We’re headed into fall, and there’s plenty of good news to report around the Quad-Cities, even in the midst of a challenging year. And every month, QuadCities.com and KWQC-TV6’s Paula Sands Live team up to give you What’s The Good News, Quad-Cities? It’s a fun look around at some of the positive things going on in our community.

Here’s the good news for September 2020:

Pupper Of The Week And It’s Caturday

With so much negativity around the world, QuadCities.com is trying to bring as much positive news and good vibes to the area media as possible.

Along those lines, QuadCities.com debuted two new features, Pupper of the Week and It’s Caturday, last month. Every Tuesday, we feature a little bio and some pics of a good doggo. And every Saturday we’ll be featuring a bio and pics of a cat. It’s just a little lighthearted fun and joviality to get the week and your Tuesday started off on a good foot, or paw.

Want to see your dog or cat featured? Just send a picture of your pet with their name, your name, and a sentence or two about them and we’ll post their pic and story on QuadCities.com.

Message your doggo and catto pics and info to Sean@QuadCities.com. And get ready to check out some cool pets on your site for fun, free, local entertainment and features, QuadCities.com!

Circa opening back up

Returning with the venue’s first mainstage production since theatres everywhere closed in mid-March, Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse is ready to bring audiences loads of long-awaited laughs and warmth with the Quad City premiere of THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY. Playing through Nov. 7, this new hilarious and heartwarming comedy is written by the authors of such previous Circa ’21 hits as “The Dixie Swim Club” and “Mama Won’t Fly” and is being presented by a first-class cast of professional actors.

Sarah Hayes, Shelley Walljasper, Sherry Konjura, Kim Kurtenbach

THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY will be presented on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays evenings at 7:45 p.m.,  Sundays at 5:45 p.m., and Wednesday matinées at 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $55.05 for the evening productions and $48.23 for the matinées.

Due to the Phase 4 rules of Restore Illinois, capacity for each performance THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY is limited to only 50 people in the 330 seat venue. Plated dinners will be served in lieu of the traditional buffet. For the safety of guests and staff members, temperatures will be taken when patrons arrive and face masks must be worn to enter the theatre, when interacting with the staff and whenever guests are away from their tables.

Reservations are available through the Circa ’21 ticket office. For reservations, contact the theatre at 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island or by calling 309-786-7733 ext. 2. Online reservations are not available at the present time, though more information on all venue events and procedures is available at Circa21.com.

After a hot yoga class brings four “women of a certain age” together at the start of THE SAVANNAH SIPPING SOCIETY, the ladies decide their sassy humor and Southern charms are better suited for solving life’s problems over cocktails. Over the course of six months and many hilarious misadventures, these ladies successfully bond and find the confidence to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve all but lost over the

Sarah Hayes, Shelley Walljasper, Sherry Konjura, Kim Kurtenbach

years. Together, they discover lasting friendships and a renewed determination to live in the moment and most importantly, they realize it’s never too late to make new friends.

Rock Island Library Helping With Remote Learning

Many parents around the area are frustrated with the limitations and parameters of online learning for their children, but now Rock Island Public Library is offering a number of virtual programs to help kids learn and parents restore their peace of mind.

Recurring children’s events include virtual online storytimes for ages 5 and under on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 am; Read with Ranell, which features a chapter book reading for ages six and up on Wednesdays at noon; and Children’s Book Talks/New Book Unboxing on Fridays at 10:30 am, offering books of interest to ages 6 though 12. All of these are offered via Facebook Live, and do not require registration.

On Friday, September 11, the Mobile Library2Go offers a Park’n Craft event from 11:30 to 12:30 pm at its stop in Lincoln Park, Rock Island. To participate, sign up for the craft via the library calendar, then visit the Mobile Library at the Lincoln Park stop. Participants will need to bring scissors and glue, with other supplies included in the kit. The craft is for all ages, and children must be accompanied by a guardian.

Parents can also sign their two-to-five-year-olds up for a Hug-A-Book: PLAY take-home “event” kit.  The kit contains a bingo sheet of outdoor activities and reading for families to do together at home, a book to keep, and more tips for supporting early learning. Registered participants may pick up their kits from September 21 through 26 at Rock Public Library locations or via Curbside by appointment. The Learning Through Play event is presented by the Rock Island Public Library, the Child Abuse Council, All Our Kids Early Childhood Network, and the Merrill Harris Hug-A-Book Fund of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation.

To register for events, and see other programs for children and families, visit the library’s online calendar, call 309-732-7360.

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.)

Rock Island Schools Helping To Feed Kids In Need

Rock Island Schools have been diligently helping kids and families in need during this time of covid and remote learning, offering free meal kits and plans for parents to pick up since the schools first shut down in spring.

In a time when people are struggling financially due to so many shutdowns and decreases in business, it’s awesome that the community and school district has continued to be considerate of that and offered this program so area kids in need are able to continue to get help with meals.

Quad City Arts Celebrating 50th Anniversary

This fall, Quad City Arts is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, dedicated to enriching the quality of life in the Quad City region through the arts.

Looking back at the impact, the Quad-Cities would not be the Quad-Cities without Quad City Arts.

​Founded in August 1970 as Quad City Arts Council, we are a nonprofit arts organization serving a six-county area in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. We are passionate about the growth and vitality of the Q-C region through the arts and for the past 50 years, have been committed to making quality arts education accessible to everyone through arts opportunities, programming, and community events.

Among hallmarks of Quad City Arts is the Visiting Artist Series, which started in 1974 – to present multi-disciplinary performing arts residencies in schools and community sites — and has brought us more than 600 artists, 424 residencies, 10,000 school visits, 400 concerts, and over 2.6 million people reached. In 2019 alone, the series impacted 24,649 K-12 students.  The Festival of Trees launched in 1986, and has served as the primary fundraiser for Quad City Arts since its inception, bringing together 3,000 volunteers each year to put on 11 days of events (including a 98-member steering committee).

The Visiting Artist Series, Festival of Trees and Quad City Arts Council officially merged into one entity in 1988.

Acting on an urban renewal opportunity in 1990, Quad City Arts began the renovation of a former department store for its offices and gallery space that became the cornerstone project in the revitalization of Rock Island’s downtown, The Arts & Entertainment District. The Quad City Arts Center Gallery has been central to the organization for 27 years offering more than 2,500 square feet of space showcasing some of the most unique artwork in the area.

This popular space is frequently used for informal musical and literary performances and for special community group meetings.

Quad City Arts has expanded its programs over the years, beginning with the annual High School Art Invitational in 1977; the Arts Dollars grant program in 1979; the Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship program and Art at the Airport in 2000; and the Public Sculpture Program s in 2008. Chalk Art Fest started in 2017, and this year, we started taking over some of MidCoast Fine Arts programming (since that nonprofit disbanded in the spring), including Riverssance Festival of Fine Art and the High School Pastel Competition. While those did not occur this year, we do plan to continue them in 2021.

In 2019, through all its public programs (including visiting artists, concerts, exhibits, and Festival of Trees), Quad City Arts attracted a total of over 304,000 people, displayed the work of 266 artist and re-granted over $90,000 to individual artists and organizations in support of community arts projects.

“In the cultural structure of the Quad-Cities, the institutions like the Putnam, Figge and Symphony are the bricks; however, Quad City Arts is the mortar,” recent board president and longtime volunteer Chris Rayburn said. “Quad City Arts is the glue that connects the arts with the community.  It is less visible than the ‘bricks,’ but it is everywhere, and it is every bit as essential.”

For the full story, visit: https://www.quadcityarts.com/blog/quad-city-arts-celebrates-50-years-serving-the-community.

Quad City Music Academy Coming To Life

Hannah Holman has a dream and it’s tantalizingly close to coming true.

The passionate principal cellist for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra – of which she’s been a member since 2001 – has spent years planning and forming the Quad City Music Academy, which is now a registered nonprofit organization with an accomplished local board of directors and faculty of more than a dozen stellar musicians from across the country.

Hannah Holman

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the QCMA plans to start online Sept. 8, “to provide an inclusive home for high quality music instruction, performance and collaboration in the Quad-Cities community.” Its vision is to “enrich and enhance the cultural and social fabric of our community through music.”

Holman has tapped her vast network of contacts to assemble a deep, qualified team for QCMA – which aims to offer instruction to all students, regardless of their financial means.

“This is really inspiring,” she said. “I feel like all these angels fall into my path to inspire me to keep moving forward with this.”

Last summer, she taught at Harmony Music School in Cedar Rapids, which used the internationally renowned El Sistema program (offering daily classes for free), which she plans for QCMA.

“Under the same beautiful, inspiring building, or online, everybody can come together,” Holman said. “One of my dreams is that there’s more opportunities for people to get to talk to each other and work together through music.”

El Sistema focuses on free lessons and building life skills through music.

For more information on the new school, visit quadcitymusicacademy.org. For tickets to the QCSO, call 563-322-7276 or visit qcso.org.

Galesburg Holding Virtual Walk For Huntington’s

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) Illinois Chapter will be hosting the Galesburg Virtual Team Hope Walk on Sunday, October 4.

Team Hope is HDSA’s largest national grassroots fundraising event. Thousands of families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and communities walk together each year to support HDSA’s fight to improve the lives of people affected by Huntington’s disease (HD) and their families.

A virtual walk is a real walk, but on your terms: You get to choose your own course, you can walk in your driveway, neighborhood, in your house and even on treadmill! HD is a fatal genetic disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain. In Illinois, the total HD population is more than 12,000. For more information, see http://illinois.hdsa.org/about/2020-galesburg-team-hope-walk

Figge Welcoming Back Living Proof Exhibit

The Figge Art Museum will welcome back Living Proof Exhibit, a nonprofit organization that provides the therapeutic benefits of the arts to people impacted by cancer, for its annual exhibition of cancer survivor art. Because of an elevator outage at the museum, the opening of the exhibit has been pushed back to Saturday, Sept. 26, from Sept. 10.

Living Proof Exhibit: A Visualization of Hope will be displayed in the museum’s second-floor Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery and includes works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, cold wax, watercolor, ceramic, assemblage, acrylic and oil paintings created by 24 cancer survivors within a 200-mile radius of the Quad-Cities area.

“This year, people impacted by cancer have had to cope with the additional stress of the pandemic,” said Living Proof Exhibit executive director Pamela Crouch. “We have continued to provide ways to help people reduce this stress through the arts and this exhibition shows the inner strength of our cancer survivor artists and the hope that exists for them beyond cancer.”

​Two free virtual companion events celebrating the artists on view will be taking place on Thursday, Sept. 24 and October 1. Registration is required at www.figgeartmuseum.org, but both events are free with registration.

“As Living Proof Exhibit celebrates 10 years of existence, the Figge is proud once again to host this exhibition that continually brings with it feelings of healing, happiness and hope to so many in our community,” said Figge director of education Melissa Mohr. “Now more than ever, Living Proof Exhibit’s message is crucial for us to remember—that even during dark and uncertain times, we can look to the therapeutic and healing potential of art to help us through.”

Sponsored by Royal Neighbors of America and The Iowa Cancer Consortium, Living Proof Exhibit: A Visualization of Hope will be on view at the Figge (225 W. 2nd St., Davenport) through Dec. 6, 2020.

Living Proof will hold its annual fundraiser, Flourish, in a free, virtual format on Facebook Live at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. You can register at www.livingproofexhibit.org/flourish.

Davenport Public Library Offering Women’s Suffrage Program

Davenport Public Library is teaming up with Hoover’s Presidential Library to offer a program on the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage

The Davenport Public Library is pleased to partner with the Hoover Museum and Presidential Library for this live webinar! This event is part of the 3rd Thursdays at Hoover’s Presidential Library & Museum series. Join us as we explore the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage movement on Thursday, September 17th at 6:00 pm. To register for the event, please visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/5515970772587/WN_O2s1P7_DTyWvrLgczHpbug

This year, 2020, marks the Centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which enfranchised millions of American women. This program will discuss the history of the suffrage movement, including its controversies, Iowans’ roles, and its impact. Presented by Dr. Karen M. Kedrowski, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University.

Keep up with our virtual programming on our Virtual Branch Calendar of Events at https://davenportlibrary.libcal.com/calendar/virtual.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.davenportlibrary.com or call the library at (563) 326-7832.

Have some good news you’d like to share?

You can always email it to me at Sean@QuadCities.com! We look forward to sharing YOUR good news!

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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.