Visit Quad Cities Launches Two New Art Experiences, QC Public Art Trail and QC Great Glass Hunt
Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), announced today the launch of two new and exciting experiences designed to highlight the creative energy of the Quad Cities. The new QC Public Art Trail (qcarttrail.com) and the QC Great Glass Hunt (qcglasshunt.com) will take you on a journey of discovery and to hidden treasure.
The QC Public Art Trail is a partnership between Visit Quad Cities and Quad City Arts. It uses a mobile-based platform to create a year-round trail that features temporary and permanent sculptures, murals, and galleries where you can purchase art in the Quad Cities. The QC Public Art Trail aims to introduce Quad Citizens and visitors to the fantastic array of public art projects that are essential to the QC experience. The trail also works as a repository for a complete list of public art in the QC. This is an ongoing project; locations will be updated and added throughout the year. Additionally, the trail links to the River Music Experience One Sound Project website where you can follow their trail to beautifully-painted pianos by local artists. Each piano is functional, and you are welcome to tickle the ivories.
“Public art and activating it within the region to amplify our distinct characteristics and values is a strategic driver for Visit Quad Cities,” said Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “The Public Art Trail is another opportunity to create tourism product in our regional destination and showcase our creativity.”
Anyone can sign up for the QC Public Art Trail for free at qcarttrail.com. Once registered, the trail will be instantly delivered to your smartphone via text and email and is ready to use immediately from your mobile device. You can also save the trail to your phone’s home screen for easy one-tap access. There is no app to download.
As you visit the various locations on the trail, you will gain access to specific check-in codes associated with the sculpture, mural, or gallery you are visiting. You must be at the location for the code to be revealed on your QC Public Art Trail platform. You then enter the code on your phone. It will automatically record the check-in and be saved in a database specific to your account. Those individuals with the most check-ins will be entered into a random drawing for a $500 Visa Gift Card to be given away on September 1, 2023. There is no time limit to complete the trail.
Visit Quad Cities used Bandwango to develop the trail, a travel technology-based platform designed to deliver digital access to places and experiences. Other trails that Visit Quad Cities has created using Bandwango include the QC Family Pass and QC Coffee Trail.
“The Quad Cities is filled with public art and there is more being added all the time,” said Kevin Maynard, Executive Director, Quad City Arts. “The QC Public Art Trail helps celebrate the incredible works of art that can be found in our community and gives everyone a starting point to truly experiencing what the QC has to offer. Quad City Arts is excited to continue to showcase the arts in the QC.”
Get ready to go on a treasure hunt. The QC Great Glass Hunt is a partnership between Visit Quad Cities and Hot Glass, Inc., a glass blowing studio and gallery in Davenport, Iowa. Participants can engage in this outdoor treasure hunt to find handblown glass floats hidden at specific parks in Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, and Rock Island.
Hot Glass has handblown 250 glass floats that are hidden at area parks; full details can be found at qcglasshunt.com. Now it’s up to you to find them.
Each float has a glass stopper with a QC emblem and QR Code sticker. Scan the QR code with your mobile device, and it takes you to the website at qcglasshunt.com, where you report your discovery. You will then enter your name, the park you found the float, and the number etched on your float. Each float has an individual engraved number (Example 5/250) to identify it. You can also post about your QC Glass Hunt experience and photos on Facebook at QC Glass Hunt.
A running tally of discovered floats will be reported on the website. People can collect as many floats as they can find. The treasure hunt does not end until all floats have been found. Plans are to repeat this project every year.
“Fishermen once used glass floats to keep their fishing nets and longline or droplines afloat. People would find these glass floats when they washed up on the shore. The QC Great Glass Hunt captures the spirit of finding a treasure,” said Joel Ryser, owner of Hot Glass Inc. “You will discover clear floats and colorful floats on your treasure hunting journey. The search is part of the fun. We are excited to partner with Visit Quad Cities on this first-of-a-kind project in the Quad Cities.”
According to Visit Quad Cities, similar float glass hunts have been popular in Lincoln City, Oregon; and Westport, Washington. Block Island’s glass hunt in Rhode Island, was featured on CBS News’s Sunday Morning show.
“The Quad Cities’ creative energy is exemplified by the artists that bring their creations to life through paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, murals, and handblown glass,” said Charlotte Doehler-Morrison, VP Marketing & Communications, Visit Quad Cities. “We are excited to partner with Quad City Arts and Hot Glass to bring these new experiences to Quad Citizens and our visitors. We also look forward to promoting these new in-destination experience through social media and advertising.”