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Winter Nights Winter Lights: Quad City Botanical Center

In this episode of "What's Happening in QC," host Marc Zyla sits down with Ryan Willie, the Executive Director of the Quad City Botanical Center. They start by discussing the incredible success the Botanical Center has had over the summer, with record attendance numbers post-COVID. Ryan shares all the amazing programs and activities offered at the Center, including school programs, private events, serene garden areas, different plant collections, and a children's garden.

Moving on, they delve into the Center's biggest annual fundraiser, Winter Nights Winter Lights light display. Ryan provides fascinating details on how this event has grown over the past 8 years, now attracting over 16,000 people and generating crucial funding. He also mentions some special events planned for this year's display, such as a Lights and Flights pairing with a local brewery and pizza.

Marc then highlights the Conductors Garden light display, which features music from the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. Ryan takes a moment to praise the cultural partnerships in the Quad Cities and emphasizes the importance of the Quad City Cultural Trust in supporting local cultural institutions.

Shifting gears, Ryan talks about his personal enjoyment of the Quad Cities outside of work. He mentions various family activities, parks, trails, and amenities that make the area a great place to raise a family and have a vibrant cultural life. Marc agrees, noting that the community is welcoming to new ideas and energy from young people. Both Ryan and Marc express excitement for future collaborations.

Tune in to this episode of "What's Happening in QC" to learn more about the Quad City Botanical Center's success, their upcoming Winter Nights Winter Lights event, and the vibrant cultural life in the Quad Cities.

Marc Zyla joined WVIK, Quad Cities NPR in May 2022 as the Director of Community Engagement. Prior to that Zyla had been the Director of Education and Community Engagement with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where he continues to perform as Principal Horn. Zyla believes that there is something for everyone in public radio and brings passion and creativity to his position as Director of Community Engagement.