Arts Alive! was honored to receive the Arts Partner of the Year award at the ArtsPartners annual meeting last month. While we’re in the businesses of supporting and promoting arts organizations and individual artists, it’s gratifying to be recognized by those organizations. The packed-house meeting was held at ArtsPartners’ new offices-which displays local artists’ work and plays local artists’ music.

Attending the annual meeting were city council members, Senator Shadid, internationally known artist Lonnie Stewart, business leaders, local artists, writers, and community supporters. Enthusiasm for the arts, particularly for the ArtsPartners organization, was contagious. The new location, in the heart of the Peoria Riverfront Arts District, inspires creativity in all of us. Through the leadership of local developer Pat Sullivan, ArtsPartners Executive Director Suzette Boulais, and an engaged ArtsPartners board of directors, coveted office space was artistically designed. Across the street from WTVP and a short walk from the Peoria Art Guild, Contemporary Art Center, Peoria Symphony and Opera Illinois offices, and the Peoria Civic Center, ArtsPartners has found a comfortable home.

In a few short years, the leadership of ArtsPartners has brought together artists, organizations, and businesses for the common goal of enhancing the quality of life in central Illinois. Through ticket promotions such as Art Checks, coordinating events, assisting with grant writing, and collectively marketing artists and arts organizations, ArtsPartners has established itself as a viable and necessary organization.

Arts Alive! is devoted to celebrating all art forms. We encourage you to write, call, or e-mail suggestions for future topics. Visit us at www.peoriamagazines.com and view past and current issues. Check out the calendar, and scan ideas on what to do in 48 hours in Peoria. Get a "behind the scenes" perspective of coming attractions, see the list of artistic opportunities, find out how to volunteer, or rent that gallery space you’ve always wanted.

A critical part in showcasing the attributes of central Illinois is our rich arts and culture. Peoria Progress Plays, the community’s quality of life magazine, devotes several pages to the diverse art and culture found in our area. Those looking to locate here want to know, "Got art?" We emphatically echo the words found on the Peoria Fine Art Fair’s invitations and say, "Yes, we gotta have art!" 

While you tour one of the top 100 Fine Art Fairs in the country located on our beautiful riverfront, take a look around. We have art! AA!