2018 Harley Award Honors Rachael Mullins Steiner
The annual Harley Award honors an individual who has positively affected the visual arts and artists in the Quad Cities during his/her lifetime. This year's Harley Award honors Rachael Mullins Steiner for her visionary leadership, enthusiastic spirit and continuing passion in creating a community arts culture.
Rachael Mullins’ service to the local arts community has spanned nearly 30 years, from the 1990s grassroots Kanga Arts Cooperative to leadership roles in the development of the River Music Experience and Figge Art Museum. For MidCoast, she worked on creating Bucktown Center for the Arts and new program development, including the Art N’ Ally program, ArtWorks Expo, BASH!, ArtStroll and more.
She's held roles at the state level in Iowa and Illinois, in local special events, and in advancing downtown development and cultural tourism across the Quad Cities community. This work included serving on the board of the Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District where she founded and led Gallery HOP! In 2004, Mullins recruited the St. Louis-based Venus Envy to Davenport, resulting in an all-female arts celebration across all arts disciplines. In partnership with the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau and MidCoast, Mullins led the creation of promotional materials and arts packaging such as the Art for Everyone public arts guide and the innovative Arts Mecca Cultural Tourism plan that laid a foundation for the Cultural Trust and other local economic development tools in the arts.
Mullins holds a BA in Business Administration and Fine Arts from St. Ambrose and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. She currently serves as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community Relations and Partnerships in the Davenport Community Schools. Through that role she's advanced arts education initiatives, including the annual Student Showcase and the founding of the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities. Mullins was integral in the raising of nearly $3 million and supported many of the early partnerships that made the Academy a reality.
Recently, Mullins joined the board of Davenport Sister Cities where she's proud to be promoting our local arts community as an international model, advancing cultural tourism, hosting visiting delegations, and exploring opportunities for local artists in residency and exhibition opportunities around the world. Mullins is also a practicing artist, having shown her art around the Quad Cities region and, most recently, in Davenport’s Sister City of Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Mullins credits the inspiration of Quad Cities mentors such as Bruce Carter, Lloyd Schoeneman, Dean Schroeder, Todd McGreevey and Mary Ellen Chamberlin. I can say that Rachael has devoted an exemplary passion to leverage the visual arts in our community and now is an inspiration for others.
~ Sherry Maurer