Host One State 2017 and spotlight your community

Arts Alliance Illinois, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the One State 2017 Site Selection Committee are pleased to welcome your community’s statement of interest in hosting the 2017 One State Together in the Arts conference. A lightweight ask intended to surface your creativity and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of our event, these statements of interest are the first phase of a two-phase application process. Those who submit compelling and competitive statements of interest by 5pm CST on Monday, February 20, 2017 will receive further instructions and be invited to deliver full proposals due by 5pm CST on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Click here to view and download the phase one application (PDF):
Open call for statements of interest

Click here to view and download the phase two application (PDF):
Request for proposals (by invitation)

The ideal One State host community offers a suitable, accessible host venue and accommodations for up to 350 attendees in a single location or in close proximity; a vibrant local arts scene; and strong local leadership willing and able to support the One State conference. Considering holidays and other conflicts, the One State 2017 timeframe is most likely one of the following periods:

Sunday, September 3 through Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Sunday, October 15 through Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Sunday, October 22 through Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Sunday, November 5 through Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Alternate dates proposed will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Submit your statement of interest as a document containing no more than 250 words, addressing the following question:

How will your local community represent itself as a center of gravity for Illinois arts and culture, while simultaneously hosting a forum for arts leaders and creative professionals from across the state?

Links to relevant websites and supporting info are appreciated but not required.

Statements should be sent, using “One State 2017 SOI” as the subject line, to no later than 5pm CST on Monday, February 20, 2017.

Thank you for your interest in the One State Together in the Arts conference. 

A brief history of One State Together in the Arts

One State Together in the Arts (or “One State”) is an arts conference co-convened every other year by Arts Alliance Illinois, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and stakeholders in arts and culture who are local to the host community. Since 1999, One State has served as a space for arts-passionate people to share their knowledge, their know-how and their dedication to strengthening our state’s creative sector.

Past One State conferences have brought more than 300 people to local communities, generating more than $60,000 in direct spending at local hospitality outlets. Past conference communities include Evanston (2015), the Quad Cities (2013), Bloomington-Normal (2011), Peoria (2009), Champaign-Urbana (2007), Chicago (2005), Oak Brook (2003), Lake Shelbyville (2001), and Rend Lake (1999). Click the “Past Events” tab above to learn more.


“Visual and performing artists, arts organization staff and board members, grant makers, patrons, and educators gathered for two days to share ideas and to become reenergized in a profession where monetary reward is small but validation for one’s passion to keep aesthetics and culture alive can be reaped in spades.” —Jon Austin, Executive Director, Springfield Area Arts Council and 2015 One State conference attendee

“Hosting One State in 2013 was a great experience for the Quad Cities. First, hosting the event brought our arts and culture organization together as a team, with a single focus to host the best possible event. Second, the Quad Cities arts venues and community received new energy from — and was showcased to — artists and art leaders from around the state, which gave new significance to the daily efforts to advocate for the arts in our community.” —Joe Taylor, Executive Director, Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau

“In 2011, Bloomington-Normal hosted the One State conference. It was a pleasure to be selected and to have the opportunity to share the wealth of my community’s creative programming. The One State conference served to broaden the perspectives of our local arts programmers with the rich diversity presented. It served as a catalyst for discussion and, more importantly for action, for years after the last conference attendee departed.” —Doug Johnson, Executive Director, McLean County Arts Center

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