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QCA art, live music events return this year

After many spring and summer events turned virtual in 2020, many are coming back this year and local art, music, and entertainment organizers are planning for their upcoming events.
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:36 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - After many spring and summer events turned virtual in 2020, many are coming back this year and local art, music, and entertainment organizers are planning for their upcoming events.

The Galva Arts Council announced the return of the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series.

“People just normally look forward to it but I think now after a year of not being able to do very much socially, it makes it even more exciting,” said John Taylor, the President of the event.

Virtual event opportunities were a great way to connect with audiences, but for some people, the authentic experience is hard to replicate.

“It’s really nice to feel like we’re doing something normal again for a change. We’ll still keep streaming different concerts over time, but to actually get to have audiences again and have that kind of energy, you just can’t get that when there’s no audience and you’re just throwing a video up,” said Jason Bates of the Levitt AMP Galva Music Series.

Taylor said the new permanent stage at Wiley Park should be finished by the start of the series.

“People are excited just about the fact that there’s a stage now. A permanent stage in the park and we’re going to start using it this summer,” he said.

Galva is one of 20 Levitt AMP sites in the country and with a population of roughly 2,600 people, it’s one of the smallest communities to receive the grant.

“For Galva to have this and be one of just 20 places in the country to have it, that’s pretty special,” Bates said.

Over in Rock Island, Quad City Arts is bringing back their annual Chalk Art Fest in June.

“We’re going to have live music, so that’s going to be part of the event. We’re going to have food vendors, food trucks, and a whole bunch of chalk,” said Karie Gilson, the Director of Development.

The event going virtual last year gave organizers time to reimagine something different for this year’s event.

“I think taking that year off and just really thinking about how you want the event to grow and what do you want it to look like in the future…[it] was a good advantage for us,” Gilson said.

Gilson said this year’s event will be held at Schwiebert Riverfront Park with plenty of space to social distance for the artists and attendees.

“Just giving artists the opportunity to showcase their work, to also get paid to do their work which has been, you know, not something they’ve been able to do for this past year, in many capacities so we’re excited that these artists are just able to be seen in the community and be able to get paid to do what they love,” she said.

Gilson said they’re planning to have other concerts with their visiting artist series coming up soon.

The return of the events is exciting for organizers and they’re looking forward to bringing it all together.

“Kids dancing and, you know, families there and just everyone having a good time smiling...Seeing the artist interacting with the audiences and just that dynamic there,” Taylor said, “It makes all the work worth it.”

The first performance of Galva’s music series is on May 30th.

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