Publisher’s Note

Flash Forward to Fall
It's a cliché to say that time seems to move faster as the years go by, but there's a reason for that: it's true for so many. Here at art & society, the perception of time is even more askew because of the lead time required to plan each issue. In the spring, we have summer on our minds; in the summer, we've moved on to fall.

So as we put the finishing touches on the fall issue, I ask myself, "Where did the summer go?" A familiar refrain, to be sure...and this year, probably more than ever. The summer weather was certainly different for central Illinois--witness the folks wearing jackets at the 4th of July celebration on the riverfront. Apparently, the month of July was the coolest on record for the Peoria area, with not a single day above 90 degrees!

It was great for my golf game (when it wasn't pouring down rain), but not so good for lounging poolside. And here, we are, ready for fall--back to school, already. After such a cool summer, one wonders what this fall season has in store. One thing is for certain: there will be social events galore, as there always are this time of year. And with severe funding cuts for nonprofits due to the state budget crisis, there are even greater needs than usual. It is truly a perfect storm--but we will weather this crisis, too.

If you need an escape, don a costume and get swept up in a character! Of course, Halloween will be here before you know it, and certainly there will be numerous events that will encourage dressing up in a costume. Take the opportunity, have fun and go for it! In this issue, we enjoyed talking to Steve Spain, longtime owner of The Costume Trunk in Peoria. His little shop on Main Street is a getaway--like walking into a land of fairy tales. Back in April, that was where I went to find a dress for "The Ship of Dreams" fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs--an evening which recreated the elegance and ambiance of the Titanic...minus the iceberg!

Keeping our eye on the fall season, we checked in with a number of area boutiques to learn about the latest fashion trends and tips. So if you're in the market for a new wardrobe, turn to page 16--it may spark an idea and make you feel--and look-fabulous!

For the slightly adventurous, we take a look at the art of belly dancing, which has grown in popularity in recent years. Contrary to the Hollywood image, you don't have to have a particular body type or look a certain way--anyone can take part in what is an ancient cultural dance. The benefits of this all-around workout are many...but most importantly, it is another way to get away from the stressors of life and feel good about yourself.

If you've ever gone camping, you know the magic that fire can hold, especially on a crisp autumn evening. Not only does it cook our food and keep us warm, but artists have employed fire in performance art for thousands of years. While it's a somewhat non-traditional art form, it's a worthwhile one--and the fire spinners of Peoria's own Phoenix Underground will fascinate you with their sizzling performances.

As always, whatever the season, there is so much to do in central Illinois. Check out our listing of community events this September and October. Get out there, get swept up in character, and make it happen! a&s