One State Together in the Arts

Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency are pleased to welcome proposals for Illinois communities to host the 2020 and 2022 One State Together in the Arts conferences.  

One State Together in the Arts is the only statewide conference focused on creative professionals representing a broad range of disciplines. Featuring keynote presentations, interactive breakout sessions, live performances and exhibitions, and tours of the local community, One State conferences bring together more than 300 leaders and practitioners from creative industries and beyond. Typically held every two years beginning with the inaugural conference in Rend Lake in 1999, the 2018 One State Together in the Arts in Galesburg highlighted the community’s rich history, innovative entrepreneurship, and thriving cultural scene. 

The ideal One State host community has a vibrant arts scene, strong local leadership, and accommodations for up to 350 attendees. Interested host communities will submit a proposal as the first step of the selection process. All proposals will be reviewed, and a selection for 2020 made by late fall 2019. The decision for 2022 host will be made at a later date.

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Stong, enthusiastic, and collaborative local leadership is key to a successful One State in the Arts Conference. We aim to partner with a vibrant and diverse community comprised of individuals, arts organizations, and local leadership that assist conference planning community outreach.

Previous host communities are encouraged to apply if they have hosted One State prior to 2015.

Host support can also include (but is not limited to):

  • Community support, including that of the convention and visitors’ bureau (CVB), community foundations, charter buses, and local businesses
  • Financial and / or in-kind support from the CVB and/or municipal government
  • Proximity to Amtrak and available local transit
  • Walkable proximity to diverse arts and cultural activities

Please note: The above are priorities and not requirements.


  • Meeting room accommodating up to 350 participants, plus a stage
  • (3+) additional meeting rooms for 50–100 participants each with flexible set-ups
  • Small group meeting spaces for up to 40 people
  • Central area(s) for registration and reception
  • Central and secure space for administration, large enough for 4+ people
  • A/V capabilities supporting multiple channels simultaneously plus on-site staff available throughout 
  • Complimentary, robust wireless internet access available throughout venue
  • Catering options for breakfast, lunch, beverage service and snacks
  • Restaurant, café, and bar onsite
  • ADA-compliant spaces throughout the site
  • Block of 30+ run-of-house rooms on day one and 200+ on day two
  • Complimentary rooms/suites in exchange for accumulated rooms are requested
  • Complimentary meeting rooms and spaces in exchange for catering credits are requested


One State 2020:

  • Sunday, September 27 - Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Sunday, October 4 - Tuesday, October 6, 2020
  • Sunday, October 11 - Tuesday, October 13, 2020
  • Sunday, October 18 - Tuesday, October 20, 2020

One State 2022:

  • Sunday, September 25 - Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • Sunday, October 2 - Tuesday, October 4, 2022
  • Sunday, October 9- Tuesday, October 11, 2022
  • Sunday, October 16 - Tuesday, October 18, 2022
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 Interested communities are invited to submit a brief letter of interests that addresses the following questions:

  • How does the local community reflect One State’s host values and priorities?
  • How does each proposed venue meet One State’s specifications?
  • What venue(s) would serve as the conference venue(s)?
  • Who would provide local leadership?
  • To what extent will the convention and vistors bureau and/or municipal government financially support the conference?
  • What costs are estimated for meeting space(s), A/V, catering, and rooms for participant lodging and run-of-house?

Links to relevant websites and supporting info are appreciated but not required.

Please also submit, with your letter of interest, two (2) statements of support from third parties, e.g. a local chamber of commerce, municipal committee, partner organization or venue and demonstrate concrete community commitment. If your community has hosted events or conferences similar to One State, please provide examples / documentation and relevant references.


The submission period is now closed. We will review all proposals and select a host for 2020 soon. A decision for 2022 host will be made at a later date.

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Thank you for your interest in the One State Together in the Arts conference!

Visit for more information about the 2018 conference in Galesburg.