CI Hero: Peoria duo uses love of art, culture to inspire youth to strive for success

Ci Heroes

PEORIA, Ill.– A Peoria husband and wife use their love of the arts and their community to inspire youth in the community to strive for success.

The duo, Jonathon and Nikki Romain, are this week’s CI Heroes.

This past June, Jonathon and Nikki Romain celebrated a new journey by opening the Romain Arts & Culture Community Center in Peoria.

The kids need a safe place to go after school. They need a place to go for summer camp and we’re providing that. Art is just the carrot. We want to be able to instill in them life skills.

Nikki Romain, Co-founder | Executive Director

Since then the former Greeley School building has felt the footsteps of youth during after school programs and summer camps.



“They love it,” said Drama coach, Amanda Strong. “They come here everyday excited about what they’re going to learn.”

It also houses special events like Dia De Los Muertos.

“I always love to transmit what our culture is about and it’s all about magic and happiness and color,” said Sylvia Garcia.

Jonathon and Nikki’s vision for the art & community center is backed by the community.

“Art is just a sliver of it art is just a conduit through which we’ll be able to get them in and then from there we want to open them up and expose them to things that will actually make a difference in their life,” said Jonathon Romain.

The impact they have on youth, both in education and life skills, is getting attention.

“We want to bring in culture as an element,” said Nikki . “We’ll have foreign language here and we’ll also have productions, teaching them how to be sustainable, entrepreneurship. There’s so many moving parts but ultimately, just to breed life.”

Nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero by CLICKING HERE.


The Romain Arts & Culture Community Center is located at 919 NE Jefferson Ave, Peoria.

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