For its annual Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Lecture, St. Ambrose University hosts the February 6 event Sharp Fights & Hard Lessons in the Global Race, a presentation on energy and the environment delivered by award-winning author Jeffrey Ball.

For the fourth performances of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra';s 2017-18 season, conductor Mark Russell Smith and his musicians take audiences on a figurative trek across the Atlantic in Postcards from Venice, a program of wit, charm, and musical mischief with a special performance by trumpet soloist Matthew Onstad.

A six-piece ensemble from Austin, Texas whose Mockingbird was cited by Rolling Stone as one of the year's best country albums, the honkytonk talents of Mike & the Moonpies play a February 4 Moeller Nights concert, treating audiences to a sound that praised for its “shining tautness” and “crisp precision that is marvellous.”

Written by award-winning author Jennifer Haley, the stage cyber-thriller The Nether opens New Ground Theatre's 2018 season in a production running February 2 through 11, with Haley's acclaimed play earning this rave from the New York Times: “As a parable for where we’re headed on that big old highway in the digital sky, The Nether exerts a viselike grip while taking you down avenues of thought you probably haven’t traveled yet.”

As raved, “If James Brown and Otis Redding had a love child, it would be Josh Hoyer,” and the Nebraska-based musician and his Soul Colossal ensemble play RIBCO on February 2 in a show guaranteeing “a sound so big, so funky, so wring-the-sweat-out-of-you energetic that it reaches through the speakers and shakes you until you start moving to its groove.”

A fast-paced world requires a calming influence, and that's what Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center will provide in its new exhibitions of lovely, serene paintings by Brad Bisbey and Holly Kimball and beautiful wood sculptures and furniture by Jay Stratton, on display from February 2 through March 23.

A weekend celebration of glorious birds and piano expertise, the 24th Annual Eagles & Ivories Ragtime Festival, taking place January 26 through 28, will find numerous Muscatine locales flooded with music, along with movies, meals, and aerial views of majestic eagles.

Singer/songwriter John Paul Roney performs a January 26 Moeller Nights concert alongside Andrew Fraser and Aaron Simon in the musicians' experimental-folk outfit Boom Forest, a group whose recent album Post Knight Errant led to write that Roney's “career should no doubt be watched with great interest,” adding, “No matter which direction Roney chooses to bring the listener, it’s impossible to be disappointed.”

A biting period comedy about sexual desire, motherhood, jealousy, and the early days of its parenthetical object, Sarah Ruhl's Tony-nominated In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) runs at Augustana College January 26 through February 4, treating audiences to a work the New York Times called “insightful, fresh, and funny” and “as rich in thought as it is in feeling.”

Appearing locally on a national wintertime tour that takes the band from Iowa to Pennsylvania to its headliner's home state of Florida, the blues, funk, soul, and rock artists of JJ Grey & Mofro play Davenport's Redstone Room on January 28, the musicians' most recent album Ol' Glory described by as a work of “boundless compassion and honesty” and “Grey's finest outing yet.”