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COVID & the Arts: QC Hive

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QC Hive
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There's big buzz for a new group helping those hurt from closures, including out-of-work musicians, bar, and restaurant workers.

As people stay indoors to slow the coronavirus spread, there's a new Facebook group working to help those financially hurt by the crisis. Don Gustofson, of Davenport, bassist in the Q-C band Funktastic Five, formed QC HIVE on March 23rd. In its first week, it grew to more than 3,200 members and raised $2,200 for three businesses and four individuals.

"So in the music community there's a bit of a panic right now, and I just felt really helpless as to how I could help everyone."

Gustofson - who's assistant music director at Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church, and teaches private piano, guitar, and bass lessons - makes a living as a full-time musician, including as a member of a couple of acoustic duos, and says he's doing OK money-wise. His wife, Colleen, teaches in the St. Ambrose graduate public health program.

And there are people he knows personally who have no income.
"That's where the idea came from. It's such a big community here and such a giving community here, if we had enough people collecting for one person or one business a day, we could reach out a helping hand and pull them up."

He chose the name "Hive" because thousands of bees work toward one goal. 

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Credit QC Hive
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Nick Vasquez

Each day, Gustofson picks one musician, bar or restaurant, and asks people to donate at least $1 for them, and share it on Facebook. So far, QC Hive has helped Gypsy Highway, Randy Leasman, Duey's Corner Tap, Freddy Allen, Think & Drink Entertainment, Chuck Murphy, Josh Duffee, The Diner and Nick Vasquez. 

Some bars and restaurants are giving what's raised to their employees. And Gustofson wants to keep building the buzz, ideally to help both a business and person each day.

"Together we are many, and we can help one."

On Facebook, look for the group QC Hive.

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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