Monday, Dec. 27


Illinois Arts Council seeks ethnic and folk artists for new directory and opportunities

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[DEC. 27, 2004]  CHICAGO -- The Illinois Arts Council is working with the Illinois Folklife Society to update the Directory of Illinois Ethnic and Folk Artists.

"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.

[Illinois Arts Council news release]


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