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"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

  • “UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2,” January 23

    In 2014, rising mixed-martial-arts stars Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier met in Las Vegas, both hoping to pave their way to a world championship. Since then, McGregor has won titles in two weight classes, while Poirier secured an interim lightweight crown, both becoming UFC superstars in the process. And on January 23, the two kick off 2021 with what promises to be an epic rematch in UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2, a free event being televised in Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Rhythm Room.

  • QCA Today: January 22, 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 – "Betty Crocker: Her Cookbook That Changed How America Cooks," through January 24

    Long before Martha Stewart, there was Betty Crocker, and from now until January 24, the Bettendorf Public Library will host exclusive access to the Community Connections presentation Betty Crocker: Her Cookbook That Changed How America Cooks, in which Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., highlights the history of the iconic advertising figure and her famous Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.

  • Miracle at the Freight House, through January 24

    Lars Rehnberg, vice-president for Davenport's seasonal tavern Miracle at the Freight House, discussed the pop-up venue's origins, operations, and challenges in this pandemic year, along with the yuletide décor that might make Disneyland only the second-happiest place on Earth. We spoke on Wednesday, December 2.

  • Virtual Presentation: “Davenport's Bucktown in 1903: 'Worst Town in America,'” January 25

    On January 25, in a program hosted by the Davenport Public Library, Jonathan Turner – local author and current writer for WVIK and – will explore our area's recent and long-ago pasts as highlighted in his 2016 book A Brief History of Bucktown: Davenport's Infamous District Transformed. And that adjective “infamous” will be the juicy subject of much of Turner's presentation, given that the event's title Davenport's Bucktown in 1903: “Worst Town in America.”

  • 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.

  • Pritzker Took the Road Less Traveled — and It Amounted to Bubkes

    “What if” games are never quite accurate, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Governor JB Pritzker had the opportunity, and most probably the votes, to balance the state budget with an income-tax hike during 2019, his “honeymoon” year with the General Assembly. Instead, the governor came into office and proposed what was essentially a pension payment holiday and other magic budgetary solutions.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 2020 Pop Roundup

    It feels gauche to compile a year-end list of music in 2020, a year in which the daily conditions of the music industry suffered a pandemic-borne cataclysm and the future of live music was subsumed

  • Harold Budd: A Warm Remembrance

    Avant-garde composer, multi-instrumentalist, and soft-music pioneer Harold Budd passed away earlier this month at the age of 84. Though considered a major forerunner of styles of music that would come to be named “ambient” and “New Age” in their various forms, Budd rejected these terms outright. From his viewpoint, his music floated in its own stratum, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20th-century minimalism or neoclassical composition.


  • “Haitian Masterworks,” through January 24

    As home to one of the largest collections of Haitian art in the United States, the Figge Art Museum is set to celebrate its vast assemblage of beautiful, evocative, fascinating pieces in Haitian Masterworks, a new exhibition, on display through January 24, that will focus on prevalent themes in Haitian art including spirituality, transformation, the natural world, everyday life, and Haitian history.

  • “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.

  • “T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris,” through January 31

    What part of yourself must you hide or bury for another to survive? This question is at the core of the Figge Art Museum's new exhibition T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris, a showcase of the (living) University of Iowa assistant professor's work, and an exhibit (on display through January 31) designed to explore the complex legacy of an artist’s identity after their passing.