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Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency Present One State Together in the Arts Virtual Conference

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The virtual conference will take place September 29 - October 2.

Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency Present One State Together in the Arts Virtual Conference

Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency will present a dynamic conference program for the 2020 One State Together in the Arts Virtual Conference taking place September 29 - October 2. With 22 sessions of programming featuring more than 50 artists, speakers, and presenters, this year's virtual conference will be more accessible than ever with free registration for all attendees. Events will focus on support and inspiration for an artistic community that has been battered by COVID-19, but is determined to come back stronger and continue to play a key role in envisioning a more just, equitable, and strong future for Illinois.

"One State Together in the Arts provides all of us the opportunity to connect to our peers (whether they be rural, suburban, or urban), celebrate our commonalities, and learn about our diversities." says Joshua Davis-Ruperto, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Council Agency. "Now more than ever it is vital that we find time to come together and share stories, challenges, and any potential solutions. We need each other."

The conference will kick off with a keynote address by MacArthur Fellow and Artist Activist Mel Chin. Chin is known for the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork and works that enlist science as a component to developing complex ideas. His keynote address will focus on the role of creatives in the current moment.

"We are so honored to have Mel Chin join us during this critical time for the Illinois creative sector," says Claire Rice, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois. "Mel's work has always raised awareness and provoked necessary conversations about our most pressing issues. I can think of no one better to speak about the current crises faced by artists and creatives across the state."

The conference also features presentations by the recipients of the first-ever One State Artist Grants, a program created for artists to create work that will connect the creative community virtually. The two selected projects are BLACK PURPLE BLOOM by Jade Williams and "One State 24 Hour Theatre Festival" by Tonika Todorova and Beatrice Bosco.

BLACK PURPLE BLOOM is a traveling memorial tower created to honor the Black Womxn who have lost their lives to police brutality. Through the collaborative efforts of artist Jade Williams' in-house team and workshop participants across the state, handmade commemorative blooms dedicated to individual victims will be created and used in the embellishment of the tower.

The "One State 24 Hour Theatre Festival" will premiere during the conference on September 30. Todorova and Bosco will gather theatremakers from communities across Illinois to create five short plays that intentionally use the virtual medium. Five writers, five directors, and 15 performers will have 24 hours to write, rehearse, and execute a one-time only virtual event.

For the full conference program and to learn more about the One State Artist Grantees, please visit

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