Giving gallery puts passion to action

Posted Online: April 04, 2014, 4:10 am
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By Leon Lagerstam,
DAVENPORT -- "Put your passion into action" challenges the Davenport Volunteer Connection.

Kaplan University accepted the challenge. The Davenport college will hold the inaugural Gallery of Giving event from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at its campus at 1801 E. Kimberly Road.

The event matches the university's passion for the arts and appreciation for help local charities have given its students, Kaplan business development director Chad Nelson said.

The event partners local artists with area charities. Featured artwork will include water colors, oil paintings, jewelry and woodworking.

"It's mostly about raising awareness," Mr. Nelson said. "But some of the artists will have some of their works for sale, and those with partnerships will share a percentage of sales with their partnered charity."

Fifteen high school artists also will compete for a Kindle HD top prize. Plaques and certificates will be presented to noted students, Mr. Nelson said.

The Gallery of Giving will provide "an excellent opportunity for our students and community members to interact with representatives of numerous charitable organizations and talented artists that are located in the Quad-Cities area," campus president Lisa Zerbonia said.

"The idea was to try to tie together and promote local artists and the charities that help our students," Mr. Nelson said. "It will give the public, business leaders and government officials a chance to network, and will give artists exposure."

Davenport's Volunteer Connection will be a featured partner, Mr. Nelson said.

Self-described as a "one-stop source for connecting volunteers and organizations in meaningful service," the organization's five core functions, according to, are to:
--Raise the profile of volunteerism in the community;
--Increase the number and diversity of community volunteers;
--Build the capacity of internal departments and local organizations to effectively involve volunteers;
--Connect volunteers to meaningful service opportunities;
--Develop a pool of emergency response volunteers.

"Put Your Passion Into Action" is its rallying cry, according to its webpage.

Davenport was awarded a Kennedy Serve America Act "Volunteer Generation Fund" grant in March 2011, making it the first and only Iowa municipality to operate a volunteer center.

Other charities expected to attend include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Churches United, Disability Assistance Dogs; Friendly House, NormaLeah Foundation and Living Proof, Mr. Nelson said.

There is no deadline for artists or charities, but people are asked to call Kaplan at 563-355-3500 to make sure space is available, Mr. Nelson said. For information, visit

Local artist and Churches United grant writer Rick Lodmell called the Gallery of Giving event a perfect match for him, because of his background.

"I've been on both sides," he said. "I've been an artist, and I do grant writing full time."

Mr. Lodmell has been a musician, poet, writer, painter, and has been mostly known for his photography. He also has been impressed by the job Churches United does, especially when it comes to its food programs for the needy.


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  Today is Tuesday, Sept, 30, the 273rd day of 2014. There are 92 days left in the year.

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1889 — 125 years ago: H.J. Lowery resigned from his position as manager at the Harper House.
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