Ignite Peoria Hopes to Spark the City

Ignite Peoria Hopes to Spark the City

The inaugural event wants to revitalize the art scene in central Illinois.
PEORIA - Tomorrow, the empty exhibit hall at the Civic Center will be filled with artists for the first-ever Ignite Peoria.

Planning for the event started more than a year ago.

"We began with meetings welcoming the arts community in saying, 'If you will step up and do something, we will find you space,' and over 100 artists have done just that," event chairperson Kathy Chitwood said.

Some artists are coming from across the country, but most are from right here in central Illinois.

Peter Wentworth has lived in Peoria for the past 24 years and is showing off his mosaic work Saturday. He will also let people make the art.

"It's an ancient art form and typically people will see it and appreciate it and move on. But here if you they kind of participate in there, they'll kind of get that internalize it," Wentworth said.

Wentworth won't be stuck in booth all day though. He also wants to experience Ignite Peoria.

"I've highlighted the stuff I want to see but there's a tremendous amount of stuff that I do want to check out," he said.

Wentworth and other visitors will be able to check out multiple art forms like dance, theater, visual arts, music plus more unique pieces like cars.

And organizers want Ignite Peoria to spark the art community in the area.

"Some people look at it as just the extra in life and it's not. That inner artist is inside each and every one of us and is something that is always wanting to come out. And I think it is the bread and butter of a community," Chitwood said.

Organizers hope Ignite Peoria will continue to grow and become an annual event.

The day gets started tomorrow morning at nine and runs pretty much all day with different events spread throughout, and the best part: free admission and parking.
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