Visiting Artists Anniversary

September  10, 2013

      A program designed to bring arts and culture to the Quad Cities is celebrating a milestone this year. Today Quad City Arts kicked off the 40th anniversary season of its Visiting Artists series.  It began with one visiting artist in 1974, and since then has grown to as many as 12 per year - including a variety of musicians, opera singers, flamenco dancers, sculptors, mimes, and a circus.

     Quad City Arts executive director, Carmen Darland, says the program has "brought the world here."

     "We teach history, geography, language, fashion - all through the power of the arts. The students also learn about motivation - one of the artists a couple of years ago told the kids she would never have gotten to college had it not been for her tuba, and all the hard work she put in being the best tuba player she could be."

     Board president, Mike Walker, says since 1974 more than 300 artists and ensembles have participated, and performed for more than 2 million people.

     "Although 90 % of that is students in the schools, and that's well-planned and very smart to do. The other 10 % is adults like us, including senior centers, public libraries, factory floors, corporate offices, a homeless shelter, and yes, even a prison."

     Leading off the 40th anniversary season of Visiting Artists is the Scottish folk group, the Battlefield Band. From Monday through this weekend it will perform for an estimated 6,000 people, including a public concert on Saturday.