© 2015 Quad Cities CVB
1601 River Drive, Suite 110
Moline, Illinois 61265
Quad Cities – Whether it’s the soothing sounds of the symphony or the applause of a standing ovation at a theatre or the excitement of a live concert, visitors can’t miss the continuous performing and visual arts opportunities in the Quad Cities area. According to a study done in 2004, the Quad Cities as a region ranks above the national average on things to do after 5 p.m.
Joined by the Mississippi River, Moline/East Moline and Rock Island are the riverfront cities in Illinois, and Bettendorf and Davenport make up the cities on the Iowa side of the river. Together, these cities and the surrounding communities make up the Quad Cities.
Also Experience Quad Cities is a new comprehensive organization representing the many arts, cultural and heritage organizations in the area. The new website at www.experiencequadcities.com offers a specific calendar of events, travel itineraries, packages, and information about local literary, visual, and performing arts, museums, and history and heritage attractions.
The Quad City Symphony Orchestra was one of the first orchestras established west of the Mississippi River. It has enjoyed almost 100 years of performances and visiting soloists. The symphony traditionally begins their concert season in September with a Pops Concert on the Davenport riverfront. The regular concert season performances are the first weekends in October through April. They perform at the historic Adler Theatre in downtown Davenport, Iowa, and at Centennial Hall in Rock Island, Illinois.
In November 2006, the Adler Theatre was renovated to significantly enlarge the stage, enhance the sound system, install a new freight elevator allowing easy access of equipment and stage sets, and improve the lighting and rigging capabilities. Ultimately, the renovation project allows the Adler Theatre bring in more performing groups who require such accommodations, such as their Broadway series.
Ballet Quad Cities is one such group that regularly uses the Adler Theatre as their performance venue. Ballet Quad Cities is the only professional ballet company in all of Iowa and western Illinois and has company dancers from throughout the U.S., Canada, and Cuba. Throughout the year, they perform in February, April, Ballet Under the Stars in June, October, and The Nutcracker during the holidays.The Quad City Music Guild kicks up its heels with an over 60-year tradition of performing Broadway musicals in the Prospect Park Auditorium in Moline, Illinois. Quad City Music Guild has provided the excitement of live theater exclusively using Quad Cities’ area performers. Through the years thousands of area residents have been involved in the productions, some for a single show, others for a season or several years, and real veterans for decades. They perform different shows in March, June, July, August, and December.
Playcrafters Barn Theatre features quality community theatrical productions in a newly-renovated theatre that actually used to be a barn. Begun in 1929, they present comedic, dramatic, and musical presentations year-round.
New Ground Theatre offers a four-show season and youth theatre classes. The Village Theatre, New Ground’s new home, in the Village of East Davenport is also a performing venue for several other local theatre companies.
Another place to visit for great theater throughout the year is Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse in downtown Rock Island, Illinois. This historic building has lavishly carved walls and ceilings that have placed it on the National Register of Historic Places. When founder Dennis Hitchcock bought the building, he saved it from being demolished and turned into a parking lot. Now the building has been refurbished to look as it did in 1921 when it opened as the Fort Armstrong movie theater. This professional dinner theatre is one of only two left in the country with performing wait staff.
Circa ’21 is located in The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, known locally as “The District.” Located on the Mississippi River, The District is a revitalized vibrant and dynamic area of artist galleries and studios, restaurants for every taste, a microbrew pub, coffee shops, nightclubs, the Quad City Botanical Center, unique shops, and the Holiday Inn. All are within walking distance in downtown Rock Island, Illinois. Held throughout the year are The District's popular “Gallery Hops!” where the many downtown art galleries and studios bring in artists for demonstrations and hold special sales and themed events.
Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse has opened a new multi-use entertainment facility next door called The Speakeasy. The Speakeasy seats 130 people for events and includes a full stage, professional lighting and sound, and AV equipment. They’ve hosted national stand-up comedians, concerts, comedy improv shows, and private functions.
ComedySportz Quad Cities is now at the new Establishment Theatre in downtown Rock Island, Ill. The simplest suggestions, yelled out from the audience, become some of the funniest moments on stage. ComedySportz is a collection of comedy clubs throughout the U.S. that use the same format of competitive, interactive, fast-paced comedy appropriate for all ages. Every scene and game performed is based off suggestions from the audience! They have shows on Friday and Saturday nights. The theatre is available for rental, and also periodically hosts other performances.
Another landmark in The District is Quad City Arts. Their gallery showcases a variety of work from local visual artists. There is also a gift shop to buy local artists’ work. Throughout the year, they bring in Visiting Artists to perform in schools, workplaces, human service agencies, senior centers, and public concert halls. In the summer, they hold a Metro Arts program for youth to train in different mediums.
MidCoast Fine Arts is a community development arts agency that operates six different galleries of local and regional artists in the Quad Cities. The galleries are at the: RiverCenter in Davenport, iWireless Center in Moline, CentreStation in Moline, Gallery West in Rock Island, and Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport. These exhibits are seen by an estimated over two million people each year.
Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport, Iowa, is a unique venture that anchors the east end of Davenport’s Arts Corridor. There are two floors of art galleries and studios offering wonderful treasures for all tastes and all budgets. The public can buy direct from the artist in a wide variety of forms including: jewelry, clothing and accessories, paintings, sculpture, metal, wood, stone, glass, drawings, prints, photography, collage, crafts, and more. They have special events on the last Friday of the month.
Isabel Bloom, a Native Iowa artist, who once studied under the watchful eye of American master Grant Wood, favored artistic subjects ranging from playful children to friendly creatures of the air, land and sea. She created a unique sculpture process of concrete casting and each is hand-finished to resemble weathered bronze garden sculptures of the Victorian era. Her work of over 45 years continues today with over 250 original designs. The artisans of Isabel Bloom invite you to a free tour of the Harborview Production Studio in Davenport, Iowa. During the one-hour-and-fifteen-minute guided tour, you’ll have behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture.
Another place to see art is at the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport, Iowa. This anchor of the west end of Davenport’s Arts Corridor opened in 2005. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, this $46.9 million building has renowned permanent collections of Mexican Colonial and Haitian art, and changing traveling exhibitions throughout the year. They also offer a wide variety of public programming, special events, and educational classes.
Listen to live music at the River Music Experience (RME) in downtown Davenport, Iowa. This live music venue features state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and multimedia capabilities. The RME offers live music, and other special concerts and events. Since the RME’s inception, dozens of top-tier national acts who had previously never toured through the area have played in the Quad Cities.
The iWireless Center is another place to catch live music. This 12,000-seat, world-class facility in downtown Moline, Illinois, brings in national touring acts for concerts—anything from Neal Diamond to Nickelback to Disney on Ice.
Along with these performing arts venues and organizations, the Quad Cities area has over 100 parks to play at, water parks to splash at, and miles of bike trails to ride on. Visit a museum, botanical garden or watch a baseball or hockey game. Throughout the area, visitors can find plenty to do.
For information on the Quad Cities area, call the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or visit their website at www.visitquadcities.com.
When You Go
Quad City Symphony Office
327 Brady St., Davenport, IA
136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA
Ballet Quad Cities Office
613 17th St., Rock Island, IL
Quad City Music Guild
1584 34th Ave., Moline, IL
Playcrafters Barn Theatre
4950 35th Ave., Moline, IL
New Ground Theatre
2113 E. 11th St., Davenport, IA
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse and The Speakeasy
1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island, IL
The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District
100 19th Street, Suite 109, Rock Island, IL
220 19th St., Rock Island, IL
Quad City Arts
1715 2nd Ave., Rock Island, IL
MidCoast Fine Arts
225 E. 2nd St., Davenport, IA
Bucktown Center for the Arts
225 E. 2nd St., Davenport, IA
Production Tour – 800-273-5436. Reservations required.
Stores located in downtown Moline, IL; and Village of East Davenport
Figge Art Museum
225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, IA
River Music Experience
129 Main St., Davenport, IA
1201 River Dr., Moline, IL