Annual Report

Rockford Area Arts Council
September 2015 - August 2016

Dear Arts Enthusiasts,
The Rockford Area Arts Council is proud to be reporting the past year's successes.  Your support allows the Arts Council to reach out in our region to bring the arts to everyone, young and old, from every economic and ethnic background.  Here are the highlights of the 2015-2016 season.

The Arts Council offered ArtsPlace for the twenty-second consecutive summer.  ArtsPlace is an arts apprenticeship program for youth ages 14-18 with priority given to youth from low income families. Its mission is to mentor the development of youth through the arts.

ArtsPlace is essentially an entrepreneurial enterprise in which the youth are engaged in all aspects of the business: creating the product, pricing, advertising, selling, budgeting, problem solving, continuous evaluation and improvement.  Arts performances are created and presented to the public; original artwork is exhibited and sold.  To authentically replicate real work experience, proceeds earned by the sale of the artwork and ticket sales for performances are awarded to the ArtsPlace apprentices.

All teams participate in community service through offering performances in the community and donating art to local benefits. Through the process of creating art, the youth learn to set goals and identify obstacles to overcome or avoid.  They create strategies for achievement that will positively impact their lives.

This year ArtsPlace teams were led by professional artists including Bruce McDonald; Visual Arts, Penna Broman; Inter-disciplinary Art, Kyle Owen & Toni Stratton; Short Film, Adrianna Villagomez; Mural and Meghan Baylor; Dance. Sites included Rockford Dance Company and Mendelssohn Hall. The culmination of this year’s ArtsPlace program highlighted the finished work of the students in “Connections” ….an art exhibit, sale and a collaborative performance featuring the ArtsPlace Dance and Performing Arts teams.

ArtsPlace is supported through grants from the Rockford Park District, Ross, Rust-Oleum, Sherwin Williams, National Endowment for the Arts, City of Rockford, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Rockford School District #205, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Rockford Area Realtors Young Professionals Network and individual donations.  A special “thank you” to Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center and Rockford Dance Company. (45 youth/ages 14-18)

 •ArtsPlace Mural Dedication
The Rockford Area Arts Council dedicated the Jefferson Street Bridge Mural “Connections” created by the 2016 ArtsPlace Apprentices under the direction of lead artist Adrianna Villagomez in the parking lot of Hinshaw & Culbertson on August 15 as part of Rockford Day. Mayor Larry Morrissey was in attendance to congratulate RAAC and its ArtsPlace accomplishments.  The ArtsPlace Mural team members included; Leslie Baker, Jade Eddy, Jessica Hernandez, Demetrius Markham, Cynthia Orenday and Kara Walter.  A special “thank you” to the Rockford Area Realtors Young Professional Network volunteers that lended their artistic talent and to Rust-Oleum and Sherwin Williams for their donation of paint and primer.  The mural took an estimated 60 hours to complete and 17 gallons of paint.

• RAAC Camp
The Rockford Area Arts Council offered RAAC Camp, a two-week camp for young creatives, ages 5-13 who love to sing, draw, dance, rap and make movies from July 5-21 at Ellis School culminating with a free performance and art exhibit for family and friends.  Artists this year: Marvin Hawkins (Hip Hop Dance), Brad Koloch (Choir, Rap, Guitar), Carroll ZuBolton & Jaylen Marks (Theater), Esteban Perez & Contessa Golden (Visual Art), Tracy Davis (Modern Dance) and Connie Kuntz (Video). Supported by: City of Rockford, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Rockford School District #205, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Kiwanis Charities of Rockford and JoAnn Shaheen. (68 children attended)

• After-School Programs
In partnership with the Rockford Park District, RAAC coordinates after-school arts classes for District 205 schools: Lewis Lemon, McIntosh, and Kennedy.

• Educator's Memorial Fund
This is a program created initially to honor Eileen Michaely who was an arts in education advocate and first Chair of Education for the Arts Council. The focus of the program funded through donations and interest from a portion of the Endowment bequeathed by Eileen Michaely estate, remains on expanding the quality and quantity of arts instruction for children.  This fund supports in part, the summer arts camp for children held at Ellis School.

• Council Choraleers
Local music educator and performing artist, Dorothy Paige-Turner invited youth ages 9-12  from public schools, private schools and the home-schooled in the greater Rockford area to participate in Council Choraleers, a community chorus coordinated in collaboration with the Rockford Area Arts Council.

Rehearsals began on September 8, 2015 through May 3, 2016 and the "Choraleers" met weekly at Court Street United Methodist Church in Rockford.  The first concert  “Voices and Virtues” An Annual Celebration of Music  was presented on October 17 at Just Goods Listening Room. Additional performances included Forest Hills Evangelical Church, Court Street United Methodist Church, Christ the Carpenter United Methodist Church, Barnes & Noble Books and Wesley Willows.  A special community performance “Let Freedom Ring” was held on January 18 at Mendelssohn Hall to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This exciting and unique performing experience is an opportunity to heighten community awareness of the enormous artistic talent of our youth. This program was made possible thanks to the selflessness of Dorothy Paige-Turner who donated her time and talent to this project. (27 youth/ages 9-12)

• Kennedy Center Partnership

The Rockford Area Arts Council and Rockford School District 205 continues their partnership as Kennedy Center Partners in Education as established in 2012. This partnership resulted in District 205 receiving two multiple year federal grants for arts integration into math and professional development for arts specialists and classroom teachers.

•New Mix
The Rockford Housing Authority and the Rockford Area Arts Council have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that will support our collaborative effort to bring creatives together via New Mix.  New Mix is the coming together of Ellis Heights residents who understand an asset-based approach to community revitalization and have undiscovered artistic talent.  Activities this year included “Telling Stories, Telling Belongings,” an event held on June 16 at Fairgrounds Valley Community Center where RHA residents and community members were invited to tell their stories through cherished belongings in a community “show and tell” format as a way for Rockford to connect from different backgrounds and experiences.

• Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Competition
Poetry Out Loud is a free national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.  The Illinois Arts Council Agency designated the Rockford Area Arts Council as the regional coordinator of the Northern Illinois Poetry Out Loud competition. The regional competition was held at Jefferson High School in Rockford on February 17, 2016.  Participating schools this year were: Auburn, Jefferson, and Roosevelt High Schools. Winner, Demetrius Markham (Jefferson) and first runner up Quetzia Ramirez (Jefferson) went on to compete in the state competition held in Springfield in March.  Ana Plankenhorn (Jefferson) was the alternate. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Rockford and our members.

Promoting the Arts:
Social media has been a great way for us to reach more people and share all the great arts activities in our area.

RAAC ArtScene
Held every April and October, this annual event attracts between 8,000 and 10,000 residents and visitors to Rockford’s finest galleries, studios and other venues and affords many local artists increased visibility and sales.
Spring 2016 (37 venues/214 artists)
Fall 2015 (40 venues/272 artists)

Connecting Artists to the Community:

RAAC was pleased to partner with OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center providing local musicians an opportunity to perform at their weekly staff picnics held every Wednesday from June 8-August 31 (10 performers/groups)

RAAC offered artists the opportunity to showcase work at the RAAC Booth at Rockford City Market every Friday from May 20 through September 30. (14 artists/groups)

Walking School Bus
The Walking School Bus was a joint project involving Rockford School District 205, the YMCA, the United Way, the City of Rockford and Rockford Corridor Improvement to replace the sidewalks along the “Walking School Bus” route from Avon Street to Lewis Lemon School.   RAAC was thrilled to have the 2016 RAAC Camp campers under the direction of lead artist Esteban Perez create a banner with a cartoon drawing of a “Walking School Bus” that was displayed at the “ribbon cutting” ceremony on July 14.
RAAC Supporters:
This year we were very fortunate to have friends help us raise much needed funds!

“Art in the Lofts” an evening of artists, “Mystery Box” Auction, beverages, appetizers and desserts which was held on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Garrison Lofts in Rockford.  Many thanks to Kathleen Kline, Dickerson & Nieman for her donation to fund this event allowing all proceeds to directly benefit RAAC and to all our artists friends Betsy Youngquist, Scott Long, Cristi Kniess, Sherry Pritz, Judith Meyer, Susan Simmert, Val Olafson and Jill Martin-Golden.

“Arts for Everyone” Bracelets
Sterling silver art quote bracelets designed and created by Mona Lindvall. All proceeds from the sale of this bracelet will go to support the Rockford Area Arts Council!

“Arts for Everyone” Perfume/Bath & Body Fusion
Bath & Body Fusion custom “Arts for Everyone” roller ball perfume.

“A Night of Vinyl”
On March 4, Culture Shock presented “A Night of Vinyl” All Things Must Pass; The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” at the Nordlof Center in Rockford. 

RAAC Guest Bartending at University Club - Frank's 100th Continues!
On February 24, the University Club hosted an evening to celebrate Sinatra and the Rockford Area Arts Council. 


2016 Grant Recipients
The Rockford Area Arts Council awarded nearly $19,000 in grants to artists, arts organizations and community groups.  These grants are made possible in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the City of Rockford, The Blazer Foundation and our generous members.  We would like to thank all our grant recipients for their fine contributions to the community through the arts!

The Rockford Area Arts Council offers grants up to $2,500 to artists and community non-profit organizations for projects which increase access  to the arts for underserved people and/or increase the visibility of the arts for people in Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, and Winnebago counties.
African-American Resource Center: "BWC" Centennial Celebration" project will participate in Rockford's parades                                                                         

Artists' Ensemble Theater: Artists fees, actors and designers for the production of "Visiting Mr. Green

Boone County Arts Council: "The Fifth Grade Arts Festival" introducing students to various art mediums

Crossroads Blues Society: "Crossroads Blues Festival" at Lyran Park on August 27, 2016

Emmanuel Lutheran Church: Performance of the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus "My Kind of Town"

Eswood PTO: The Art Attack School of Art classes for students at Eswood Elementary School

Kantorei, The Singing Boys of Rockford: "Kantorei Elementary Honor Choir" workshop and performance

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center: "Ukulele Workshop with youth and a professional musician

Midway Village: "Civil War Living History Days" for students in RPS and surrounding areas

NAMI Northern Illinois: Art of Recovery Project increasing exposure of the arts to persons with mental illness

Natural Land Institute: Art in Nature program at Klehm Arboretum providing hands-on learning in nature

Rockford Art Museum: RAM "75th Young Artist Show"

Rockford Coronado Concert Association: "Reach for the Stars" a project for RPS 4th grade students, Ailey II at the Coronado

Rockford Rescue Mission: Art Therapy classes and "Remade" program involving local artists for residents

Rockford Wind Ensemble: "Fourteenth Annual Youth Honor Band" workshop and performance

Rockford Symphony Orchestra: Youth Concert "The Orchestra Rocks" a partnership with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute

The Music Academy: "A Notable Legacy" a Music Academy performance for students at Kishwaukee Elementary School

Village of Mt. Morris: "Mt. Morris Jamboree" free music concert series from June-August

TOTAL 2016 COMMUNITY ARTS ACCESS GRANTS........................$17,400

The Rockford Area Arts Council also offers grants up to $350 for arts projects needing immediate funding in small amounts, available to artists and arts organizations in Winnebago County. Applications accepted throughout the year or until funding is depleted.

Bad Wolf Dance Company: Theatre performance in April 2016

Northern Illinois University Student Advisory Committee: “12 Hours of Art” workshops in
visual and performing arts

Rockford Dance Company: “Control and Teamwork Through the Arts” outreach workshop

Rockford Operetta Party: Presentation of “Trial by Jury” on May 13, 2016

Rockford Park District: Imagination Station & Music in the Park at Sinnissippi Music Shell

TOTAL 2016 CITY ARTS ACTION GRANTS …………………………………$1,150



$5,000 and up
City of Rockford
Jack & Colleen Holmbeck

Illinois Arts Council Agency
National Endowment for the Arts

Arts Angel ($1,000 & up)
William & Leah Baskin
Bergstrom, Inc.
James & Julie Buchanan
Mary Ann Smith

Arts Cherub ($500-$999)

Stephen & Anne Bernsten
John & Sue Brubaker
Steve & Lisa Carter
Mark & Lisa Lindman
Sjostrom & Sons, Inc

Arts Fanatic ($200-$499)
Albano & Lynn Andreini
Jim & Connie Coffey
Joan Davis
Dickerson & Nieman Realtors
Thomas & Darlene Furst
Jody Goff
Dan & Cathy Herdeman
Thomas & Helen Hill
Richard & Grace Leighton
Scott & Mona Lindvall
John & Barbara McNamara
Steven & Judy Penticoff
Ed & Tamara Rentschler
Mike & Karin Schablaske
Michael & Julie Shalbrack
Jack & Barbara Simon
Phil & Paula Turner
Doug & Diane Wilson

Arts Enthusiast ($100-$199)
David & Karen Anderson-Wade
Robert Apolloni
Paul & Teri Baits
Karen Barbagallo
Kurt & Sarah Bell
David & Kohnne Bippus
David & Anne Boccignone
Arthur & Elaine Breck
Lois Cannell Ramon
Tom Clabough
Ron Clewer & Bridget French
Janice Clinton
John & Diane Cobb
John Cook
Peter Damby
George & Sharon Davis
Philip & Kathy Dierstein
Jack & Zelka Dillon
Norris & Marilyn Dougherty
Kelly Epperson-Simmons
Eric & Gretchen Ericson
George & Janet Farbotko
Roger & Wendy Fisher
Gregory & Laurel Franchini
Roni Golan
Ginny Gregory
Robert & Marion Guirl
Fred & Maxine Hadley
Bob &  Nadine Hallstrom
Margaret Henning
Ron & Barbara Herbig
Lon Hoegberg
Jim & Pam Keeling
Curt & Laurie Kleckler
Jude & Patricia Lai
Angela Larson
Carol Last
Jay & Christy Lenox
Dan & Amy Loescher
Bradd & Melissa Marsden
Mike & Crystal Mastroianni
Thomas & Lynn McConville
Betsey McCoy
Bruce & Deborah McDonald
Jaxon & Linda Oshita
Alice Pampe
Del & Lois Peterson
Rick & Judith Pollack
Charles Prorok & Marcia Mueller
Joe & Mary Jo Ross
Dick & Ann Rundall
Una Ryan
James & Arline Sadlon
Scott Saporiti
Frank & Gayanne Schepley
Thomas & Karen Schiller
Debra Schwarze
Larry Sheets
Tom & Karen Shifo
William & Julie Snively
Ken & Pat Staaf
Larry & Tricia Sweeney
Bill & Cathie Thiede
Tom & Karen Walsh
Lenae Weichel
William & Marijean Whitcher
Michael Wright

Arts Supporter ($50-$99)
Jane Austin
Kathie Ayres & Ted Ross
John & Sandra Beck
Roger & Lynda Bohn
Ray Brandt
Alan Brown
Richard & Phyllis Brynteson
Warren & Marilyn Cade
Mary-Stuart Carruthers
Joseph & Susan Drennan
LaVona Farney
Terrance & Lois Fisher
Robert & Bonnie Gosdick
Susan Grans
Mary Gubbe Lee
Rachael Handlin & Michael Beert
Shirley Henley
Margaret Henning
Cynthia Hill
Kay Hotchkiss
Steve & Alise Howlett
Mary Ellen Jansen
Jeanette Gess Geraghty
Mark & Nancy Kalchbrenner
Bob Kantner
John & Margaret Kleber
Cristi Kniess
Swav & Monica Krysztopa
Ed & Lee Ladenburger
Judith Larson
Herbert & Ruby Lash
Roger & Nancy Lundstrom
Faye Marcus
Karyn Martin-Bohl
Paul & Agnes Mastrangeli
Don & Judith McCanse
Tom & Sarah McNamara
Margaret Menze
Jeanneil Miller-Paul
James &Helen Millikin
Daniel & Michelle Minick
Bruce & Judy Moe
Michael & Bonita Nicholas
Webbs & Mary Norman
Courtney Oertel
Rudy & Laura Ortiz
Jack Packard
Dorothy Paige-Turner
Jeff & Julie Palkowski
Raymond & Jo Marie Paul
Jerry Paulson
Fred & Becky Pelley
Erin Rabon
Gary & Terry Rifkin
Rockford Roasting Company
Tim & Carrie Rollins
Trish Rooney
Joel Ross
Harvey & Natalie Share
Laura Sjoquist
Duane & Rulee Stallmann
Larry & Ann Stegall
Locust Street Press
Stephen & Suzette Symes
Steven & Marcia Terrill
Bert & Kathy Thomas
Craig & Dawn Thomas
Pat Tollefsrud
Eleanor Turbyville

Arts Friend ($30-$49)

Jean Apgar
Richard & Sally Baker
Irina Barovshaia
Ed & Janice Bartik
Paul & Carol Burkholder
Rufus & Carolyn Cadigan
Carl & Dianna Cole
Paul & Jeannette Colombi
Joel & Judy Cowen
Patrick & Ingrid Dohm
Audrey Doll
Jeff & Joanna Dowling
The Flute Club of Rockford
Priscilla Flynn-Heath
Gerrie Gustafson
Nina Hackman
Dawn Hallsten & Don Mateer
Bernard & Mary Healy
Arles Hendershott Love & Joe Love
Darcy Hill
William (Doug) Holloway
Dennis Horton
Tim Hughes
Walnut Hulling
Irish Rose Saloon
Doris Kampfe
Kandinsky's Artist Group
Katie's Cup Coffeebar
J.R. Kortman Center for Design
Kryptonite Bar
Lallygag Boutique
John Lombardo
Lucette Salon & Spa
Mr. & Mrs. Leo Lynch
Tom Mac
Jill Martin-Golden
Kari McDonald
Kyle & Tamara McDonald
Hugh & Lydia McHugh
Judith Meyer
Neil & Marlene Mizen
Joseph & Josephine Morrissey
Earlynn Mullins
Northern Illinois Hospice
The Olympic Tavern
John Orduno
Carol Ostrom
Carolyn Plummer
Sherry Pritz
Cathy Robson
Kathy Roushey
Therese Rowinski
Daniel & Diane Saavedra
James & Sarah Scanlon
Polly Smith
Kyle & Margo Stedman
Senator Dave Syverson
Lynne Townsend
Diane Voneida
Henry Wilson
Kristin Wilson

Arts Organizations
Alpha Chi Omega Alumnae Club
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Artists' Ensemble Theater
Boone County Arts Council
Crossroads Blues Society
Discovery Center Museum
Ethnic Heritage Museum
In Print Professional Writers
Kantorei, The Singing Boys of Rockford
Kishwaukee Valley Concert Band
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Main Street Players of Boone County
Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center
Midway Village Museum
NAMI Northern Illinois Stars of Light
Natural Land Institute
Northern Illinois University School of Theatre & Dance
Northern Illinois Wood Turners
Pec Playhouse Theatre
Rock Valley College Starlight Theatre
Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Rockford Area Music Industry Awards (RAMI)
Rockford Art Guild
Rockford Art Museum
Rockford Chamber Players
Rockford Coronado Concert Association
Rockford Dance Company
Rockford Lutheran Choral Union
Rockford Lutheran School
Rockford Public Library
Rockford Rescue Mission - Restoration Cafe
Rockford Symphony Orchestra
Rockford University Art Gallery
Rockford Wind Ensemble
Rockford Writers' Guild
Sigma Alpha Iota
The Arc of Winnebago, Boone & Ogle Counties
The Music Academy - Loreen Hall
The West Side Show Room
Ususal Suspects

Foundation Contributions
The Blazer Foundation
Gloyd Family Foundation
The Ben Harding Family Foundation
Janet A. Kjellstrom Foundation

Matching Donors
Ameriprise Financial Matching Gift Program
Goodrich Foundation Partners in Giving Plan

ArtsPlace Sponsors
City of Rockford
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Bruce & Deborah McDonald
Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center
National Endowment for the Arts
Rockford Area Realtors Young Professional Network
Rockford Dance Company
Rockford Park District
Rockford Public Schools #205
Ross Stores
Sherwin Williams

Scene Peek Sponsors
Alpine Bank
The Buchanan Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Friends of Tom McNamara

Rockford Housing Authority
UTC Aerospace Systems

RAAC Camp Sponsors
City of Rockford
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Kiwanis Charities of Rockford
Connie Kuntz
Dorothy Paige-Turner
Rockford Public Schools #205
JoAnn Shaheen

Rockford Park District