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items tagged with Quad City Arts

An In-Between Sort of Place: Poet Ryan Collins Explores the Quad Cities in "Complicated Weather"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: News/Features

Category: Literature

2009-10-09 16:41:24

Ryan Collins"I think everyone has a complex relationship with where they're from," says Ryan Collins, the Moline native currently serving as Quad City Arts' poet-in-residence. "Especially if you've left and come back, which I've done more than once. But the prevailing opinion seems to be that there's nothing to do here. That it's kind of an in-between sort of place, you know?

"We're like a crossroads," he continues. "A place in between places. There's the state capital, the University of Iowa ... . These things are close, but, like, what's here?"

The question of "What's here?" in the Quad Cities is both directly and indirectly addressed in Collins' new chapbook, Complicated Weather. And the answer, as expressed in this thoughtful collection of poems, is as complex as the author's feelings about the area.


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Simon Wiesenthal’s Greatest Hits: Tom Dugan Resurrects the Famed “Nazi Hunter” for Quad City Arts
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-17 18:58:49

Tom Dugan in Simon Wiesenthal: Nazi HunterIn 2007, when Los Angeles-based actor/playwright Tom Dugan was first booked as a Quad City Arts Visiting Artist, it was as the star of his self-written, one-character performance piece Robert E. Lee: Shades of Gray. When he returned as a Visiting Artist in 2008, it was as the author and director of another one-man show, Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery.

Now, with Broadway director Jenny Sullivan at the helm, Dugan returns for his third stint with Quad City Arts in Simon Wiesenthal: Nazi Hunter, another solo vehicle that the busy stage and film actor both wrote and stars in. And, it should go without saying, Dugan recognizes that audiences hesitant about attending productions on the Civil War and slavery may be even more leery of one concerning the Holocaust.

"When anyone is preparing to go see this," says Dugan during a recent phone interview, "I'm sure there's this feeling like, 'Aw, man ... do I want to sit through this?' And I'll tell you, when I sat down to write the play, I thought, 'Aw, man ... do I wanna write this play?'"


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History, by the Book: James W. Loewen Talks About “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” April 15-17
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Literature

2009-04-09 16:16:57

James W. LoewenThe cliché says that history is written by the winners, but that's not true when it comes to history textbooks.

For the most part, they're not even written by the "authors" whose names grace the covers. Instead, they're written by employees of or freelancers for publishing companies deathly afraid of controversy -- fearful that a passage offensive to virtually any constituency will result in their books not being adopted in schools.

James W. Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me -- first published in 1995, and revised and updated in 2007 -- documents how badly the most popular high-school textbooks teach American history. As part of the Quad City Arts Super Author program, Loewen will discuss his work at seven programs from April 15 to 17. (For a list of events, click here. To read about Chris Crutcher -- the other Super Author visiting our area next week -- see "Innocence, Ignorance, and Experience: Quad City Arts 'Super Author' Chris Crutcher Discusses His Controversial Young-Adult Literature.")

Loewen has also written Lies Across America (which tackles historic-site markers the same way he attacked history textbooks) and Sundown Towns, about communities with written or unwritten laws designed to keep them free of racial minorities. And he co-wrote a textbook on Mississippi history that gave him his first insight into the textbook-adoption process that avoids controversy at the expense of truth.

Accessible, passionate, detailed, and often startling, Lies My Teacher Told Me documents the errors, lies, and omissions that mar history textbooks -- opening with Helen Keller's ignored radicalism and expanding its scope from there, dealing extensively with society's treatment of Native Americans and blacks and also critiquing the presentation of more modern events, including the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

Beyond the details that are wrong, the core narratives in these textbooks are problematic, Loewen said in a phone interview last week. He said history textbooks suggest "unrelenting, automatic progress," the idea that "we started out great and we've been getting better ever since."


Read More About History, By The Book: James W. Loewen Talks About “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” April 15-17...


Innocence, Ignorance, and Experience: Quad City Arts “Super Author” Chris Crutcher Discusses His Controversial Young-Adult Literature
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: News/Features

Category: Literature

2009-04-08 12:00:00

Chris CrutcherChris Crutcher, the author of more than a dozen books and short stories featuring teenage protagonists, has earned a bevy of awards and accolades over his 26-year writing career, with eight of his works named "Best Books for Young Adults" by the American Library Association, and Teen Book Review hailing 2007's Deadline as "a brilliant, well-written, thought-provoking, and, to put it simply, truly amazing novel."

So why do so many people seem so angry at him?


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A Drum with Strings: Visiting Artist Michael J. Miles Makes Music (of All Kinds) on the Banjo
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2008-12-10 08:43:25

Michael J. MilesMichael J. Miles, the freelance educator, composer, and musician currently in the area as Quad City Arts' latest visiting artist, isn't blind to the common associations connected with the banjo. "The general awareness," he says, "if there is any, of the banjo sits on things like The Beverly Hillbillies or Deliverance or O Brother, Where Art Thou?"

So when introducing his musical instrument of choice to audiences, be they adults or children, Miles likes to begin with a little history.


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