Every month we talk about the value of the arts. We talk about how the arts change perceptions. We talk about how the arts benefit our children. We talk about how the arts impact our lives. But talk is cheap. We can talk about the value of the arts constantly, but it won’t make one bit of difference until the words come to life. The arts aren’t about talk. The arts are about actions.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, the arts literally come to life at the Peoria Civic Center with Ignite Peoria, Central Illinois’ third annual celebration of creativity. Hosted in part by ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, this event showcases the loves and passions of a wide range of creative expression. Jenn Gordon, ArtsPartners executive director, explains, “The whole point of IgnitePeoria is to be ignited with some facet of creativity. Whether that’s the artistic side of creativity—the painting, the sculpting, the weaving—or if it’s in the performing arts side of creativity or the technology side. When you think of the reasons why families go to state fairs or amusement parks, it’s so they can have this daylong family experience where there is something for everyone and something fun to do all day long. Ignite captures the momentum and energy of a fair, and it is all directed to creative outlets.”
Creative outlets are something everybody can enjoy, and creativity is an essential part of everybody’s life regardless of skill, ability or talent. Sir Ken Robinson defines creativity as “original ideas that have value.” That means anything new or original to an individual that resonates within them is creative. Events like Ignite Peoria provide the public an entire mall of new and original ideas.
Here’s a shopping list of venues you can experience at Ignite Peoria.
- Creation Stations—Try it. Creation Stations are the heartbeat of Ignite. All of them are run by local artists who provide hands-on creative opportunities.
- Fashion Ignite—See it. Three live fashion shoots will be going on simultaneously right in the heart of the event.
- World Ignite—Taste it. Numerous cultural booths and cultural food vendors. Arts and culture go hand in hand. World Ignite gives us a chance to celebrate the vibrant and multifaceted culture we have in Peoria.
- Maker Fest— Make it. Maker Fest celebrates the spirit of innovation and brings in makers, innovators, and creators who work primarily with technology. Maker Fest will include a drone course as well as other hands on activities involving technology.
- Performance stages—Watch it. This year Ignite will feature two stages. The main stage hosts the larger local performance groups. The smaller, “gig” stage has a coffeehouse type of feel with one or two performers on stage.
- “Lion King Jr.” Experience it. District 150 is having their performances of “Lion King Jr” during Ignite. The performance is the culmination of the District’s summer theater project. This is the first year they are doing this type of project. Tickets are only $10 at the door or can be purchased online at artspartners.net
“The goal of Ignite is to help children and adults—young and old—identify something new they can really get excited about,” Jenn Gordon says. “Hopefully the day will then spur them on to participate in artistic and innovative opportunities offered in the community all year long.” And that small personal discovery of something new is what a celebration of creativity is all about.
What: Ignite Peoria—a daylong celebration of arts, culture and creativity with hand-on activities, performances, technology and more
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13
Where: Peoria Civic Center
Cost: Free admission and free parking. Some Creation Stations may charge a small fee for make-and-take activities
Who: Developed by ArtsPartners of Central Illinois working with closely with the Peoria Civic Center. Maker Fest is organized by River City Labs.
For more information: IgnitePeoria.com or look for the Ignite Peoria page on Facebook.