2020 One State Together In The Arts – Virtual Conference

SAVE THE DATE: September 29 - October 2, 2020

For sponsorshop and visibility opportunities, please contact Kacie Smith at smith@artsalliance.org

Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) are pleased to announce that the 2020 One State Together in the Arts conference will take place online September 29 – October 2, 2020. The conference will be available for free for all participants.

One State Together in the Arts (Illinois) is the only statewide conference focused on creative professionals, representing a broad range of disciplines. The conference brings together more than 300 leaders and practitioners from the creative industries and beyond, featuring keynote presentations, interactive breakout sessions, live performances and exhibitions, and insights from local communities.

Given the changed landscape for our sector and our world, the One State 2020 conference will focus on Relief, Recovery, and Revitalization. Previously scheduled to take place in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, the conference will continue to provide selections from the Bloomington-Normal arts and culture community throughout the week of online sessions.

There will be opportunities for creatives to engage with advocacy efforts, explore the arts as a form of social healing, learn and share resources for creating and teaching remotely, and boldly re-envision our path forward and the role of the arts in the state’s recovery.

Registrations will open later this summer, but for now please save the date!

Call for Sessions

We are putting out an open call for sessions this year! Sessions could be break-out group discussions, Q&As, workshops, presentations, or panels. Additional formats are encouraged and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is a limited honorarium available for sessions that are accepted.

Please submit your proposal for a conference session HERE.

Materials must be submitted by July 31 at 11:59pm CST.

What makes a good session proposal?

Good sessions often share some of the below characteristics:

  • Includes tangible resources and strategic next steps for participants.
  • Creates collaboration and connection between participants. (We love sessions designed by multiple organizations or individuals, and that connect to work beyond the conference)
  • Aims to be accessible to as many people as possible, people of diverse abilities, experiences, ages, and backgrounds.
  • Hands-on, creative, imaginative, and fun.

We prioritize sessions that are led by people most impacted by the topics being discussed.

We look for sessions that offer a range of learning opportunities, from beginner to advanced.

Never presented at a conference before? Have questions?

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

Please contact Kacie Smith, smith@artsalliance.org with any additional questions!

Call for Artists

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS EXTENDED TO AUGUST 4. Two project grants are available for individual artists or an artist collective or collaboration, to design and facilitate/present new artworks or projects that engage the statewide organizations, artists and culture makers that would have normally connected in-person via the One State conference and show the beauty, diversity, and importance of the arts and culture sector.

Interactive projects that foster connections and experiences between artists and organizations across the state are encouraged. 

An amount of $5,000 is available to each artist/collective, for honorarium and expenses. Materials must be submitted by August 4 at 11:59 pm CST.


Eligibility for participation is limited to residents in the state of Illinois, over age 18, regardless of citizenship status. Highest consideration is given to artists with a record of consistent professional engagement and high quality.

We are especially looking for artworks and projects that are conscious of equity and inclusion. We are also seeking geographic diversity and artists from all parts of the state are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Artists interested in this project must prepare and submit the following:

  • Statement of Interest. No more than one page in length, which explains your interest in the project. Please include your name and contact information.
  • Project Proposal. A written description of your proposal. It should include a budget and describe the specifications or technical requirements for the artwork.
  • Budget. A budget breakdown of the expenses. 
  • Artist’s Statement. No more than 200 words in length, describing your work.
  • Current Resume. If submitting as a team, an individual resume should be submitted for each team member.

It’s highly recommended but not required that artists also include:

  • Work samples. Video or images. Artists applying as a team should submit work samples of each individual artist’s work.
  • Additional Materials. Any conceptual design drawings, sketches and/or storyboards, you feel are necessary to communicate the artist concept.

Click here to submit your materials by August 4 at 11:59pm CST.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

Please contact Kacie Smith, smith@artsalliance.org with any questions!

Making Art During COVID-19

This work must be able to be completed while following health and safety guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposals will not be accepted that would put artists and/or community members at risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

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