Focused on Local

Jan Wright, Publisher, art & society

Can you believe it’s the beginning of another new year? I feel like I just said that not too long ago… Time again for reflection, rethinking, renewal, resolutions…

As the speed of change continues to increase, 2019 is bound to bring more of it. As always, Peoria’s arts community is dynamic and adaptive. A new performing arts center is coming to Peoria Heights in February—an exciting addition to our community. Meanwhile, another unique venue, Casa de Arte, recently planted its roots in Peoria’s Warehouse District. 

Across the river in Goodfield, the Barn III also opens its doors in February—the third iteration of the long-running dinner theater. With the support of their community, the Barn is back, bigger and better than ever. Learn more about their journey in this issue. 

Sculpture Walk Peoria enters its fifth year with exciting plans for 2019, while Mythili Dance Academy is one of Peoria’s hidden gems. The magnificent photograph which graces our cover features singer Judy Page, a fantastic performer and a fixture on Peoria’s music scene for decades. We are so proud to shine a light on these artists and cultural institutions—their creativity, vibrancy and inspiration really set our community apart.

2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of our own locally-owned, community-focused publishing business. Very few small publishers last that long, and we are so grateful for your support. Over the years, we’ve always listened to our readers and adapted to keep up with the changing times. With that in mind, we have some exciting changes planned for the new year as our vision for Art & Society evolves. Watch for the big reveal in the next couple of months…

In the meantime, we’re launching a new initiative to promote the work of talented local artists. Stop by our office sometime at 4736 N. University St. in Peoria and check out the amazing work of Natalie Jackson O’Neal, Elizabeth Davis and Jim Burnham! All of their pieces on display are for sale to the public. Remember to shop local—and that includes local art. 

A new year is an exciting time for change! But continuity is important, too. Know that whatever changes, we will remain focused, as always, on Local, Local, Local. Cheers to another new beginning! a&s

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