Local community center is active but still a work in progress

Digital Originals

PEORIA, Ill. — A community arts center looking to enhance and inspire people through art has been up and running since the summer, but is still not quite where it wants to be.

The Romains Arts & Culture Community Center, which is located in the previous Greeley School building, is nearly 50,000 square feet and according to Jonathan Romain II, the co-owner’s son, is designed to use visual and performing arts to empower the community.

“Our mission statement is to inspire the community through art,” Romain said. “We’re basically trying to change lives through art.”

Romain said the center is in the process of doing just that, but he also said with only being active for about four months, they still have many renovations ahead of them and that’s been where the bulk of their time has been dedicated.

“Right now we’re still building upon everything and we just put projectors in,” Romain said. “We’ve painted, put in new floors, switched to LED lights in the entire building, gutted out the bathrooms and installed furnaces.”

However, he said the time they’re putting into maintaining the building hasn’t hindered their efforts of providing programming to the community, but they would like to be able to provide more.

The center recently had summer camp with saw over 40 kids participating in activities such as art, drama, and dance.

They also have a partnership and programs with Peoria Public Schools District 150 while offering Film, Spanish and dance classes in their current building.

The center is currently preparing for its Día de Muertos: Love Never Dies fundraising event, which will have a special tribute to the life of Glen Barton, scheduled for Oct. 26th.

Romain said the center counts on fundraisers like these to help with maintaining its building renovations and providing more programs for community members.

Co-owner Jonathan Romains said the center is also hoping to start its afterschool programs next month but has no timeframe on when work for its current building will be done.

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