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COVID & the Arts: Help For Arts Groups in Trouble

There's help available from the Quad Cities Cultural Trust for arts organizations in trouble.

Herb Trix has more 

Due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus on arts organizations nationwide and locally, the Quad Cities Cultural Trust is working closely with the six major groups it supports, to survive the crisis. That's according to its executive director Jen Dobrunz.

“Times like this were exactly why the Cultural Trust was formed. This is a safety net organization, to make sure that the important ingredients to the success of our community and the success of the citizens of our community are here and thriving.”

Credit Quad Cities Cultural Trust
Jen Dobrunz, Executive Director of the Quad Cities Cultural Trust

The trust started in 2007 as an unrestricted funder, to provide annual support for six area cultural organizations – the River Music Experience, Quad City Arts, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Figge Art Museum, Putnam Museum and the Quad City Botanical Center.

Last year was a record-breaking distribution for the trust, up 21 % from the previous year, granting a total of nearly $1.2 million among the groups. Typically, the funds are given out around June 30, but that may change this year.

“We had discussed moving the process up earlier before Covid-19 shook the nation. We were working on an earlier process. We began discussions with partners on early aid; we’re understanding what those needs right now, so that we can do our best to support them through this shaky time.”

Dobrunz says the trust and its partners have been supporting federal legislation for arts and culture, as part of the $2-trillion stimulus bill.

“Every organization – whether it’s a for-profit or not-for-profit – is suffering right now. In our community, we are seeing our partners pivoting. They are trying to use different media platforms to get their programs out to the community, to try and stay connected to the region, which I applaud them for. But this is uncharted waters for all of us.”

The trust has a campaign to boost its endowment from $25 million to $32 million by the end of 2020, but she says it’s challenging to raise money right now.

“This campaign is a marathon; it’s not a sprint. Right now, we are focused on making sure we’re taking care of one another. That this community has what it needs.”

For more information on the Quad Cities Cultural Trust, go to qcct.org.

I'm Herb Trix. 

Formerly the arts and entertainment reporter for The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and Quad-City Times, Jonathan Turner now writes freelance for WVIK and QuadCities.com. He has experience writing for daily newspapers for 32 years and has expertise across a wide range of subject areas, including government, politics, education, the arts, economic development, historic preservation, business, and tourism. He loves writing about music and the arts, as well as a multitude of other topics including features on interesting people, places, and organizations. He has a passion for accompanying musicals, singers, choirs, and instrumentalists. He even wrote his own musical based on The Book of Job, which premiered at Playcrafters in 2010. He wrote a 175-page history book about downtown Davenport, which was published by The History Press in 2016. Turner was honored in 2009 to be among 24 arts journalists nationwide to take part in a 10-day fellowship offered by the National Endowment for the Arts in New York City on classical music and opera, based at Columbia University’s journalism school.
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