BETTENDORF, IOWA (September 17, 2021) —The Quad Cities Community Foundation today announced the recipients of a total of $566,000 through its Coordinated Field of Interest Grant program. Made possible by donors to the Community Foundation, this year’s program pools resources from 11 different Field of Interest Funds as well as the Quad Cities Community Impact Fund.

The Coordinated Field of Interest Grant program represents one of the largest single grantmaking distributions made by the Community Foundation each year.

Grants from the program cover a variety of specific focus areas, from basic needs and health to community development and arts and culture. The funding is intended to provide general operating support or program support for successful ongoing efforts. Twelve of this year’s 32 recipients are receiving grants that will be awarded for two consecutive years.

“The Coordinated Field of Interest Grant program is a wonderful example of how we work to find the intersection between the pressing needs in our community and the issues donors are passionate about,” said Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives. “The 32 recipients of these grants provide a diverse range of resources and services to better our region, and it’s a privilege for us to help donor generosity support that work in the best way possible.”

Jonathan Burnett established the Urban Exposure Independent Film Project at the Azubuike African American Council for the Arts seven years ago to introduce students between the ages of 17 and 23 to the power of filmmaking, opening their minds to the educational and career opportunities available to them and inspiring them to tell their own stories. In that time, he’s seen participants go on to earn degrees in filmmaking, start careers in the industry, and win awards at international film festivals.

Now, with a two-year grant from the Quad Cities Community Impact Fund in the focus areas of arts and culture and youth development, Azubuike will be able to reach more Urban Exposure participants and grow the region’s status as a vibrant cultural center. Part of the funding will go toward recruitment incentives like scholarships to help students who need to earn money over the summer commit to the intensive program, which runs eight to 10 weeks. The grant will also fund a separate new initiative, the Quad Cities Film Production Incubator, to support filmmakers ages 20 to 28 from the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

“This funding will begin to create a new generation of filmmakers who have the opportunity to make an immediate impact within the industry,” said Burnett. “The Midwestern perspective has been overlooked in the film world, but we’re not just flyover states. We have culture, interesting stories, and issues we want to bring forward. This funding is the starting point.”

The grant will help Azubuike fulfill its mission of bridging racial gaps through art locally, too. “Our students’ films have covered so many different topics, including issues people didn’t think existed in the Quad Cities,” said Burnett. “With this program, we’re bringing those issues to light and having those conversations. Films that show people who do not look like us, who have a different culture or belief system from us, create a bridge of empathy.”

This year’s grants come from the following Field of Interest Funds, with additional funding provided by the Quad Cities Community Impact Fund. An * denotes a grant paid over the course of two years.

Amy Helpenstell Foundation Fund — focuses on health, community development, youth development, education, and arts and cultural activities:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley — $20,000*
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley — $13,800
  • Cafe on Vine — $15,000*
  • Christian Family Care Center & Rock Island Rescue Mission — $14,100
  • Clock Inc — $2,350
  • Dress for Success Quad Cities — $20,000*
  • Family Resources – Davenport — $40,000*
  • German American Heritage Center — $5,000
  • HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid — $16,400
  • Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates – iJAG — $14,600
  • Midwest Animal Assisted Therapy and Education Organization — $5,000
  • Narratives — $7,500
  • NEST Café — $10,000
  • Putnam Museum and Science Center — $40,000*
  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra — $17,450*
  • River Bend Food Bank — $30,000*
  • School Health LINK Inc — $4,700
  • Spring Forward Learning Center — $40,000*
  • Tapestry Farms — $9,300
  • Testimonies of Hope — $12,360
  • World Relief — $12,000
  • Youth Service Bureau of RI County — $12,170

Basic Human Needs Fund — focuses on organizations supporting basic human needs:

  • Tapestry Farms—$700

Children At Risk Fund—focuses on youth:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley — $1,200

Chip Sunderbruch Memorial Risk Management Fund — focuses on risk management and safety issues:

  • HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid — $3,600 

CommunityWorks Endowment Fund — focuses on childcare, land use protection, and workforce development in Rock Island County:

  • Martin Luther King Jr Center Inc — $10,400
  • WVIK Quad Cities NPR — $12,000

Health and Wellness Fund — focuses on health:

  • School Health LINK Inc — $10,300

John J Quail Fund — focuses on arts and culture:

  • Quad City Symphony Orchestra — $2,550

Judith Berger Fund — focuses on education, poverty, and children in need:

  • Testimonies of Hope — $2,640

Nell C Brennan Fund — focuses on educational opportunities for underserved children:

  • Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates – iJAG — $400

Quad Cities Community Impact Fund — focuses on the most pressing needs and promising opportunities in the Quad Cities:  

  • Azubuike African American Council for the Arts — $30,000*
  • Family Enrichment Center — $8,000
  • Figge Art Museum — $9,400
  • Living Proof Exhibit — $5,000
  • Martin Luther King Jr Center Inc — $29,600
  • Playcrafters Barn Theatre — $10,000
  • Quad Cities Interfaith — $20,000
  • Quad City Minority Partnership — $10,000*
  • WGVV — Quad Cities Community Broadcasting Group Inc — $30,000*

Roy E Murray Fund — focuses on youth:

  • Clock Inc — $7,650

Sekharan Family Fund — focuses on hospice care and homelessness:

  • Christian Family Care Center and Rock Island Rescue Mission — $900

Grants are made available thanks to the generosity of donors in the region who have made endowment gifts to the funds above to support communities in the Quad Cities area. These grants were awarded through the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Coordinated Field of Interest Grant program, allowing non-profits to submit one application and be considered for many grant opportunities. For more information about starting a fund to support the region, or to apply for a grant, visit

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