Parents out there, you can relate.
Your student brings home a report card. You'd love to open it up and see an "A," but it's not there. The grade is further down the scale.
Let's say it's a D-minus. You don't want to punish the child, but the first question — at least it is in our house — would be "Did you do your best?"
That's the same kind of feeling I had after viewing the first-of-its-kind Arts Vibrancy Index, published this week by the National Center for Arts Research, based at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
In a county-by-county "heat map" of America, each area was rated by its arts dollars, arts providers, grant activity, socio-economic conditions and other factors, including hotels, restaurants, zoos/botanical centers, cinemas, bars and professional sports.
The scores given to each county are not necessarily grades — admittedly stretching the report-card analogy — as much as percentiles, with 100 the best and zero the worst.
In arts dollars, Scott County was in the 61st percentile and Rock Island County 54th. Scott ranked in the high 50s to low 60s in terms of program revenue, contributed revenue, total expenses and total compensation. Rock Island was in the mid-50s in all of those categories, but 58th in total compensation.
Scott County received its best score in arts providers, with 84. That's boosted by arts and entertainment employees, at the 90th percentile, as well as decent scores for arts organizations (72), independent artists (69), and arts and culture employees (82). Rock Island County scored in the 81st percentile insofar as arts providers, led by an 89 in arts and entertainment employees and 80 in arts and culture employees, as well as 66 in both arts organizations and independent artists.
In regards to grant activity, Scott County scored a 79, Rock Island a 70.
Scott ranked a 70 in other leisure, Rock Island a 35. Scott's percentiles for hotels (71), restaurants (77), zoo-botanical (6), cinemas (23), pro sports (29) and bars (86) show an interesting array. Rock Island County ranked at half of what Scott did in leisure at 35, with its hotels (60), restaurants (46), zoo-botanical (7), cinemas (12), pro sports (15) and bars (84) scores varying as well.
After looking at the chart for a while, I'm not sure how they came to the conclusions they did on some of these numbers — specifically what constitutes an arts and entertainment worker, why the zoo-botanical number is so low in both counties and the study's definition of pro sports.
The medium-small market rankings are led by Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Santa Fe, N.M., with Des Moines-West Des Moines ranking 11th. Its arts dollars are in the 17th percentile, including seventh in program revenue, while its government support is 164th, including 255th in federal tax dollars.
There's a link to the color-coded map with my column at qctimes.com.
Max on Cinemax
It's been nearly two years since we reported that Cinemax announced it was going to shoot a TV pilot based on the "Quarry" books by Muscatine's prolific author Max Allan Collins.
Well, the premium channel finally announced this week that "Quarry" has been picked up as a series for an eight-week run. Production will begin late next month.
Logan Marshall-Green, whose credits include the movies "Across the Universe" and "Cold Comes the Night" and the TV series "Dark Blue," "Traveler" and "The O.C.," will play a 1972 Marine Corps veteran drawn into corruption and killing along the Mississippi River. Collins is listed as one of the executive producers, as well as one of the writers.
Moody en Espanol
The Moody Radio Network flipped three of its Christian stations, including WDLM-AM (860) in East Moline, from English to Spanish language earlier this month.
"Moody Radio is committed to reaching across the globe, cultures and generations to equip people with the truth of God's word, and we are thrilled that our Spanish-speaking listeners in these markets will now have quality biblical programming in their own language," said Collin Lambert, the vice president of Moody Radio, in a news release posted on the network's website.
Its FM counterpart, WDLM-FM (89.3), continues to broadcast in English.
David Burke can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @entguy1.