The Downtown Rock Island Partnership is part of the umbrella organization known as Renaissance Rock Island. It is where the focused efforts in downtown of the Development Association of Rock Island (DARI) and The District, Inc. meet.
Downtown Rock Island’s renaissance began in 1992, when a new casino was coming to town. At that time, there was a live music club, a dinner theatre, and an arts center. It only made sense to create a new identity for downtown Rock Island – one based on arts & entertainment. The goal was to encourage people to come downtown, to have fun, to visit the businesses, and to return for some more fun. The first festival produced by The District was Ya Maka My Weekend, held in the summer of 1992 with only six weeks of planning.
Since then, vacant store fronts have been filled, long dormant upper floors have been transformed into loft apartments, and new businesses have opened. The renaissance is still not complete and plans are well underway to continue to improve downtown.