Last summer, ArtsPartners announced several additions to our Web site that we hoped would better serve the arts community. This month, we proudly announce that we've updated our Web site once again. We hope you'll agree that with this next evolution, we've made our Web site an even more reliable, up-to-date resource about all of the arts in the local region.

Redesigned by local graphic artist Jake Hamann, our new, improved Web site now prominently features a daily listing of local arts events on the home page. Whether it's a play, performance, recital, or exhibit, local residents and visitors alike need go no further than www.artspartners.net to see the wealth of arts that are playing right here in the Peoria area.

Just below our daily listing of arts activities is a monthly arts calendar. For any given day throughout the month, a complete listing of arts events and exhibits appears when you click on that particular date.

Next, we've added an Arts Forum that lists pertinent topics and issues relevant to the arts community. Throughout 2005, we'll encourage local artists and members of our arts organizations to use this Forum as a means of discussing ways we can all work together to increase the vitality of arts and culture in our area.

In other ArtsAlive! columns, we've mentioned that we sell ArtsChecks gift certificates on our Web site. You might recall that our ARTSChecks are gift certificates that promise to provide someone special with a memorable experience in music, dance, drama, and exhibits. For more information about our ARTSChecks, go to the Web site, click on the ARTSChecks icon, then read about all the participating organizations that accept our gift certificates.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we've also added a photo gallery designed to showcase our local arts in action. As we begin to fill our image gallery, we're asking arts groups to send us photos and corresponding identifying information regarding name, date, and place of performance or exhibit to [email protected].

Further, we're now using our homepage to announce special news items and promotions. Presently, when you visit our homepage, you'll see we've joined Peoria NEXT and The Peoria Civic Federation in introducing a national competition that will award $10,000 for an idea that fosters creative collaboration between arts and sciences. When you click on the Peoria Prize for Creativity icon and read the corresponding news story, maybe a light bulb will go off in your head, a creative idea will strike your fancy, and you'll send in your own submission for this Peoria Prize for Creativity.

Throughout 2005, ArtsPartners will continue to promote our Discover Peoria ARTS theme. We can't stress enough that one of the best places for discovery begins right at your own fingertips as you type in the ArtsPartners Web address on your computer. There, the discovery begins. AA!