Downtown Rock Island awarded a $267k grant for Arts Alley

Quad Cities officials predict the grant will lead to economic growth opportunities in and around Arts Alley.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Downtown Rock Island has been awarded a $267,181grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The money will go towards giving the Arts Alley a major facelift.

Some of the proposed additions include professional murals, spaces for live performances, and interactive art installations. Quad city officials predict the renovated arts alley will lead to economic growth opportunities.

“The arts help drive tourism. It helps drive businesses into our community and helps drive visitors as well,” said Kevin Maynard, executive director of Quad City Arts. “People go out of their way to see public art. Studies continue to show that over 68% of tourism is driven by art. I’ll also like to point out that cultural tourists spend nearly twice as much money when visiting a community.”

“What we are wanting to do with this project is really take it to the next level and create a tourist attraction, a destination for the Quad Cities, and beyond,” said Jack Cullen, director of Downtown Rock Island. “We believe the new designs, coupled with the plans to program this space, really have the capability to do just that, and to turn it into a true tourist attraction and destination for the community.”

Upon final review and approval by the Rock Island City Council, the project is expected to begin this fall and finish in 2023.

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