Kesmine Hickman

Kesmine Hickman honored the landscape and critters of Peoria with her wrap at 75th and Peoria Avenue.

Peoria exceeds in enriching the quality of life for its residents through a variety of public events, cultural programming and continuing to represent the traditions and heritage of the city through public art. 

The Peoria Arts Commission has approved the arts action plan for the 2022 fiscal year. It will continue to strengthen the community outreach and public art accessibility for the city.

Despite the pandemic, the commission managed to accomplish many of the items on the 2021 fiscal plan, including the funding for arts grants, the utility box art wraps and the arts postcards. These programs will all be continued and expanded on this upcoming year. 

The Art Grants program is essential to organizations in Peoria as they broaden the reach of arts access and engage the residents of the city. The budget for the arts grants this upcoming year is $75,000, which will fund 16 local organizations. 

TheaterWorks, one of grant recipients, produced “Curiouser and Curiouser,” a live immersive theatre production in which the audience had the opportunity to experience a walking narrative through the entire theater. 

Cate Hinkle, TheaterWorks managing director, said TheaterWorks is a “theater of the community” and feels that it’s essential to offer engaging programs with the city. 

“The arts commission plays a very integral role in the ability for arts organizations to produce and create programming for the benefit of the citizens of Peoria. There’s been programs in the past that we wouldn’t have been able to provide without the support of the Arts Grants,” Hinkle said.  

Another program that will continue in 2022 will be the utility box art wraps. This program gives local artists the opportunity to showcase their art to the city in the form of creative art wraps on utility boxes. 

One of the 2021 contest winners, Kesmine Hickman, said she is grateful for the opportunity to display her art publicly in the city. 

“Art is something that everybody can relate to on some level and that’s why I want to use my art to spread positivity. I really enjoyed participating because it allowed me to try something so different and it was just such a fun and honorable experience,” she said. 

For the upcoming year, the commission hopes to continue their signature open events in a safe manner. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, traditional events, such as the arts and culture festival, could not take place. 

Julia Smock, chair of the Peoria Arts Commission, looks forward to seeing some sort of “normalcy” in the arts in the schools and community of Peoria. Smock said she believes art is an essential element in the community, as she has been impacted by the arts personally and sees the commitment to it every day. 

“The arts are about getting people to dialogue, and many people don’t think about how comprehensive it is. It’s a huge part of our economy and who we are,” she said.

The 2022 Arts Action Plan will be presented to the Peoria city council early next year for approval. 

By SCIANNA GARCIA

Peoria Times Contributing Writer

 

Peoria exceeds in enriching the quality of life for its residents through a variety of public events, cultural programming and continuing to represent the traditions and heritage of the city through public art. 

The Peoria Arts Commission has approved the arts action plan for the 2022 fiscal year. It will continue to strengthen the community outreach and public art accessibility for the city.

Despite the pandemic, the commission managed to accomplish many of the items on the 2021 fiscal plan, including the funding for arts grants, the utility box art wraps and the arts postcards. These programs will all be continued and expanded on this upcoming year. 

The Art Grants program is essential to organizations in Peoria as they broaden the reach of arts access and engage the residents of the city. The budget for the arts grants this upcoming year is $75,000, which will fund 16 local organizations. 

TheaterWorks, one of grant recipients, produced “Curiouser and Curiouser,” a live immersive theatre production in which the audience had the opportunity to experience a walking narrative through the entire theater. 

Cate Hinkle, TheaterWorks managing director, said TheaterWorks is a “theater of the community” and feels that it’s essential to offer engaging programs with the city. 

“The arts commission plays a very integral role in the ability for arts organizations to produce and create programming for the benefit of the citizens of Peoria. There’s been programs in the past that we wouldn’t have been able to provide without the support of the Arts Grants,” Hinkle said.  

Another program that will continue in 2022 will be the utility box art wraps. This program gives local artists the opportunity to showcase their art to the city in the form of creative art wraps on utility boxes. 

One of the 2021 contest winners, Kesmine Hickman, said she is grateful for the opportunity to display her art publicly in the city. 

“Art is something that everybody can relate to on some level and that’s why I want to use my art to spread positivity. I really enjoyed participating because it allowed me to try something so different and it was just such a fun and honorable experience,” she said. 

For the upcoming year, the commission hopes to continue their signature open events in a safe manner. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, traditional events, such as the arts and culture festival, could not take place. 

Julia Smock, chair of the Peoria Arts Commission, looks forward to seeing some sort of “normalcy” in the arts in the schools and community of Peoria. Smock said she believes art is an essential element in the community, as she has been impacted by the arts personally and sees the commitment to it every day. 

“The arts are about getting people to dialogue, and many people don’t think about how comprehensive it is. It’s a huge part of our economy and who we are,” she said.

The 2022 Arts Action Plan will be presented to the Peoria city council early next year for approval.