About

Convened every other year by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, One State Together in the Arts is the only statewide, multidisciplinary conference for arts leaders, advocates and practitioners in Illinois.

One State isn’t your ordinary conference. Rather than lots of plenaries and concurrent sessions, One State has a total of ten presenters. Our presenters are dynamic, electrifying storytellers who, in a 20-minute talk or performance, share big ideas and big inspiration.

This year, their talks will explore from the inside out what happens when arts and community engage.

Theme

In both urban and rural places, the work of artists across all disciplines is making our communities stronger and more vital.

Yet, at the same time that the arts are recognized as a tool in planning and development, there are cuts in cultural funding. Communities can feel uncomfortable with, detached from, or even put off by the arts. Artists and organizations sometimes isolate themselves from the communities in which they live and create.

Even the concept of community is layered and deeply complex. Neighborhood, heritage, race, class, interest, subculture, craft, belief—all are ways (though not all of the ways) to define community.

This year’s One State acknowledges these challenges, but more importantly, embraces them as opportunities as we explore from the inside out what happens when arts and community engage.