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Rock Island Gets into Art Conservation

Michelle O'Neill
A mural on the side of Steve's Old Time Tap on 17th Street in downtown Rock Island

Artists, art lovers, and people who hate peeling paint will be happy to learn Rock Island plans to repair and maintain murals in the city.

City Manager, Randy Tweet, says the Arts Advisory Committee came up with the idea. And this week, the city council approved a new Public Art Maintenance Policy. Rock Island has quite a few painted murals that could use some attention.

"They get painted, and then nothing happens. There's no upkeep. There's no budget for upkeep. So our thought was to keep them fresh instead of letting them go for years until they look neglected."

Every year, the arts committee will give the council a list of art in need of repair or maintenance. The group will also establish a budget for the projects. And Tweet says the City of Rock Island will match donations up to $1,000/year. The new art policy includes guidelines for moving art and deaccession guidelines for artwork in the city’s collection.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.