Illinois Arts Council tours Quincy

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QUINCY — The Illinois Arts Council Agency stopped in Quincy Tuesday as part of the state agency’s listening tour.

Arts Quincy hosted a morning session with local leaders and the agency for a meet and greet at the History Museum on the Square, which received a $1.5 million grant for an addition to the building at 332 Maine St. from the IACA through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

Sievert submitted the museum expansion proposal to Arts Alliance Illinois during its call for “shovel ready” projects during the pandemic. The new addition would include a ground floor entrance, an elevator and ADA compliant restrooms, bringing the facility up to current Life Safety standards.

The group also went on a walking tour of the downtown area to visit historic sites which included the Underground Railroad Home of Dr. Richard Eells (415 Jersey), Washington Theater (425 Hampshire) and the Lincoln-Douglas debate site on the east side of Washington Park. Such locations showcase Quincy’s history as a gateway city and portray the need for capital funding for upkeep and preservation efforts.

Quincy Community Theater also hosted the group for a series of short presentations that showcase some of Arts Quincy’s larger partner organizations including Quincy Art Center, Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, Quincy Children’s Museum and Quincy Community Theatre.

The day wrapped up at the Quincy Museum at 1601 Maine St. with a town hall style panel to members of Arts Quincy’s 55 partner organizations where they doscissed the needs and challenges facing the arts and culture sector. The session was geared to evaluate the IACA’s current granting programs.

“I think it’s really critical as we’re coming out of this global pandemic to reach out to these communities and listen to our amazing partners,” said Nora Daley, IACA board chairman. “Fifty-five arts partners in Quincy is amazing. What are their challenges? What are their opportunities? We are thrilled to be partnering with Quincy.”

“It’s so exciting to have the leadership of our state’s arts council here to experience what we already know, which is that Quincy offers exceptional arts opportunities to all its residents,” said Laura Sievert, Executive Director of Arts Quincy. “We hope this will expand funding opportunities for all of this rural region’s arts and culture institutions.”

The IACA representatives stopped in Quincy as part of a listening tour around the state, which this week is taking them to Havana, Rushville, Staunton, Alton and Carbondale.

The group who took part in the Quincy event included Daley, Joshua Davis-Ruperto, Executive Director; Encarnacion Teruel, Deputy Director; Teresa Davis and Jackie Banks Mahlum, Program Directors and Alex Gough, senior deputy press secretary to Governor JB Pritzker.

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