choir combined with high school students across Illinois.

dissonant challenges of Covid-19.

A few weeks after an unusual, invitation-only concert in the new commons area at the school March 4, four select UT female choir members took part in a unique statewide virtual choir with the Bradley University (Peoria) Honor Choir.

As did about 40 other Illinois high schoolers (including eight from Orion), they individually recorded a video in late March of them singing their part to “Afternoon on a Hill” by Eric Barnum, and all the videos were seamlessly merged together.

“I thought the final product was better than I expected, just because our recordings – my personal recording I had to retake it a bunch of times,” UTHS senior Aftyn Morris said Monday. “It’s a different experience than singing altogether, but I think they did a really good job editing it all

together.”

To see the statewide virtual choir, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW_-ScwcOrU.

Recycle The Runway Benefits Dress For Success

Recycle The Runway — a “Project Runway” style fashion show which will be streamed virtually — is a must-see Quad Cities favorite, presented by Dress For Success. Before the designers are even chosen, volunteers fill giant bags full of random clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. and number them. Once the designers are selected, each one gets to come pick out a bag with no idea what is inside. The designers then have 6 weeks to craft a “runway-ready” outfit out of whatever they find in the bag!

Recycle the Runway 2021 will feature designs by Alexandra Chayer of The Shop Lema, Julia Page & Grace Olsen, Malina Lee of Odd Bettie’s, Becca Nicke & Red Perreze of Abernathy’s, and Kerry Lao & Kelly Lao.

Tickets start at $35, which includes access to the virtual event and an entry to our “Lexus for the Weekend” drawing!

And, you won’t want to miss the spectacular silent auction, which is live now!

100% of the night’s proceeds will go to providing free job-search assistance, group workshops, career coaching, and professional clothing for women in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois searching for employment, transitioning into a new industry, working to advance their careers, and interested in career and professional development resources.

For more information, click here.

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What's The Good News For May, Quad-Cities?
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.