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QC student artists find internship opportunity while brightening the community

With many summer internships canceled, the QC Arts made sure their program was a "go".

MOLINE, Illinois — When some students across the Quad Cities had their summer internships canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, one local non-profit made sure to keep their program running.

The Quad City Arts Summer Apprenticeship Program started in 2000. This year they made sure students had an opportunity to create art and get paid.

Student artists are painting two murals.  One at Friendship Manor in Rock Island and along BAJAS Classy Resale Shop off 5th Avenue in Moline.

"It's called "It's a New Day"," explains Sarah Robb (referring to the 5th Avenue location), the lead artist with the program. "Every day is a new day and that's kind of the way we have to look at things."

The students were asked to paint a mural by the owner of the BAJAS Classy Resale Shop.

"I think people will really start paying attention to 5th Avenue," comments Pam Fisher, BAJAS Resale Shop owner. She bought her store two years ago.  That's when she noticed Robb creating another mural across the street for the Child Abuse Council Quad Cities.

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"I saw her and I went running across there and said "I just bought this building" and I loved what they were doing."

When doors closed on summer internships due to COVID-19, students in the apprenticeship program say they were happy this opportunity was still available.

"I remember the day when I was like "man, I was really looking forward to the QC Metro Arts thing", and that was the day I got the email that it was going to happen on Monday," says Kurtis Holmes, a student participant.

Students applied, interviewed, hired, and will be paid during the five week program.  The Moline mural will be complete in the next week. There is also an improv group who meets daily.