All About the Arts!

We’re still a few weeks away from the grand opening of the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, but I don’t think it’s too early to begin the celebration.

It’s been a long 12 years, but today, the finish line is in sight. To those who kept the faith through thick and thin, this is your time to take a bow. Without your leadership and perseverance, this project would never have happened.

And what better way to open this downtown cultural campus than by joining forces with our creative community? With that in mind, the first featured exhibit at the new museum, the CIAO and Friends Invitational, will highlight the talents of local artists. It will be in place when the museum opens on October 20th.

But that’s not all. October is National Arts and Humanities Month, and ArtsPartners is spearheading a month-long celebration to mark the occasion. Nearly every arts group in town is on board for its “All About the Arts!” campaign—which is growing by the day—so look out for exciting developments in the weeks to come!

Creativity tends to beget creativity. And so it has been with this, as planning for the CIAO invitational spilled into a companion exhibit, the Vernissage, which will open at the Prairie Center of the Arts on October 6th. It seems the response to the museum show was so great—and the submissions so strong—that a secondary show became inevitable.

Meanwhile, as catalogs for the two exhibits were developed, the concept for a third piece came about—a 96-page book profiling the artists of central Illinois. The cover of this issue is a sneak peek at that book, also available this October. Once again, the collaborative efforts of so many people—from the artists themselves to the funders, designers, writers and photographers—made it happen. This is no small feat.

History teaches us that dreams can become reality, but they often take some time to come to fruition, especially with projects of this magnitude. We are reminded again of the effort required to develop the original Lakeview Museum, also a community- wide collaboration. And truly, that is what’s so great about this community.

This October, it’s “All about the Arts!” in central Illinois. There’s a brand-new chapter about to unfold… come on down and see what it’s all about. a&s