The Career Fair will be Wednesday, November 20th in Rocky's Field House from 9-11 A.M.  There will be approximately 45 businesses and colleges set up to help advise students for the next chapter in their life.  According to the Lights ON For Learning Coordinator, Lanette Johnson, the students will have the opportunity to explore many careers in the area and learn about the educational requirements, salaries and skills required for their chosen profession.

"For me, the purpose of the career fair is to help students plan for their future. It will inform them about job opportunities and the requirements for different occupations. Numerous career fields will be represented such as: agriculture, army, construction, educational services, engineering, health services, real estate and more. Students will ask questions regarding required skills, typical day, and earning potential."

Students, business representatives, Johnson and others will be available for interviews at the fair.  The media is invited to attend at any time.

Vernissage for Todd Leisek:

November 15th. 2014

Art Installation :
" We Are Ghosts"

Mixed media.
This art installation is a room-sized glass exhibit.

At The Phoenix.
1530 Fifth. Avenue.
Friday. November 15th. 2013
6-9 p.m.

Free and open to all.

Artist's description: About the Installation:

" This large installation is a communication and an interaction between what my family's identity, ethnicity and past has faced through the years.  Behind closed doors an individual hides their own identity and reality.  By breaking down these "doors" and "walls," our identities can be slightly revealed and displaced by reflections of light upon the exhibition wall.  In this installation, I concentrate on drawing upon the simple concepts of the breakdown of these doorways and walls through looking through broken glass, doors and walls taken from dismantled homes.  This piece is the past as well as the present as it confronts some of the conflicts of tribal identity in the United States.  Four doorways will be presented in the act of breaking apart with only the shards of clear glass to bind them together and the holding together of the walls will display the reflection of a past identity of a mixed tribal past. The installation is a chance to speak without words through the materials and the photographs hidden in the cracks of the walls.  I am mixed of Potawatomi, Sac/Fox and Cherokee.  Since I am of mixed tribal generation, where do I fit in with the world or how does my family (ancestors) fit in?  We roam as "ghosts" blending in from one subculture to the next recreating ourselves over and over without stepping through to connect with our tribal roots or ancestral traditions.  There are thousands of us still roaming the United States displaced."

Artist Statement

My artwork (installations) is based from sensory experiences (sounds, sights, smells and dreams) from the memories of my childhood experiences and the stories of family members long past.  Throughout my experience as an artist; I have concentrated on these sparks of memory which are drawn from nature (landscape), dreams of my past, and the faded memories.  In creating these abstract sculptural pieces, I'm attempting to bring back these recollections into a form of narrative or conceptual scene into the public space.  By changing the landscape (public space), I draw the viewers into my art installations to bring their own sensory experiences into the artwork.   These sensory experiences are connected to the material I use in my artwork (Ceramics, Wood, and stain).  I hope that these pieces display the uncomfortable feeling of distance of Native American authenticity and the reconnection of my families lost mixed of Otoe and Osage/Pottawattamiepast.  It is important that my artwork does not relate directly to a "Native American" background, yet an element of these memories, love and loss which was influenced by my ancestors past.

To present a loose form of this narrative in my art installations is an important element to address in the conditions of the Post-Native American identity.  The traditions of the storyteller in my family today are dependent upon me to retell them in a modern relation of the struggles we face for a place (or voice) in this world.  We all have memories and past experiences which we cannot completely explain, yet subconsciously influence our lives.

About The Artist:  Todd Liesek.

I was born in Ogden, UT as Todd Woodmansee, yet grew up with a very collect a diverse step family in Lodi, CA.  My first studies in Fine Arts started in San Francisco where I spent the first 4 years at San Francisco State University for my BA, which was dual emphasize in Art History and Fine Arts.  I stayed for additional 3 years teaching for private art/music schools within the Bay Area, traveling around performing and producing artwork in California.  In 2003, I received an invitation to study at University of Wisconsin-Superior for a MA in Studio Art in sculpture and ceramics.  In addition, I had an opportunity to perform with the University Orchestra and Brazilian Guitar Ensemble to perform in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  After my graduation from UWS in 2006 with a MA, I moved from the cold frigid North to the Quad Cities, IL.  For the past few years, I received an invitation for the MFA program at Vermont College Fine Arts in Contemporary theories and Art Installation which I recently graduated in 2013.

I have worked for private and public art/music schools and Higher Education at both the Community and State University levels for about 9 years and 3 years as an online instructor. I have taught art history/appreciation from 1300 to 21st Contemporary Art, Art Theory, Sculpture/Ceramics, music orchestration, and guitar performance.

(Moline, IL) Skip-a-Long keeps tracks of their alumni and each year awards an academic scholarship to help a former student with college costs.  This year's winner is Nicole Johnston.  She was a student of Skip-a-Long from 1992 to 2002.  Nicole is planning on attending Black Hawk College and then Western Illinois University and is grateful for the $750.00 scholarship to pursue her dream of a career in criminal justice. "I can honestly say that going to Skip-a-Long made me the person I am today," says Nicole. "Everything I did there helped me learn about the basic traits a good person should have."

The Virgie Wells Educational Scholarship was established in 2004.  Since its inception, more than $5,000 has been given out to former students who plan on becoming full-time students at an accredited college or university.  The scholarship is open to any graduating senior of the Quad Cities high school who is a former Skip-a-Long student and is graduating from high school with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher.

Virgie Wells was an advocate of higher education.  She was a teacher at Skip-a-Long for 30 years and touched the lives of many children and families.

Johnson will receive her scholarship at the June 2nd Skip-A-long board meeting. You can interview Johnson by calling her home 309-523-2873 or her cell 309-631-5823.

A community comes together to support Family Literacy Program

(Rock Island, IL)  With the recent influx of immigrants, many children and families are struggling to understand the new culture and language.  But thanks to many community partners coming together sharing resources, families from nine different countries speaking six different languages are learning English and nineteen community partners supporting them.

A news event highlighting the first year's success of the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy Program is being held Thursday, May 20th at 11:00 am at the Church of Peace (1114 12th Street in Rock Island) in the Fellowship Hall.   The program began with three families in the fall and at year's end there are now over forty adult students and 25 pre-school children participating.

Attending the news conference will be Rock Island Mayor, Dennis Pauley, Rock Island Schools Superintendent, Mike Oberhaus, the former Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, Joe Vermeire, as well as representatives from the various community partners who are the backbone of this program.  The teachers and the families involved in the program will also be available for interviews.

The program is from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the Church of Peace.  A typical day at the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy program consists of English as a Second Language tutoring, lunch and activities with their children, parenting and life skills, and computer and library skills training.


Fifth and sixth graders at Earl Hanson School are participating in the "National Lab Day" celebration this week by learning about water treatment programs. Area scientists and professors are going to spend part of the day educating 100 students about clean water, water conservation, third world water problems, etc.

The connection among the school and scientists was made by teacher, Kate Lievens, who signed up online through a relatively new nationwide program called "National Lab Day" ( At this site teachers sign up for projects they would like to see in their classrooms and are matched up with scientists who want to help educate area school children.

The media is invited to see National Lab Day in action Wednesday, May 12th beginning at 11:00 at Earl Hanson School (4000 9th Street). Available for interviews are Lievens, Dr. Kevin Geedey (Professor of Biology at Augustana College), Sandy O'Neill with the Rock Island Water Treatment Plant, Bob Bohannon a Moline Water lab Chemist and Greg Swanson, Moline's Utilities General Manager.

The National Lab Day site is one element in a White House initiative to encourage public-private partnerships in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Lievens is one of the first teachers to participate in the program and has been featured in a national science magazine.


Making Musicians Leaders - that is the goal of a new group being formed by local high schoolers. A Kick Off Concert is scheduled for Saturday, April 18th at Mojo's Café in Davenport to raise money for the group which will help local bands find venues to perform

A handful of local teens have teamed up to create "J & J Musician Corporation". The group, spearheaded by 17 year-old Jake Dopler, plans to raise money through concerts and then use the money to help foster local arts programs. Dopler, a junior at United Township in East Moline, has been playing music since the 6th grade and feels there is a big void in the community when it comes to promoting local musicians.

The newly formed "J & J Musician Corporation" has a two fold mission. First it will advertise, promote and publicize local bands; help struggling bands find venues to perform. Secondly, the six member group will raise money and use the dollars to create school music programs. Dopler says musicians have a high status in our society?setting trends with hair and clothes, creating lyrics that can change thinking?and the power of musicians should be put to good use. Dopler says the goal of the new organizations is to make musicians leaders.

Dopler also says the group plans to volunteer in local environmental efforts?such as cleaning up local rivers?and other community needs.

The kick off concert and fundraising campaign begins Saturday, April 18th beginning at noon at Mojo's Café in downtown Davenport. Four local bands will perform at the café, located at 131 W. 2nd Street, and donations will be accepted.

For an interview with Dopler, please call Mary McNeil at 309-236-7317 or 309-277-0062 to set up an interview time.