It's that time of year when ArtsPartners is seeking nominations for ArtsPartner of the Year. This award is designed to recognize exemplary service and support to the cultural arts that has resulted in a stronger and more vital cultural arts environment in the Peoria area.

What we value about our ArtsPartner of the Year award is that both individuals and organizations are considered for it. At our annual meeting August 31, we'll recognize someone special-or some special organization or business-that has engaged in exemplary service to the arts, whether it be in the area of advocacy, education, professional service, volunteer service, or funding. That's why it's important to stress to all of you in our arts community that you can nominate not just an individual, but an entity such as a corporation or municipal body.

This year, to make the nomination process that much easier, we've devised an online nomination form conveniently located on our Web site at www.artspartners.net under the ArtsPartner of the Year news item. As you think back of the arts in the past year, what individual or organization has gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve the arts in our area? Who's helped make the arts in the Peoria area play better or shine brighter? If some business or individual comes to mind, why not make a nomination online today?

The intent of our award is to recognize and encourage those who invest their resources so the central Illinois area can have a healthy and vibrant cultural economy. The only individuals not eligible are those currently serving on our ArtsPartners Board of Directors.

Past winners of the award include Jim Maloof (2001), Jim Thrush (2002), Central Illinois Business Publishers (2003), and WTVP-47 (2004).

In preparing your nomination, consider the effect your nominee's work has had on the Peoria area cultural environment. You'll need to submit to the Nomination Committee three letters of support for your nominee. We need to receive your nominations by August 5 to be considered for the 2005 award.

ArtsPartners will present the award at our annual meeting August 31 at the site of last year's ArtsPartner of the Year award winner, WTVP-47. The community is invited to attend this special event from 5 to 7 p.m., so please mark your calendars now and plan to attend.

If you have any questions about our ArtsPartner of the Year Award, call 676-2787. AA!