Independent Voices Need Your Support

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993. Now we find our ability to continue providing all the features you love in serious jeopardy without the financial support of our readers.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher

  • Virtual Presentation – “Hildegard von Bingen: Power Woman of Medieval Times,” January 31

    One of the most influential and revered figures in German history will be the focus of a virtual January 31 program when the German American Heritage Center hosts Hildegard von Bingen: Power Woman of Medieval Times, with presenters Wolf and Linnea Koch speaking on the Benedictine abbess, writer, and composer whom Pope Bvenedict XVI named a Doctor of the Church for “her holiness of life and the originality of her teaching.”

  • QCA Today: January 27, 2021

    This feature lists all headlines with links to the articles by date/time published online by Quad Cities-area media outlets and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.  

    Visit for a variation on this theme with curated-for-local-content, and categorized headlines from expanded sources.  

  • Virtual Presentation: Local Author Salvatore Marici, February 1

    Reading from his critically acclaimed poetry collections as well as his forthcoming 2021 book, local author Salvatore Marici will be showcased in a virtual February 1 presentation hosted by the Davenport Public Library, the writer lauded by American Busboy novelist Matthew Guenette as “a sly poet devoted to the art of seeing.”

  • Virtual Presentation: Brian “Fox” Ellis as John Deere, February 5

    One of the most famous names in Quad Cities history will recount his singular tale of success in a virtual program hosted by the Moline Public Library, with noted author, historian, and storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis, on February 5, performing a one-man show under the guise of inventor John Deere.

  • Virtual Presentation: “Unrestricted Submarine Warfare & the Zimmermann Note,” February 10

    Presented by Kevin Braafladt, the Army Sustainment Command Deputy Historian at the Rock Island Arsenal and the Army Sustainment Command History Office, the February 10 program Unrestricted Submarine Warfare & the Zimmermann Note serves as the latest virtual offering in the Davenport and Rock Island Public Libraries' series exploring the Quad Cities' and Rock Island Arsenal's historical ties to the first World War.

  • Highlights from Speaker Welch’s To-Do List

    House Speaker Michael Madigan avoided calling the General Assembly back into session during the pandemic for several reasons, many of them having to do with himself. But Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch told me earlier this month that “The legislature is back in business. We're going to work in 2021.”

  • Welch’s Historic Ascendance May Leave Pritzker with Historic Agita

    “The legislature is going to be a check on the executive branch,” newly-elected House Speaker Chris Welch flatly declared to me during an interview the other day. Speaker Welch was responding to a question I posed to him about his January 13 inaugural address, when he asked not-so-rhetorically, “Why is it difficult to ensure that families' unemployment checks continue unabated and arrive on time so struggling families can feed their children? Why is that hard to grasp?”

  • On Monday January 11, 2021 hundreds of Iowans gathered at the state capitol in Des Moines, Iowa to p
    Media Masquerading as News

    Below is a short list of the underreported or misreported topics and events in 2020, including several earlier items. Each of these is contributing to the changing global landscape, yet most Americans are grossly unfamiliar with their contexts. Enlarging awareness and understanding of these topics can more positively guide our future actions if we are better informed about the path we are collectively being nudged toward. What is the downside of questioning everything?

  • Can Adam Kinzinger Tack Moderate and Survive in the Divided State of Illinois?

    “This isn’t their Republican Party anymore!” Donald Trump Jr declared on January 6 during a fiery speech near the U.S. Capitol. “This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” the President’s son insisted. “Today, Republicans, you get to pick a side for the future of this party. I suggest you choose wisely.” And then, later in the day, all heck broke loose

  • The January Madigan Vote Looms Over State Democrats Like a Raptor

    I reached out to several House Democrats who could be considered politically vulnerable in 2022 to ask them how they plan to vote on Speaker Michael Madigan’s re-election in January. With one exception, I didn’t make much headway.

  • River Cities' Reader Theatre Reviews: July 2000 to the Present

    Reviews by Jeff Ashcraft, Patricia Baugh-Riechers, Audra Beals, Pamela Briggs, Dee Canfield, Kim Eastland, Emily Heninger, Heather Herkelman, Paula Jolly, Victoria Navarro, Mark Ruebling, Mike Schulz, Joy Thompson, Oz Torres, Brent Tubbs, Jill (Pearson) Walsh, and Thom White.

  • Two-Oh-Two-Oh Twos: The Fifth-Annual (Albeit Abbreviated) Reader Tony Awards

    Taking the Antoinette Perrys as our inspiration, we theatre lovers at the Reader have decided that Our Show Must Go On, too. So even though we've been given far fewer titles to choose from than usual, with our own categories and the excellent work within abbreviated out of necessity, we happily welcome you, ladies and gentlemen, to the Fifth-Annual Reader Tony Awards!

  • Hindsight Is 2020: The Year in Area Theatre

    Oh, 2020 started so well, didn't it?

  • Virtual Presentation: “Rabbit Hole,” January 8

    Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated Nicole Kidman film, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire's family drama Rabbit Hole will enjoy a one-night-only virtual reading in a January 8 event hosted by Princeton's Festival 56, with the acclaimed work lauded by Entertainment Weekly as “a transcendent and deeply affecting new play which shifts perfectly from hilarity to grief.”

  • Virtual Performance: “A Christmas Cabaret,” December 18 through 25

    A virtual dose of holiday cheer featuring some of Iowa City's and Coralville's most familiar performers, City Circle Theatre Company's online presentation A Christmas Cabaret will be available for home viewing from December 18 through 25, this collection of song-and-dance vignettes professionally recorded and edited by CoralVision, and boasting dynamically talented stars of stage and television.

  • Flowers for Ryuichi Sakamoto: Celebrating the Continuing Story of the Electronic Music Pioneer

    When Ryuichi Sakamoto, the electronic music pioneer and esteemed elder statesman of the Japanese and international music scenes, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, it felt like a crippling blow to the canon of living legends that walk, perform, and dine among us.

  • Virtual PASS Concert: Sultans of String, January 27

    Continuing its presentation of virtual programming in the venue's annual PASS (Performing Arts Signature Series) program, Quad City Arts hosts a thrilling January 27 concert event with an ensemble that Maverick magazine called “an energetic and exciting band with talent to burn”: the Sultans of String, who will deliver a genre-hopping blend of dynamic styles recorded specifically for Quad City Arts patrons.

  • Virtual Concert – QCSO Masterworks IV: “The Italian Symphony,” February 7

    A bright and youthful concert event featuring works by composers Gioachino Rossini, Felix Mendelssohn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra's The Italian Symphony serves as the fourth Masterworks presentation of the musicians' 2020-21 season, with this February 7 celebration of Italy's country and culture boasting a performance by violinist Linda Phan, winner of the 2019 Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Concerto Competition.

  • Local Music Bandcamp Sampler

    Davenport-based producer K1ng Supr3m3 breaks out the crates and gathers together a network of dusty samples and fluid drum patterns for ジャンプドライブ (Japanese Katakana for “Jump Drive,” which might lead us to believe that these tracks were sourced from a particularly packed flash USB stick).

  • 20 from '20: The Year's Best Albums and Short Releases

    A recap of 2020 is unnecessary for this article. We all know what kind of year it was. Its upside was the incredible amount of good music that made its way to the ears of a world that needed to hear it - perhaps more than at any other time in recent history.

  • Ease and Dis-ease: “Our Friend” and “Heaven”

    This past weekend, our area's two debuting cineplex options were Our Friend, which is primarily about a young woman dying of cancer, and Heaven, which is peripherally about a young woman dying of cancer. It probably goes without asking, but no matter how much some of us may relish trekking to the movies these days, what kind of masochist would voluntarily make a double-feature out of such an ostensibly depressing two-fer?

    This kind! So let's dive in, shall we?

  • “The Maltese Falcon”: 80th-Anniversary Screenings, January 24 and 27

    Kicking off Fathom Events' seventh-annual TCM Big Screen Classics series in high style, Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX will, on January 24 and 27, present screenings of the iconic Humphrey Bogart noir The Maltese Falcon, the legendary screen mystery celebrating its 80th anniversary, and an inclusion on the American Film Institute's list of “100 Greatest American Films of All Time.”

  • Show and Motel: “One Night in Miami ...”, “Pieces of a Woman,” and “The Marksman”

    One Night in Miami … , Regina King's debut as a feature-film director, boasts a premise that sounds like the beginning of a joke: “Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown walk into a motel room … .” Yet while King's adaptation of screenwriter Kemp Powers' stage play is no joke, it is funny, as well as tender, and powerful, and absolutely riveting.

  • “Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek, & the Remaking of NASA,” February 2

    In a special cinematic offering presented as part of Fathom Events' Black History Month celebration, one of the most adored figures in science-fiction history shares her true-life tale of reaching for the stars in Woman in Motion: Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek, & the Remaking of NASA, an exhilarating new documentary tribute – screening at Rave Cinemas Davenport 53rd + IMAX on February 2 – featuring Star Trek's iconic Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols.

  • Now Playing: Friday, January 29, through Thursday, Februaay 4

    Now playing at area theaters.


  • “Pat Halverson: Woods & Water,” through January 27

    A new exhibition by a local artist and naturist who has long had an affinity for the woods, Pat Halverson: Woods & Water serves as the first 2021 exhibition at the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy, with the exhibit's showcase at the Bettendorf venue (on display through January 27) taking guests through the diverse views of nature captured in painting.

  • Virtual Panel Discussion: “Queering Chronologies, Archiving Identities: A Conversation,” January 28

    Presented in conjunction with the venue's current T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris, the exhibition's artist will be joined by two noted scholars and activists for the virtual program Queering Chronologies, Archiving Identities: A Conversation, a January 28 event devoted to exploration of the exhibit's prominent themes and their implications for society as a whole.

  • “In Place,” through January 29

    Four women artists from Iowa working in different styles and media are showcased in the latest exhibition at the University of Dubuque's Bisignano Art Gallery, with Dorian Dean, Danielle Fisher, Hannah Givler, and Hillary Nelson, through January 29, all lending their significant talents to the thoughtful and fascinating exhibit In Place.

  • “College Invitational,” January 30 through June 6

    In the 11th installment of the venue's latest group exhibition, the artistic talents of 42 students from area colleges and universities will be on display in the Figge Art Museum's College Invitational, a January 30 through June 6 showcase of techniques and mediums including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, clay, digital illustration, silkscreen, mixed media installation, and found materials.

  • Virtual Artist Performance: “A Eulogy for Tameka Janean Norris,” January 31

    Taking place, fittingly, on the final exhibition day for the venue's T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris, the Figge Art Museum will present the video A Eulogy for Tameka Janean Norris on January 31 – a unique performative “funeral” for artist T.J. Norris' recently deceased artistic persona whose talents are showcased in the exhibit.