2020 One State Arts Conference Announcement

Jan 22, 2020

2020 One State Together in the Arts Conference set for October 4-6 in Bloomington-Normal

Biennial statewide convening for the arts, culture, and creativity returns to Bloomington-Normal after hosting conference in 2011.


For immediate release
Media Contact: Dimi Venkov, Communications and Marketing Manager, Arts Alliance Illinois, venkov@artsalliance.org, 312-855-3105 ext. 13

January 22, 2020 – CHICAGO, IL – Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) are pleased to announce that the 2020 One State Together in the Arts conference will be held in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, on October 5 and 6, 2020. The Illinois Local Arts Network will kick off the eleventh edition of this event with pre-conference activities on October 4.

A previous host in 2011, Bloomington-Normal’s proposal was led by Doug Johnson, Executive Director of the McLean County Arts Center, and supported by the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the University Galleries of Illinois State University.

“We are pleased to bring this statewide convening for the creative community back to Bloomington-Normal,” says Alliance Executive Director Claire Rice. “The community’s vibrant arts community includes galleries and programs across Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Heartland Community College, as well as local treasures like the Children’s Discovery Museum, Illinois Art Station, MIOpera, and Illinois Symphony Orchestra. We want One State to be a direct reflection of the local community and look forward to working with this group of collaborators to plan an inspiring and innovative experience.”

“One State is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the state’s creative community,” says Joshua Davis-Ruperto, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Council Agency. “After the success of Galesburg in 2018, we look forward to Bloomington-Normal as the first host of One State for a new decade, showcasing what’s to come for our state in the next ten years.”

“We are proud to once again host the One State arts conference in Bloomington-Normal,” says Doug Johnson of the McLean County Arts Center. “With our central location, excellent local facilities, and easy access from Amtrak it was logical for us to seek this role for the amplification of our cultural voices statewide. The One State conference has consistently played a vital role for cultural leadership in Illinois. This convening serves to inform, enlighten, and encourage our efforts and is a primary touchpoint as we take stock of our missions, our challenges, and our forging the road ahead to make our communities and our state more sustainable, more livable, and more enriched.”

Produced in partnership by the Alliance and the IACA, One State Together in the Arts is the only statewide conference focused on creative professionals representing a broad range of disciplines. Featuring keynote presentations, interactive breakout sessions, live performances and exhibitions, and tours of the local community, One State conferences bring together more than 300 leaders and practitioners from the creative industries and beyond.

Typically held every two years beginning with the inaugural conference in Rend Lake in 1999, the 2018 One State arts conference in Galesburg highlighted the community’s rich history, innovative entrepreneurship, and thriving cultural scene.

Registration for One State will open in March. Further details regarding conference programming will be released in the near future. Visit ArtsAlliance.org/OneState or follow Facebook.com/OneStateIllinois to keep up to date on the latest news.

About Arts Alliance Illinois
Arts Alliance Illinois fights for arts resources and policies that benefit our members and all Illinois residents. With 25,000 active subscribers and hundreds of members, we connect the people and ideas that are shaping the future of the creative sector. As the only multidisciplinary organization concentrated on the strength of arts and culture across the state, the Alliance takes on challenges that no single organization or artist can fight alone. Our work in civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity positively impacts every community across the state. Visit artsalliance.org to learn more.

About the Illinois Arts Council Agency
The Illinois Arts Council Agency was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to 21 private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council Agency are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts. Its mission is to build a strong, creative, and connected Illinois through the arts. Visit arts.illinois.gov to learn more.