• October 26, 2017 9:49 AM | Marketing (Administrator)

    Laura Sievert (Arts Quincy) and Mara Clingingsmith (BBB Quincy Regional Director)Arts Quincy (The Quincy Society of Fine Arts) was founded in 1947 as America’s First Community Arts Council and for over 70 years has been committed to increasing fine arts access to every resident in Adams County, IL and the surrounding area. The organization promotes and supports music, dance, visual arts, theater, literacy, history and humanities programs year-round. In 2016, the storied organization hired a new Executive Director, Laura Sievert. Sievert reached out to the local Better Business Bureau as she sought a way to let donors and supporters know that the nonprofit was committed to the highest levels of ethics and sounds stewardship of their donations.

    “Today’s donors are very savvy and want to make sure that every single dollar they contribute to a local nonprofit is making the biggest impact that it can. Having a Better Business Bureau certification lets our donors know at a glance that our ethical standards in both governance and fiscal accountability have been independently verified and that they can be confident that their contribution will be making a difference and expanding arts access right here where they live,” explains Sievert.

    Laura Sievert (Arts Quincy) and Suzanne Irwin

    In addition to being a marketing and advocacy arm for 55 area nonprofits in arts and education, Arts Quincy is very active in bringing arts programing to local schools. Over 7,500 students at 17 public and parochial schools throughout Adams County will have an unforgettable arts experience in the 2017/2018 school year thanks to the Arts Quincy Instant Arts Classroom Funds program.

    “Our overall audited fiscal statements show that almost 85 cents of every dollar our donors invest in our agency goes right back out to programs. Part of the way we maintain this level of efficacy is to negotiate with vendors to lower costs. In fact, our children’s program this year has shrunk average expenditures per child served to under $3! This figure includes supplies or transportation for their arts experience, and is something we work very hard to keep as low as possible so that we can keep serving more students,” says Sievert.

    Arts Quincy also awards grants called “Arts Dollars” which support local arts events and are focused on expanding reach to underserved parts of our community including veterans, low-income, elderly, at-risk youth, minority communities and more. The nonprofit also hosts annual awards named for the society’s founder, George M. Irwin, which recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals who have shown exceptional dedication to the fine arts.

    Beyond the nonprofit fine arts programs, Sievert believes it’s crucial to work with professional organizations like the BBB to demonstrate that Arts Quincy is committed to the highest standards in nonprofit practices. Not only did Arts Quincy become a BBB Accredited nonprofit in 2017 by meeting the 20 Better Business Bureau Standards for Charity Accountability, but the organization was also selected for a 2017 TORCH Awards Winner, St. Louis Better Business Bureau®.

    “The Better Business Bureau certification and TORCH Award are such an asset to an organization like Arts Quincy,” Sievert explains. “Donors can be assured that they’ve picked an organization to support that is going to be transparent and held accountable for where donations are going. The BBB is a name people know and trust, and they have combed our financial statements, dissected our structure and governance procedures and have independently certified that we’re doing the right things with the investments of our donors. We’re bringing more fine arts to more people, more often, and we’re continuing a fine tradition of arts programming in Quincy. This prestigious award is going to help us expand the reach of the arts throughout our entire service area.”

    “Arts Quincy has been a pillar of Quincy since 1947, and continues to be recognized for supporting quality arts programming that contributes to the culture and economy of our area,” said Sievert. “We are so appreciative to the BBB for awarding us the 2017 TORCH Award, and will continue to strive to expand arts access while maintaining the highest standards in ethical fiscal and organizational accountability.”

    Click here to view Arts Quincy's BBB profile.

    Click here to become a member or to donate.

  • October 24, 2017 9:44 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Have you ever thought about commissioning a piece of art? It is an opportunity to have a meaningful and unique item created just for you by someone who has put their heart and soul into their work. You will find no copies, no prints and no limited editions when you have an original artwork!

    The Art Center wants to give you this exclusive opportunity to pair up with a local artist who matches your personal style and will create the perfect piece just for you!

    On Thursday, Oct. 26 the public is invited to participate in The Art Center’s Match Making Mixer “Shop the mARkeT” from 6 – 9 pm. The public will view samples of select artists’ work in The Art Center’s galleries and speak to the artists individually. Click here for a full list of participating artists.

    Light appetizers and beverages will be available during the mixer. The Art Center will also feature these local artists’ booths during the Art Crawl on Friday, Oct. 27 from 6 – 10 pm.

    Artwork commissioned during the Match Making Mixer will be revealed at the mARkeT: Reveal Gala on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 7 – 10 pm. The main event will be the unveiling of each artwork. This will be the owners’ first chance to see the art as it is unveiled.

    Tickets are $50 per person for the Reveal Gala. Admission includes heavy hors d’ oeuvres by local chefs, musical entertainment and one-of-a-kind spectacles.

    All proceeds support the mission of The Art Center. For more information stop by (1515 Jersey Street) Monday – Saturday from 9 am – 4 pm, call 217-223-5900 or visit

  • October 19, 2017 10:14 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal, MO is celebrating Mark Twain’s 182nd Birthday with an old-fashioned Birthday Party for children, a Mustache Competition, Masquerade Mask Exhibit and Contest, and the official lighting of the Boyhood Home Christmas Tree with music, Mark Twain and Tom and Becky. Join us Saturday, Nov. 25 for a day full of festivities and merriment.

    It all kicks off at 1 pm with Twain’s Birthday Party for Children. Tom and Becky will be on hand to celebrate Sam’s Birthday with old-fashioned games, crafts, story-telling and cupcakes! Twain’s Birthday Party will be held on the main floor of the Museum Gallery at 120 N. Main. Free for children to attend and must be accompanied by an adult.

    Think you have the perfect mustache? Then enter your "stache" at the Museum's 3rd Annual Mustache Competition, 3 pm in the Museum Gallery.

    Categories include:  
    The Dapper Stache which is full of character and artistic impression. If your stache is creative and full of originality, then this is the category for you. Styling aids are acceptable and encouraged, including the use of mustache /hair wax, hair spray, hair lacquer, hair gel and styling foam.

    The Manliest Stache which represents the most impressive of the mustaches that will be selected by a panel of judges.

    The Mark Twain Stache, which bears a striking resemblance to Samuel Clemens' famous witty mustache, commonly referred to as the Walrus. It is bushy, and full, drooping over the mouth and also extending downward at each corner.

     A $5 entry fee and registration per category is required and prizes awarded to the winners of each category.

    Artists young and old can enter the Museum’s Masquerade Mask Contest using a paper mache mask and transforming it into an original piece of art. Any medium is allowed. We ask that the masks come complete with string to hang in our auditorium on exhibit prior to the Birthday Bash Celebration. Masks are available at the museum office starting November 6, or you can provide your own. All entries must be turned into the office, 120 N. Main, by Friday, Nov. 17 and will be on exhibit Saturday, Nov. 18 – Saturday, Nov. 25. Visitors to the Museum can vote on their favorite and the winners of the People’s Choice and a Judge’s Choice will be announced at 4 pm during the Birthday Bash Celebration. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in both categories.

    The party continues outside Sam’s Boyhood Home on Hill Street with the lighting of the official Christmas Tree and Boyhood Home Gardens. Join Mark Twain, Tom and Becky beginning at 5 pm for music and entertainment and join in the caroling as the grounds are illuminated for Christmas at dusk.

    For more information on all the festivities for Mark Twain’s Annual Birthday Bash contact Melissa at 573-221-9010 ext. 404 or visit

  • October 11, 2017 1:31 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Public Library has just added three different coding toys to give children a head start with digital literacy. The toys are appropriate for different but overlapping age ranges. They may be checked out from the librarian in QPL’s Children’s Department, for use within the library building. 

    Code-a-pillar inspires children three years and older to combine segments to make the caterpillar move, while encouraging problem solving skills, planning, sequencing, and critical thinking.

    Ozobot is a robot for children ages six and up. Ozobot is controlled by planning and drawing colored lines. It features 20 games and activities.

    Dot and Dash are robots for children ages eight and up. Kids can learn to program both robots through the challenge apps available online to bring the robots to life.

    The coding toys were purchased through grants from the Quincy Noon Kiwanis and the Friends of Library.

    “Quincy Public Library is expanding resources available for early digital literacy as well as language literacy for children,” explained QPL’s Executive Director Nancy Dolan. “Coding skills can be learned at very young ages. These toys can engage children and encourage them to pursue computer programming or computer science.”

    Additional information is available at or by calling Quincy Public Library at 217-223-1309.

    The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs.

  • October 05, 2017 3:46 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Do you ever find your self looking for something new, fun and interesting to do in town? Arts Quincy can help you with that! Especially this October as many of our Partner Organizations are having special events, celebrations, concerts and Halloween themed activities.

    In the latest issue of Arts Quincy Magazine, popular events are featured including Ghost Tours at Woodland Cemetery, Strassenfest at the Governor John Wood Mansion, the Art Crawl organized by Quincy Art Center, as well as many opportunities to attend concerts, gallery exhibitions, theater productions, visit a museum, take an art or acting class, and so much more! 

    Explore ALL the ARTS on our website. Under Partner Organizations you will find 55 nonprofits that bring you all the above activities and more. Under Events you will find a calendar full of things to do and current and upcoming exhibitions. You can also view the latest issue of the magazine for FREE, read blog posts, and also support Art-In-Education to more than 7,500 students.

    Arts Quincy if America's First Arts Council. It is our mission to increase access and awareness of all the areas of the fine arts including visual, theater, humanities, music and more to all Adams County residents. We are able to do this through the continued support and contributions from our members, funders, sponsors and donors. Thank you!

    By donating and becoming a member of Arts Quincy you support our mission and our programs. You will also receive the Arts Quincy magazine and  the Arts Blast Email that sends you of upcoming events right to your inbox! Click here to become a member.

    Arts Quincy is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Of every dollar donated, 85 cents is put towards programming. View our BBB report/review by clicking here

  • October 03, 2017 1:43 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Every family has its own history, and these events, personalities and traditions make each family unique. Whether you’re new to genealogy, or have devoted a lifetime to it, there are many ways to investigate your past and celebrate National Family History Month this October!

    From making a family tree to creating a personal history book, Great River Genealogical Society (GRGS) members are devoted genealogists. They pour through collections of family group sheets, photographs, copies of census reports, notes and more. These are all building blocks of our past.

    Henry Pratt, GRGS President, has devoted three decades to his own family research and has written his own family history book entitled, Dusty Country Roads: Tracing the Footprints of the Pratt Clan.

    “There is something within a person which brings on the desire to go back to his roots,” Pratt says. “Perhaps it is the onset of ‘middle age,’ those years of maturation and acceptance of what life has dealt to us in happiness, joys and sorrows. An attempt to chronicle the years with some kind of historical perspective is both rewarding and stimulating.

    “Looking back on my life events and the loss of siblings and parents, my desire to write about my family as well as World War II deepened,” he says.

    Through his research he found a cousin who is a professional Genealogist and planted a seed for him to write his own book.

    “One of my siblings was also involved in writing what became a chapter in the book. I began to write details of our immediate family and as my research proceeded, I added to the information. I just wrote as time permitted over 30 years.”

    The book has chapters dedicated to Pratt's parents and siblings and to the setting for which they were born and raised in West Virginia. His efforts help to define some of the vague past of which none of him or his family knew very much about. The book delves into the family’s deeper roots, history, WWII legacy, and more. Chapters are also dedicated to his grandparents and their families. The book also includes newspaper clippings, photos, maps, handwritten letters, military documents, family group sheets and more.

    He says the GRGS members share tips, ideas and information that are a real help in one's genealogy search.

    “My involvement with GRGS has been beneficial in that I am in fellowship with others who are doing the same thing and ideas for research come forth."

    Membership in GRGS exposes a person to a wide array of interesting programs. Members also receive quarterly issues of the organization’s publication The Yellow Jacket, according to Pratt. 

    Have you been curious about your family tree but just aren’t sure where to start? Members of the GRGS are available every Tuesday to assist in ancestor research at Quincy Public Library (QPL), 526 Jersey Street, from 10 am – 12 pm in the Illinois Room. The volunteers can show you how to use local history material and point out additional options for researching your family. No appointment is needed. QPL also offers free online resources to library card holders. For more information, to become a GRGS member or to sign up for The Yellow Jacket, visit

    Historical records and materials are also available from the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. The organization maintains a collection of more than 20,000 items documenting the community’s architectural and social history from the formation of the county in 1825 to the present. The collection contains photographic images, maps, prints, drawings, diaries, books and even physical objects.

    Research hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am – 2 pm at the John Wood Mansion’s Visitor’s Center and Library at 425 S. 12th Street. To make an appointment call 217-222-1835.

  • October 03, 2017 10:36 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Over 60,000 souls are interred at historic Woodland Cemetery (5th and Jefferson) on more than 40 pristine, rolling acres of Quincy’s river bluffs. This fall, thanks to the Friends of the Woodland Cemetery and the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, the public has a special opportunity to step back in time and see the real ghosts of Quincy come to life. 

    This popular event features three unique presentations that uncover the stories of the people laid to rest at Woodland. Tours are $15 per person. Reserve your tour by calling 217-222-1835 or visiting

    Tales from the Crypt Mausoleum Tours: Saturday, Oct. 7 at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 pm and features stories of people interred inside the Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum. The tour will acquaint you with stories told, visions seen and the culture of the unknown. Kae Blecha will be your psychic interpreter as you are transported to a time when mystery and intrigue reign. The 45 minute tour is completely housed within the main Mausoleum (four stairs to enter, no additional walking) and features three to four vignettes with actors.

    Gone Too Soon: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6, 7, and 8 pm. In the late 19th century, it was not uncommon for young people to succumb to illness or injury. This walking tour of the cemetery explores the stories of those that were gone too soon. The 45 minute tour led by Kae Blecha includes several vignettes and features child actors at the main fountain.

    Spirits and Scoundrels: Saturday, Oct. 21 and 28. See the gravestones, hear the stories and perhaps meet the phantoms that make up the diverse people laid to rest at historic Woodland Cemetery. Character portrayals will raise the dead for mystifying and fascinating tales of the early years of Quincy.

    Halloween Ghost Tour: Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 6, 7 and 8 pm. Docents lead this 45 minute walking tour on the spookiest night of the year! A combination of the Spirits and Scoundrels themes and the Gone Too Soon stories, this is sure to be a haunted and historic experience for all.

  • September 21, 2017 9:24 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The Governor John Wood Mansion, one of the oldest and most iconic homes in Illinois, is undergoing significant renovations this fall. The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County (HSQAC) has planned more than $31,000 in painting projects, HVAC upgrades, building repairs and restoration projects. Both the John Wood Mansion and History Museum at 4th and Maine are part of these improvements. 

    The beautiful wrap-around porch at the founder’s home is getting a major overhaul with several rotted floorboards, balusters, stairs and railings being either repaired or replaced. Included in the restoration efforts are extensive painting projects with the north side of the Mansion, the wrap-around porch, several shutters and doors, and the entire picket fence at the edge of the property being power washed and painted.  Work is being done by Paul Womack (painting), Daniel Nutt (carpentry) and Freiburg Construction (restoration.)

    The Historical Society believes maintaining the John Wood Mansion and History Museum are critical to the mission of the organization. HSQAC Board Member Chuck Radel emphasized the importance of restoring the mansion when he said, “I think it’s probably a crown jewel of Quincy and something that the entire community can be proud of. Our job as a Historical Society is to preserve, educate and make people aware of their past. And this is a period-appropriate restoration, so people can literally walk through the past year and understand their history that much better.”

    The Historical Society depends on the community and its members to continue to preserve and protect our iconic buildings. The HSQAC would like to thank Quincy Preserves for a $7,500 grant to help pay for the porch repairs. The Society would also like to thank the 86 Builder level ($100) members. All the proceeds from the Builder memberships go directly to preserving the Mansion and the History Museum. If you would like to upgrade your membership to Builder level, please call the HSQAC offices at 217-222-1835.

  • September 01, 2017 4:10 PM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    Quincy Public Library will host a kick-off party for the NEA Big Read, to engage community members of all ages, on September 14 from 4 to 6 pm at Upper Moorman Park.  Pick up a free book; enjoy some light refreshments, music, and exciting children’s activities.  Alderman Tom Ernst will give the welcome, followed by an insightful talk about the Big Read book choice, Five Skies by Ron Carlson, by Dr. Mark Mossman from Western Illinois University.

    The NEA Big Read selection and the corresponding Little Read selections are all about pushing the boundaries – setting a high goal – and extending oneself beyond what’s thought possible – and in small and large ways learning more about oneself and one’s capacity for work and adventure.  Readers may choose to receive one free copy of Five Skies by Ron Carlson, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, or Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Macky Pamintuan.

    Books and refreshments will be available on a first come basis, as long as supplies last.

    In the month following the kick off, readers of all ages can participate in special Big Read events.  Adult Monday movies will feature exciting films highlighting experiences similar to the story in Five Skies.  Special events include a visit with the Harley Owner’s Group, to learn about motorcycles and motorcycle touring; a talk and photos showing the landscape and wildlife of the Mark Twain National Forest; and a Skype discussion with Five Skies author Ron Carlson. 

    Quincy Art Center will join in the NEA Big Read, through September 30, with the Big Scapes exhibit, artwork from Quincy Art Center’s collection that highlights wide open spaces, similar to that found in Five Skies.

     Teen readers are invited to participate in book discussions, a survivalist cooking workshop, and a Western round-up.

    The concurrent Little Read allows the youngest readers to learn about adventure and the great outdoors in exciting story times and lively family programs, including Big Trucks, a chance to cozy up to a dump truck and back hoe; and an opportunity to pet turtles, crawdads and fish with a presentation from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    Book discussions create opportunities for a community to explore together the common themes and current issues that are relevant in our lives.  Quincy’s Big Read will host many book discussions, including one with the author of Five Skies, Ron Carlson.

    To see a full list of NEA Big Read and Little Read events and book discussions, visit

    The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of the world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspective, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery.

    The NEA grant brings federal funds to the Quincy area.  Local support for Quincy’s Big Read is provided by the Friends of the Quincy Public Library, Blessing Health System, the Regional office of Education, Knapheide Manufacturing, and additional business and individual donors. This program was also made possible in part by a grant from the Paul H and Anne B Gardner Memorial Fund through the Community Foundation.

    Additional information is available online at or at, or by calling Quincy Public Library at 217-223-1309.

    The mission of the Quincy Public Library is to provide its patrons with materials, facilities and programs to meet lifelong learning, cultural and recreational needs. 

  • August 29, 2017 9:19 AM | Guest Blogger (Administrator)

    The familiar first notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony will launch a 5k run/walk benefiting youth music programs through Encore!, the volunteer council for Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association. 

    Come join the race on Saturday, September 16 at 8 am at the Wavering Park baseball diamond. The race is professionally chip-timed and medals will be awarded to men’s and women’s top 3 finishers plus everyone who beats the time 28 minutes 29 seconds (the performing time for the 5th Symphony).  

    A free t-shirt will be available to those who register by September 1. The cost is $30 for individuals and $90 for families of 4 residing at the same address.  

    Encore! supports not only the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, but also many youth music initiatives in Quincy and surrounding communities including:
    Summer Music Camp Scholarships (Quincy and Regional Students)
    Quincy Public Schools Music Departments
    Quincy Parochial Schools Music Departments
    Quincy Area Youth Chorus
    Quincy Area Youth Orchestra
    Kinderchoir (Children's Chorus)
    Annual Young Artists Competition & Concert
    Stipends for students playing with the Symphony Orchestra
    Annual Young People's Concert for Area Third - Sixth grade students

    For more information about this event and more, visit

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