"This directory needs revision," said
Shirley R. Madigan, chairman of the Illinois Arts Council. "With the
ever-changing diversity of our population, there are many ethnic and
folk artists and organizations that would prove to be valuable
additions to this important database. Our challenge will be to
identify potential new artists and organizations to include."
Ethnic and folk arts are defined as
those artistic practices that have a community or family base,
express that community's aesthetic, heritage and tradition, and have
endured through several generations. These art forms reflect the
particular culture of the regional, language, tribal or nationality
group from which they spring.
The directory will represent
musicians, dancers, visual artists, storytellers, folklorists, and
other ethnic and folk artists. It will be comprised of current
Illinois Arts Council constituents, artists from the Illinois Artist
Registry and artists discovered during the extensive research of the
ongoing Illinois Mississippi River Valley Project. To broaden the
geographic research base, three fieldworkers from the Illinois
Folklife Society will collect information on artists and
organizations from the central and southern part of the state.
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The directory will be designed as a
comprehensive source to link ethnic and folk artists with
professional opportunities. Once compiled, a database of ethnic and
folk artists will be placed online, accessible through the Illinois
Arts Council website. Organizations, schools and artists will be
able to search by discipline, region and artist.
Ethnic and folk artists and
organizations throughout Illinois are encouraged to contact the
director of ethnic and folk arts at
or (312) 814-6740.
The Illinois Arts Council is
committed to the cultural,
educational and economic growth of the diverse
people and communities of the state through the support and
encouragement of the arts and artists.
Council news release]