Art, Galleries & Museums
Sunday, September 28th 1pm-3pm at City Cemetery Join us for the Monument Dedication Ceremony for John Caspar Wild PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by G A H C   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 08:55
John Caspar Wild was a painter and lithographer who produced some of the earliest known depictions of urban America in the 19th century. Especially notable for us, images of Davenport's river valley and some of the first images of the city!

Wild spent the last two years of his life painting scenes in and around Davenport. He died in 1846 and was buried in Davenport's oldest graveyard "City Cemetery" in an unmarked grave until now.  Bring your lawn chairs.

Starting at 1:00 visitors may view two original works of art by Wild. Curator Christina Kastell from the Putnam Museum will be on hand in the Sexton's Cottage for questions.  Live music will begin at 1:30 and at 2:00 the dedication ceremony proceeds with guest speakers that include Swiss Center of N. America President Beth Zurbuchen,

Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, Bruce Walters Professor of Art WIU, German American Heritage Center President Cal Werner and a live Swiss Alphorn musical presentation.

Join us for a walk through the cemetery and view the final resting place of numerous Davenport City Founders.

There will be no vehicle access into the cemetery for this event. All parking will be on Sturdevant Street between River Drive and Rockingham Rd.

Sponsors for this event include the German-American Clubs of the Quad Cities, Davenport Parks and Recreation Department, and Alderman Bill Boom.

Part-time Office Manager PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by G A H C   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 14:08

The German American Heritage Center is seeking a part-time office manager. The position is approximately 20 hrs per week, 9:30 - 2:30 Tuesday through Friday. Some flexibility within this range is possible. The pay is $11 per hour; no benefits.   Responsibilities include the following:


Office:  Answer and direct phone calls; routine correspondence; assemble and distribute meeting minutes; track supplies; maintain routine maintenance records and monitor vendor inspections; assist with mailings; monitor and route billings and invoices, etc.


Activity oversight:  Maintain records on presenters and program needs; assist with room arrangements for events; possible need to work an occasional evening or weekend rental; respond with initial information on rental inquiries and make appointments for same; book tours; point person for workshop, class or special event advance registrations, including credit card payments; monitor and maintain visitor service materials for the front desk.


Additional tasks:  Auxiliary assistance as a greeter at the front desk (substitute for volunteer); assist with routine product tasks related to the gift shop; occasional light housekeeping duties.


Skills needed include proficiency in word processing and Excell spreadsheet, ability to interact successfully with volunteers, paid staff and visitors; ability to set up and take down tables and chairs with a work partner.


Please e-mail your interest and include a resume of work experience to both of the following staff members by October 3rd:


Janet Brown-Lowe, Executive Director                   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Kelly Lao, Assistant Director                                This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Please no phone calls.

News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Vanessa Douglas   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 08:24

In recognition of community helpers, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students worked together to create a work of art as a gift to our local fire department. As students explored the important roles of firefighters in communities, they created works of art that focused on fire trucks, the John J. Harvey Fireboat, and firefighter silhouettes. These smaller works of art were then assembled together to create a large composition.

This honorary collaborative artwork will hang in the Bettendorf Fire Department located on Spruce Hills. Rivermont Collegiate is currently planning a trip to deliver this work of art with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Student Council Representatives. These select students will represent Rivermont as they meet our local firefighters, express their gratitude, and gift the artwork.

The artwork will be delivered to the fire department on Wednesday, September 24th at 11:00 am to 11:15 am.

From Framebuilder to Joybox Express Builder PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Monday, 22 September 2014 14:42

How Mr. B’s Piano Bike Dream was Built into Reality

Ann Arbor, MI – Nationally known bicycle frame builder Mark Nobilette is the man responsible for building the custom piano-bike that is currently traveling on Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Road Ride, an epic 2,000 mile journey from Lake Itasca, MN to New Orleans, LA.  As a custom frame builder he has built it all from professional racing bikes to pedicabs.  But jazz and blues musician and amateur athlete Mark Braun put him up to a challenge he had never been given before – to build a bike that could pull a full-upright piano.

Mark “Mr. B” Braun, an internationally recognized jazz and blues pianist, dreamt up a whimsical concept of a piano-on-wheels which results from a personal lifetime passion for arts and athletics.  “I am convinced that I am a better musician because I have always been active in sports.  A lot of people find art and athletics to be mutually exclusive, but I see clearly how both played a pivotal role as I learned valuable life lessons about endurance, ambition, passion, failure and achievement.  I started the Mr. B’s Joybox Express as a vehicle to spread the joy of music and movement and help communities raise support for youth arts and athletics programs.” said Braun.  When he decided to make this dream into a reality he knew just who he needed for the job; his local custom bicycle frame builder Mark Nobilette.

Nobilette was a part of the reemergence of bicycle frame building in the United States in the 1970s.  He studied with and learned his craft from the esteemed frame builder Albert Eisentraut who was referred to as the dean of modern USA (post Korean War) custom frame builders.  In the early 1990s Nobilette was building frames at Cycle Cellar in Ann Arbor, MI.  It was here that he first met Mr. B. “[H]e brought up this subject of a piano on a bike.  I kind of thought he was nuts,” Nobilette said.

Eventually, Nobilette moved to Longmont, CO to start his own frame building business: Nobilette Cycle.  Several years later he and Mr. B reconnected and the idea of the piano bike resurfaced.  By this point, Nobilette had done some work for Main Street Pedicabs in Denver, CO building the rickshaw-like structures used as taxis.  He realized that an extended version of a pedicab could be a great design for Mr. B’s piano bike.  This time Nobilette’s response to Mr. B was different, “Yeah, let’s do it!  No reason we can’t.”

So began the creation of Mr. B’s Joybox Express, a custom-made tricycle capable of hauling a 387 lb. piano.  Nobilette’s major concern in the construction was how to make it safely carry 500-600 lbs. (the weight of the piano plus the platform).  Also, the platform needed to be stable so the piano would not be bounced out of tune while traveling.  To solve these two obstacles, Nobilette equipped the bike with shock absorbers as well as places in the back for two more riders to attach their bike frames (minus the front wheel) to assist in pushing.  After lots of thought and energy the construction was a success.  In fact, Nobilette’s original model of Mr. B’s Joybox Express is traveling down the Blues Highway right now!

The collaboration of the talents of musician Mr. B and bicycle frame builder Mark Nobilette made the dream of a piano bike come to life.  Mr. B’s Joybox Express is currently traveling along the Blues Highway to parade, educate and share the sounds of blues, jazz and boogie-woogie tunes performed by the Mr. B’s Joybox Express Band.

Below are the locations and tentative dates for the remainder of the tour:

Galena, IL, 9/27/14

Muscatine, IA, 09/28-29/14

Burlington, IA, 10/7/14

St. Louis, MO, 10/15/14

Hickman, KY, 10/22/14

Osceola, AR, 10/25/14

Memphis, TN, 10/30/14

Clarksdale, MS, 11/2/14

Yazoo City, MS, 11/5/14

Baton Rouge, LA, 11/12/14

New Orleans, LA, 11/15/14


Communities interested in hosting Mr. B’s Joybox Express should contact Artrain at 734.747.8300 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Artrain, Inc. is producing Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Road Ride.  For more than 40 years Artrain, headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, has delivered world class arts and cultural exhibitions and education programs to under-resourced communities throughout the United States.  Winner of the National Medal for Museum Service, Artrain's mission is to deliver discovery and – through the galvanizing power of arts and culture – transform lives, organizations and communities.  Originally Artrain was a museum-on-a-train that used America’s rail system to deliver art exhibitions.  Today Artrain produces and delivers cultural outreach programs of all types – art, cultural, history, science, environment, etc. – to people in villages, towns and cities through a variety of methods including mobile touring exhibitions and cultural education and engagement programs.  Artrain’s current projects include: Mr. B’s Joybox Express; CriticCar Detroit, Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity; and Paths to Peace: A War of 1812 Arts Legacy Project.

Artrain and Mr. B’s Joybox Express are supported by hundreds of individuals, businesses and, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Wells Fargo Foundation.

For more information contact Artrain at 734.747.8300, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or



Brucemore Wins 2014 AASLH Award of Merit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Tara Richards   
Monday, 22 September 2014 13:38

NASHVILLE, TN—The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that Brucemore is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the conservation of the Grant Wood Sleeping Porch. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 69th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer seventy-seven national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, September 19. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel. The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States.  The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also bring public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.  For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to

About the conservation of Brucemore’s Grant Wood Sleeping Porch

In 2013, Brucemore engaged a team of professional conservators to clean, consolidate, stabilize, and conserve the Grant Wood Sleeping Porch. The porch, valued at over $3.5 million, features a plaster relief, designed and applied in 1925 by renowned regionalist artist Grant Wood. The conservators revealed vivid colors, identified materials, and exposed Wood’s techniques.  Wood coated the masonry walls of the sleeping porch in a plaster relief, crafting stylized woodland animals playfully situated on vines climbing the walls. The plaster was then coated with multiple layers of paint washes to decorate the surface texture and ornament. This may not be the only work of this kind in the world, but research has proven it to be exceedingly rare. Today, the mural is by far the most valuable work of art in the Brucemore collection.  The conservation work ensures that this unique element of cultural history is preserved for future generations.

About Brucemore

Experience Brucemore, an unparalleled blend of tradition and culture, located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the heart of the historic 26-acre estate stands a nineteenth-century mansion filled with the stories of three Cedar Rapids families.  Concerts, theater, programs, and tours enliven the site and celebrate the heritage of a community.  For more information, call (319) 362-7375 or visit


About the American Association for State and Local History

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history.  From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society.  AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter.  The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.


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