History is being made in a historic building in Peoria. The former Greeley School is transformed into an art and culture community center.

The Romain Arts and Culture Community Center is offering arts education programs and rental spaces for community events. The center was once a vision, but now a reality as the community as a whole stepped up to bring its mission to life.

The couple responsible for the center opening, Jonanthon and Nikki Romain say, the culture surrounding the arts is a nurturing one.

“We want to bring in culture as an element,” said Nikki Romain, co-founder/executive director. “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.”

A safe space with an educational impact is needed in the community.

“The kids need a safe place to go after school,” said Romain. “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.”

No matter what language we speak: English, Spanish, Latin, everyone can speak the language of art.

“The arts, the theater saved my life,” said Romain. “Creative writing saved my life. Writing scripts and producing my own work and letting your own voice be heard is so instrumental. We often are muted. Especially people in our community. We are muted and we don’t get a chance to speak out about what’s going on in our community. To tell your story through art, visual art, painting, poetry, creative arts, through films, that is why art is a universal language.”

Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow, Inc: To inspire and empower the community through the arts. ART Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in need of sponsorships, donations, and volunteers.

ART Inc. is located at 919 NE Jefferson Ave. Peoria, IL 61603