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Joel Ryser was enjoying a CBS News Sunday Morning program when a story about a public art/scavenger hunt project out on Block Island, Rhode Island, ignited his creative spirit. The founder of Hot Glass, a Davenport hand blown glass studio, quickly picked up the telephone to call Visit Quad Cities Vice President Charlotte Doehler-Morrison, and plans were set in motion for a new QC Great Glass Hunt. The art hunt, which invites the public to go search, find and take home one of Hot Glass’ sparkling hand blown glass floats, was one of a pair of fun, new arts tourism activities unveiled Thursday, Sept. 1, at a news conference at Quad City Arts. The arts organization and Visit Quad Cities also announced the launch of a new QC Public Art Trail that will help showcase all the public art the region offers. Ms. Doehler-Morrison said the two new, exciting experiences are designed to highlight the creative energy of the Quad Cities as well as help expose the region’s talented artists to the community and visitors. “The goal is to interest people to go out and also have fun at the same time … (the hunt) also gets people out at our parks and they’re getting a prize at the end of it.” The new QC Public Art Trail and the QC Great Glass Hunt , a partnership between Visit Quad Cities and Quad City Arts, will take Quad Citizens and visitors on a journey of discovery and to hidden treasure. Art enthusiasts and visitors alike will discover a year-round trail showcasing temporary and permanent sculptures, murals, and galleries where you can purchase art produced by Quad Cities artists. Kevin Maynard, executive director of Quad City Arts, said art activities such as these new programs help create civic pride and a love for the arts. “The QC Public Art Trail helps celebrate the incredible works of art that can be found in our community and gives everyone a starting point to truly experiencing what the QC has to offer.” Of the launch of a QC Great Glass Hunt, he said “We’re so proud of it – when you hide glass it’s like hiding little jewels.” With the two programs launching simultaneously, he said “We are pumped!” According to Visit Quad Cities, similar float glass hunts have been popular in Lincoln City, Oregon; and Westport, Washington, as well as Block Island – the program that sparked the Quad Cities own glass hunt in Rhode Island. Prior to Thursday’s announcement in downtown Rock Island, Mr. Ryser and his son Logan Ryser, Hot Glass’ co-founder, strategically hid 250 of the hand blown pieces of art across 10 parks in Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline and Rock Island. But Ms. Doehler-Morrison warned 74 of the creations have already been located and taken home with their new owners. “Get out there and start hunting,” she said. For full details, visit Qcglasshunt.com. Each float has a glass stopper with a QC emblem and QR Code sticker. Scan the QR code with your mobile device to be taken to qcglasshunt.com, where you report your discovery. Participants then will enter their name, the park they found the float, and the number etched on your float. Each float has an individual engraved number (Example 5/250) to identify it. Visitors also are encouraged to post about their QC Glass Hunt experience and photos on Facebook at QC Glass Hunt. A running tally of discovered floats will be reported on the website. People can report as many floats as they can find and the treasure hunt does not end until all floats have been found. Plans are to repeat this project every year. Mr. Ryser said he’s seen Facebook posts of treasure hunters locating several of the art pieces. Organizers said the hunt and the art trail are a perfect pairing. Throughout the year, new trail locations will be updated and added to the list. In addition, the trail links to the River Music Experience One Sound Project website where you can follow its trail to beautifully-painted pianos – available for play in – by local artists. The QC Public Art Trail will work as a repository for a complete list of public art in the region, Visit Quad Cities President and CEO Dave Herrell told the small crowd of arts supporters and city leaders. “Public art and activating it within the region to amplify our distinct characteristics and values is a strategic driver for Visit Quad Cities.” The head of the destination marketing organization (DMO) added: “The Public Art Trail is another opportunity to create tourism product in our regional destination and showcase our creativity.” To sign up for the free QC Public Art Trail, visit qcarttrail.com. Upon registering, the trail will be instantly delivered to your smartphone via text and email and ready to use immediately from your mobile device. It also can be saved to your phone's home screen for easy one-tap access. There is no app to download. As you visit the various trail locations, there will be specific check-in codes associated with the sculpture, mural, or gallery being visited. You must be at the location for the code to be revealed on your QC Public Art Trail platform. You then enter the code on your phone, which records the check-in and saves it in a database specific to your account. Those individuals who amass the most check-ins will be entered into a random drawing for a $500 Visa Gift Card to be given away Sept. 1, 2023. There is no time limit to complete the trail.