North Central Illinois ARTworks

At the NCRBC, we believe the arts can play a significant role in the betterment of our region. To this end we are pleased to welcome North Central Illinois ARTworks!

In 2003, Professor Anne Markeson of the University of Minnesota authored a series of studies, which showed how the arts play a significant role in economic development. Her study points out how artists move between the commercial world, the not-for-profit world, and the cultural world providing significant economic improvement to the areas where they choose to work. Markeson suggests the spending of just a fraction of what would normally go for new roads and sewer lines into the arts could produce many economic benefits.

We note that tourism is the 2nd leading generator of economic outputs in Illinois, and that the North Central Region with Starved Rock and other tourism attributes has built in advantages. We believe there is a close relationship between tourism and the arts, and in the potential for greater working relationships. In addition, a strong educational and artistic presence is important if the region desires to attract higher skilled and higher wage jobs.

The name North Central Illinois ARTworks, was created during a series of brainstorming sessions with the leaders during the 2nd half of 2009. The name is meant to symbolize the importance of having an economically vibrant arts community as a key component to improving the economic vitality of the three county region.

The mission of ARTworks is to inspire artistic growth among artists through education, exhibition, and competition. ARTworks promotes quality professionalism and diversity in the arts in a positive manner. It is also our mission to create a venue to support public and private education, community events, re-development and cultural tourism.

In 2012 North Central Illinois ARTworks retooled its mission to begin to form a regional council made up of representatives from all of the different art disciplines operating in the North Central Illinois Region.

Watch this page for more details. To become a member or for more information, contact us at