Monthly Archives: February 2021



Lo! ’t is a gala night

   Within the lonesome latter years!  

An angel throng, bewinged, bedight

   In veils, and drowned in tears,  

Sit in a theatre, to see

   A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully  

   The music of the spheres.

-from “The Conqueror Worm” by Edgar Allan Poe


These words, recited by Ryan Horstman of Springfield’s Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, earned him third place in the Central Illinois Poetry Out Loud Contest held this month.

Thaddeus Bergschneider and Madden Delaney of Franklin High School were the top two finishers in the competition.  They will advance to the Illinois State Finals in March.  Due to the pandemic, all competitions are held virtually.

The Illinois State Contest will feature recitations by two students from each of eight Poetry Out Loud regions in the state.  The Illinois State champion will advance to the national contest.

260 students and 10 teachers in 5 schools began the 2021 Poetry Out Loud season in central Illinois last fall.

Other contestants in the Central Illinois Regional Contest were

Elisabeth Anderson and Maddy Graham, Eureka High School (Eureka)

Makenna Gill and Bethany Wagner, Morton High School (Morton)

Grace Lambert, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield)

Alysa Samaniego, Springfield High School (Springfield)

Contest staff for the Central Illinois Regional Contest included

Recitation judges:  Randy Brooks, Carol Davis, and Juliann Quigg

Accuracy judge:  Thèa Chesley

Scorekeeper:  Bob Jessup

Technician:  David Cain

Poetry Out Loud in Illinois is a collaborative project of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and seven agencies, each of which hosts a regional contest.  The Poetry Out Loud:  National Recitation Contest is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through analysis, memorization, performance, and competition.  The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, in conjunction with state arts agencies, support this nation-wide program with participants from all fifty states plus Guam, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

More information is available at

By |2021-02-25T08:11:10-06:00February 25th, 2021|News, Poetry Out Loud|Comments Off on THE SPRINGFIELD AREA ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES CENTRAL ILLINOIS REGIONAL WINNERS

Arts policy and the COVID crisis: Resources and Actions | February 2021

Much has been happening over the past few weeks regarding COVID-19 relief on the federal and state levels, and the arts are still in need.

Take action: Click here to call on Congress to include strong relief for the arts sector in the COVID relief package.  

And a quick announcement to join us and get your questions answered on all things unemployment & SVOG! Learn more below. 

TOMORROW! February 19, 3:30 pm: The Latest on Unemployment 
We will have a representative from the Illinois Department of Employment Security with us to answer your questions about unemployment and any issues you’ve had navigating the system this past year.
Register here.

February 26, 1:00pm: Q&A for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program 
We will have a representative from the Small Business Administration to answer your questions about the SVO program.
Register here. 

Friday Office Hours with Jonathan
Have a policy question you don’t see covered by the webinars above? Join Alliance Deputy Director, Jonathan VanderBrug for a Friday Office Hour session from 10AM – 11AMCST. Come with your SVO, legislative, and relief program questions and Jonathan will do his best to offer you some clarity!
Sign up for #AskJonathan here.

By |2021-02-19T09:58:37-06:00February 19th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Arts policy and the COVID crisis: Resources and Actions | February 2021

Now Hiring : Part-Time Bookkeeper

Erica, our top-notch bookkeeper for three years, has decided to leave us.  So we are looking for someone to work 2-5 hours a week, year-round.

$15 per hour.  No benefits other than flexible schedule.


Maintain accounts receivable and accounts payable

Assist with the preparation of fiscal year budget

Process payroll and taxes

Pay bills and make deposits

Reconcile bank statements

Prepare financial reports for board

Generate year-end reports, tax documents, and donor letters

Assist with annual audit

Help with the preparation of grant applications and reports

Work as needed with fund-raising events and programs

Advise staff and board on financial matters

Other duties as assigned

Experience with QuickBooks software and usage of standard accounting practices required

Interest in the arts and/or non-profit organizations desired

If interested, send a resume and cover letter to Sheila Walk at

By |2021-02-18T14:56:45-06:00February 18th, 2021|News|Comments Off on Now Hiring : Part-Time Bookkeeper

HeARTS for the ARTS

Would you help us spread the word about two new fund-raisers, please?

Having two big, annual fund-raisers Covid-canceled in 2020 prompted the Arts Council board to find new ways to pay operating expenses.  So, next week, we are running two events – a Valentine’s Day drive-through dinner and a backyard barbecue package Facebook auction.

Details are below and in the attached fliers.

Thank you, so much!

Drive-through Valentine’s Dinner from Nelson’s Catering

Pick-up: Sunday, February 14; 3:00-5:00 P.M. at Creative Reuse Marketplace (122 S. 4th St.)

Sweet Lovin’ Chicken Dinner

With cheese potatoes, southern-style green beans, fresh garden salad, roll/butter, and salted caramel brownie

Forever Always Meatless Lasagna 

With green beans, fresh garden salad, garlic breadstick, and salted caramel brownie

Each order includes a handmade gift.     Cost: $25.00     Order deadline: Thursday, February 11, at noon

Buy dinner tickets at

Backyard Barbecue for 25 People from Nelson’s Catering

Appetizers: Grilled Chicken Wings, Bourbon-glazed Meatballs, Stuffed Mushrooms

Entrées: Grilled 1/4 Chicken, Pulled Pork Barbecue, Smoked Beef Brisket

Sides: Cheddar Cheese Potatoes, Green Beans, Rolls and Butter

Desserts: Fresh Fruit Salad, Salted Caramel Brownies

FACEBOOK AUCTION     Visit to place your bid.

Auction begins Sunday, February 7, at 6:00P.M.  Winning bidder announced on Sunday, February 14, at 6:00 P.M.

Dinner flier                                          Auction flier

By |2021-02-05T09:43:38-06:00February 5th, 2021|News|Comments Off on HeARTS for the ARTS