Studio: 618-457-3691 • Office: 618-529-5900 • 224 N. Washington St. Carbondale IL 62901


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Date(s) - 03/08/2024 - 03/09/2024
12:00 am

John A Logan College


The first Southern Illinois Arts Conference, Arts Amaze, will bring together the region’s creative
talent to celebrate the diversity of the arts in our rural communities. National arts advocate Ra
Joy of the NEA will be our keynote speaker and will highlight the importance of the arts and
humanities to rural economies and communities. Statewide funders will provide updates on
available grants and the application process. Panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and
regional expert presentations will inspire, inform, and support participants.
There is a pre-conference reception for Ra Joy at Artspace 304, on Friday, March 8, featuring a
conversation between Joy, a life-long arts advocate, and John Shaw, Director of the Paul Simon
Public Policy Institute. The reception is free, but pre-registration is required as space is limited.
Reserve tickets at:
Chuck Benya, CEO and executive director of Artspace 304, the sponsor of Arts Amaze, sees
this year’s conference as the first installment of what will become an annual tradition. “Southern
Illinois has a deep well of creative talent and potential. Our regional artists, organizations, and
partners inspire, learn, and grow from each other building strong, more resilient communities of
practice. We look forward to hosting more convenings in the future.”
Marsha Ryan, Artspace 304’s board president, acknowledged this. “Good Chaos, Illinois Arts
Council, the NEA, the City of Carbondale, and Illinois Humanities Council all support our efforts
to build coalitions that advance the arts and humanities in our region. Good Chaos also funds
the Southern Illinois Arts Council (SIAC), Artspace 304’s auxiliary arts group, which played a
major role in planning the conference.”
SIAC members and conference presenters live and work throughout Southern Illinois, from
Metropolis to Anna, and from Mt. Vernon to Karnak, making this a truly regional event. The
auxiliary board of Artspace 304 represents the interests of the organization’s 25-county footprint
– helping to ensure arts and humanities resources are shared equitably in Southern Illinois.
Tickets start at $50 and include coffee and pastries, a box lunch, and refreshments at the
closing celebration. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit
Artspace 304 supports Southern Illinois’ diverse and vibrant cultural arts community by growing
leadership, education, funding, connections, and regional economic development.

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