August 2, 2012

Not the Same Old Song and Dance

By Devon White
Augustana College student intern
Child Abuse Council

Cultural Experiences in the QCA for You and the “Kids”

Routine life of eating at the same booth, listening to your song, and doing the same old dance are easy to fall into. Older folks generally go about their routines contently, while their grandchildren are seeing and trying things for the first time. It is here that exists the generational divide. For years, relationship columns have stressed the importance of keeping things new and fresh in order to maintain healthy relations. Relationships with grandchildren are no different. Some of my fondest childhood memories were at the Colonial Café with my younger sister and grandparents, sharing the very same piled-high kitchen sink ice cream they always used to enjoy. Holidays at Grandma and Grandpa’s have always meant Bluegrass and Jazz music. Those musical riffs have rubbed off on me now, as I have enjoyed the likes of the Chicago Summer Jazz Festival and the House of Blues, myself. Learning and experiencing new things with your grandchildren is probably one of the most overlooked ways to create and strengthen your bond and relatability.

Below are some ideas for interactive, cultural experiences in the Quad-Cities during these last summer months into early fall. First of all, there’s the seasonal event fun for the whole family and then the cultural experiences the QCA provides year-round.

Upcoming Events

• The 21st Annual Ya Maka My Weekend is a Reggae Festival in the District of downtown Rock Island, August 10-11. The festival includes live Caribbean-style music, good food, sand volleyball tournaments, a Pirate Contest, and a place for the little ones to play in their very own Children’s Village.
• The largest Hispanic Festival in the QCA: VIVA-Quad Cities
happens September 7-8 this year. The celebration includes some of the QC’s zestiest foods, a 5K walk/run, scholarship award ceremony, dancing and live entertainment.
• Beaux Arts Fair takes place this year in front of the Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport September 8-9. Who can resist going to this free fair that includes displays of global art, musical entertainment, children’s project area and food court?

Ongoing in the QCA

It’s good to note, as the saying goes, a family that learns together grows together.

• The River Music Experience offers music lessons from voice to the more European style penny whistle to the Latin American marimba. Professional live concerts are also held weekly through the River Music Experience.

Also, it’s been said that a family that eats together, stays together. Instead of every man for himself at mealtime, switch things up and eat up some culture together. For example:

• The Center for Belgian Culture, Moline, offers a Waffle Breakfast every first Saturday of the month.

Grocery store and fun, aren’t those oxymoronic? Nevertheless, when the kids see you pulling into a specialty grocery, they won’t think twice about complaining about who has to push the cart. Try these:

• Oriental Food Store on East 4th Street in Davenport
• La Finca, a Mexican grocery store/ restaurant in Davenport
• Freighthouse Farmers Market on River Dr. in Davenport on a Tuesday afternoon or a Saturday morning,

Routine daily life transforms into new cultural learning experiences if we take a second and enjoy the “hidden” treasures the Quad-Cities have to offer! Conversations and laughter can be made more frequent with first-time shared “oopses” or “yums.” The excitement to learn can grow, and likewise, so can the excitement to spend time together.

For more information about the Child Abuse Council’s prevention and education programs, you can visit us at