In early 2019, funds from the OmniArts Trust were gifted to The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund. The contribution to the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation (SRCCF) enabled the entire arts community throughout the 3-county region to benefit from a strong support system, including a comprehensive arts-centric website.
OmniArts, founded by Blouke Carus as the Illinois Valley Fine Arts Trust, has supported regional arts organizations, schools, and other arts-related initiatives with more than $250,000 since 1994. In recent years, OmniArts has become known for popular events such as OmniHonors, which celebrates lifetime achievements of local artists. In 2018 Ottawa was the host of OmniPrize, a three-day festival showcasing visual arts, theatre, film, and music.
“We believe a thriving arts community is a key to economic development, attracting visitors, and providing a better quality of life in our communities,” explained Inga Carus, OmniArts spokesperson and trustee. “Our trustees, and trustees of the Starved Rock Community Foundation, agree that the greatest positive impact on our region will be made by transferring the funds from the OmniArts organization to the Community Foundation.”
As part of the SRCCF, The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund will be guided by an Advisory Council with representatives from the arts community throughout the region.
The Fund will offer financial support through competitive grants to charitable organizations and agencies engaged in the world of art throughout Starved Rock Country, and will provide a non-competitive, neutral hub to engage and connect local artists and arts organizations, cultural organizations, sponsors, patrons, and venues in our region and beyond.
On the horizon is a new consolidated online resource to provide a database of artists and their profiles; organization and venue profiles; a master calendar of events; media kit information; and eventually individual artist web pages – a place for every artist to connect and showcase their work.
Workshops will also be offered for topics such as capacity building, idea sharing and small business development, while receptions will be planned to Meet the Artists, Launch Parties for New Initiatives, Donor Engagement Gatherings, and convenings of artists, organizations, producers, and presenters. The Fund will be managed by a part-time Program Director and we’ll be releasing the position description and opportunity posting shortly.
Donations for The Arts of Starved Rock Country may be made here using a credit card. Donation checks can be mailed to Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, ATTN: Arts Fund, 718 Columbus, Ottawa, IL 61350.
For more information about the Fund and The Arts of Starved Rock Country, please contact the SRCCF at 815-252-2906.