Puppets! Live farm animals to sketch and pet! Free arts and crafts! A performance from Miss Iowa! What more could you ask for on a beautiful day in the Village of East Davenport?!
That’s what in store for this years’ Village in Bloom: Festival of the Arts on Saturday, May 5th from 10am-4pm. Its all FREE! and fun for the whole family!
A Dream Made Reality
Isabel Bloom and her husband John Bloom were beloved members of their community as well as inspiring artists to those who knew and loved their work. Hosting a festival in their honor was always something that co-owner of Isabel Bloom, Donna Young, had wanted to establish. The opportunity came when members of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend contacted Donna about the amount of funds available in the Art Education Fund (a fund that was established in Isabel’s honor after her passing). This fund was created with the intention of enhancing the visual arts education programs for school aged children in Scott and Rock Island counties. Donna saw this as the perfect chance to do something great with these funds; and so the Village in Bloom Festival was born.
Village in Bloom is a free, family-focused festival of the arts held in John and Isabel’s old neighborhood, The Village of East Davenport. Six years after its inception, the festival is still going strong! Held every year on the first Saturday in May, the festival boasts free admission and fun activities for the whole family including concerts, hands-on art activities, art exhibits, food from local vendors, and much more!
This year’s lineup includes crowd favorite the Eulenspiegel Puppeteers who are back with a new show featuring Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes. Caricature artists Leo Kelly and Bill Gustafson will be on hand to capture your likeness, and you can even watch and participate in the art of drumming with Phillip Seward of Hand and Heart Drumming, plus so much more!
“Each year the festival has grown bigger and better. We’re excited to host our 6th annual Village in Bloom festival in celebration of all Isabel and John brought to our area.” – Donna Young, artist and co-owner of Isabel Bloom.
For the past four years, students from local high schools have participated in a sculpting contest where they were encouraged to submit a clay sculpture, keeping within a chosen theme. One lucky student’s design is then chosen to be produced by Isabel Bloom in concrete form.
This year’s winner was Casey Rasmussen, a senior from North Scott High School. Her sculpture of a dog surrounded by ducklings, called “Farm Friends”, will be available for purchase the day of the festival with proceeds supporting future Village in Bloom festivals. Casey’s sculpture will remain for sale at all Isabel Bloom locations until the following year’s festival.
Area school children also get involved by creating sculptures based around the principle of creating art from what’s in your own backyard. Most of these sculptures are comprised of recycled materials and are focused around a theme; this year’s being “Life on the Farm.” We’ve seen some amazing sculptures come from these very talented students and it’s great to see their creativity at work. You can view past year’s sculptures on the Village in Bloom Facebook page and see which schools are participating this year by clicking here.
These sculptures are on display from the end of April until the day of the festival in participating Quad Cities businesses, including the studio showroom and tour center at Isabel Bloom. To see a list of participating businesses, visit the Village in Bloom Facebook page.
In order to keep the festival free for the community, sponsors are relied on heavily. The festival could not happen without them. This year’s presenting sponsor is Northwest Bank & Trust. Supporting sponsors include Isabel Bloom and Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, Activity sponsors are Union Hoermann Press, Lexus of the Quad Cities, Paul Schnell of Edward Jones, Nestle Purina and the Weyeneth Family. Sculpture sponsors are Rannfeldt Chiropractic, River City Tire and Ken and Ruth Soedt.
Funds are granted by the Isabel Bloom Art Education Endowment at the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend and Rock Island Arts Guild. There are also many in-kind sponsors that have generously contributed to keeping this event free and accessible to you!
Join us May 5th!
If you’re looking for a fun way to expose your children to an array of entertaining, family-friendly live performances, and lots of hands-on art activities…all for free…then this is the place to come! For a complete list of events and times, visit the Village in Bloom Facebook page here.