The Quad Cities Community is as unique and eclectic as many large cities but with different geographical attributes. It serves as a cultural hub that is united by the Mississippi River. The diversity and distance is also the glue that binds the river towns and unites the region as an increased popular destination site. When seeking the pursuit of arts, culture and festive community events, one only has to take a short drive or cross the bridge that spans the only part of the river that flows East to West of the mighty Mississippi.

Art has been an integral part of creative placemaking and growth for the Quads and continues to show more promising blossoming as non-profits, small businesses and new annual events join seasoned tradition. Community dialogue has increased as the Quad Cities has integrated more public art to enhance business districts, improving the visual landscape and character and economically offers more opportunities for new and emerging artists.

The challenge the Quad Cities has endured for decades is its increased growth as a region while honoring each cities character and specific attributes. When local cities are competing for the same granting dollars and another may not be entitled to city block grants and or riverboat funds, the balance of equity and provisions seems unequal. However, when the collective cities are viewed as a whole, the Quads is a buffet of Arts, Culture, Entertainment and a vacation spot within a sixty mile radius in any direction.

The Quads may not be as glamourous as more notable Metropolitan cities, but is definitely becoming more open-minded, progressive and executing endeavors, campaigns and services that will one day make it the Arts and Cultural destination many creative members of the community believe it to be someday. One way to increase growth is by engaging more local businesses in the business of Art.

Some local businesses have already had increased exposure and prestige in terms of its products, services, and social responsibility by helping to build a vibrant community and in attracting and retaining talented and creative employees, contracting local artisans, participating in decorating with art and hosting art pop up shows, and taking advantage of the educational and entertainment value of the arts as a benefit for employees with social art painting events. The arts can benefit from a business alliance by assisting in marketing, increasing a wider audience, developing ways to transfer creativity from the arts to business and increase economic development efforts.

As more research provides validation of the benefits of art in our daily lives and for each sector of the community, we are seeing art as a foundation value for increasing not only the aesthetics in our lives, but the holistic healing, educational and economical potential for individuals and collective institutions. The Nature of Art is for expression, discovery, observance, and embellishment. Creativity in the Quads is growing. Soon I will be writing about the Eco Arts Council’s Action Plan that will provide a clearer understanding on how the implementation of Arts, Ecology and the marriage of the two identifies how individuals, schools, organizations and local government can serve as champions for increased sustainability, Eco-tourism and notoriety as an Arts and cultural destination.

Glorie Iaccarino is a Quad City native and Ambassador for the Arts. Her passion for creativity, advocacy and community is evident in the service she has provided over the last twenty five years in the QCA. Glorie has worked tirelessly for the cause and benefits of art and its integration with community building. Glorie has received local and international recognition for her life's work.