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The very first ArtsPartners of the Year was Jim Maloof, former Peoria mayor and a beloved figure in the community. A strong advocate for music, dance and the arts during his time as mayor, Maloof lent his business expertise to the Peoria Ballet to bring the organization into a new era. As president of the board of directors, he oversaw the transformation of the Ballet into a real presence in the Peoria-area arts community, taking it to new heights and record audiences.

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