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Schedule

February 8, 2020

Robert Michel Student Center – Bradley University

8:30am | Check-In, Resource Fair, & Light Breakfast
9:30am | Welcome & Interactive Keynote – “Broadening Your Reach: The Benefits of E-Commerce in a Digital Society” with guest speaker, Jake Hamann – Executive Director, Peoria Innovation Alliance
10:00am | Session I
11:15am | Session II
12:30pm | Lunch, Q&A  Panel – “Expanding My Market: My E-Commerce Story”*
1:45pm | Session III
3:00pm | Networking Reception with Cash Bar

*Panel led by Ross Miller.

*2020 Registration Closed*

Sessions

10:00 AM

Learn how even a solo artist can easily manage record keeping and tax burdens. Learn what you are responsible for and the resources that are available. Taxes are required for every business, this workshop will help you to have a strategy to handle them as easily as possible.

  • Learn about record keeping solutions
  • Get a resource to plan for tax filing
  • Understand how to easily maintain financials to reduce burdens at tax time

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Ross Miller, Small Business Development Center at Bradley University

Your online presence can be the more powerful way to reach people, but many times it feels like noone is paying attention to your website, social media, and email list. In this session you'll learn how to maximize those 3 tools - website, social media, & email - in order to drive traffic to your website, gain more social media followers, and grow your email list.

Prerequisites: Need to have an existing website and at least one social media account on Facebook or Instagram. If you don't have an email list, come willing to start one.

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
65%

Session Speaker: Greg Lynn, Grindstone

Experience meditation practice and yoga techniques that can contribute to self-care, creativity, and invoke a more embodied approach to art. Bring your questions and an open mind to explore how movement and meditation can enhance your creative practice.

  • Understand the scientific benefits of regular meditation and movement practice
  • Learn yoga poses and sequences to relieve the common aches and pains of makers
  • Practice techniques for quieting mind chatter, judgement, and comparison to invoke intuitive creative energy

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Hannah Ramlo, Soulside Healing Arts

This session is perfect for artists who are starting to brand their creative business, but also someone who has an existing brand but would like to improve it. Students who attend this session will walk away with an understanding of the basics of branding and creative passion projects. These skills can be applied to their own businesses and brand development. They will leave with action items to take their brand to the next level.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Chelsie Tamms, Lettering Works

An interactive, visual presentation designed by Artist and Business Coach, Robin Albright that inspires and motivates creative souls to embrace their biggest fears and move forward fearlessly. Participants will learn about the debilitating power of our own negative self talk, the “success” tendencies that we’re equipped with and then walk away with a creative, forward-thinking goal map or business plan (different than any they’ve ever seen)

Prerequisites: Registrants should have their business framework established and should be able to understand basic business language

Bring with you: Registrants must bring blank unlined paper and markers

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Robin Albright, Coach

How do you get the word out about your work as an artist? Jonathan Wright and Mae Gilliland Wright, PhD of Peoria Magazines and 309Tix will walk you through the basics of self-promotion, including how to submit events for their community calendar, sharing photos from art openings, and essential tips on press releases. They will also demonstrate how to increase your local exposure through advance ticket sales for classes, workshops and other events—at no cost to you! Treat local media like a partner… and accrue the benefits.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speakers: Jonathan Wright, Peoria Magazines & Mae Gilliland Wright, Peoria Symphony Orchestra

If you have ever asked yourself, “How do I get my art in a museum?” Two members of the Peoria Riverfront Museum (Bill Conger, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions, and Kate Schureman, Chief Operating Officer) will present both the curatorial and museum store/earned revenue answers to this question.

Prerequisites: Participants should bring an idea of what artwork they would put for sale in a museum store.

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speakers: Kate Schureman & Bill Conger, Peoria Riverfront Museum

Are you interested in working with galleries but unsure how to get started? Join Barb Milaccio for this Roundtable on how to put your best foot forward while working to establish and maintain a professional relationship with a Gallery. Barb is a Peoria native and the owner and operator of Exhibit A Gallery, located in the heart of the Peoria Heights shopping district. Exhibit A features artwork by local artists ranging from contemporary to traditional. With over 20 years of experience, Barbara will take you through the crucial dos and don'ts when first approaching a Gallery about your art. The Round-table will include a Q&A time and attendees are encouraged to bring questions for Barb.

  • Learn crucial dos & don'ts when first approaching a gallery about your art
  • Know what information & questions you should have prepared in advance of approaching a gallery

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Barb Milaccio, Exhibit A Gallery

This session will provide tips and strategies for setting yourself up for living in the Central Illinois area while still maintaining and/or establishing a career as an actor/voiceover performer in Chicago and other big cities.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: Registrants should bring their resume or smart phone/tablet so we can review your resume and website

Your Experience Level
50%

Session Speaker: Nikki Romain, Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow

People use everything they see and hear about you to form opinions about your music. What are you telling them? What are you not telling them? Are they getting an accurate message? Are you taking advantage of opportunities to convey that message (songs, shows, social media, audio and video recordings, graphic design, merch, etc.)? In this roundtable we will discuss taking an intentional approach to the overall impression you project for your music - your brand. Learning outcomes will include understanding the notion of branding, the importance of being intentional about branding, and how branding can be beneficial in our attention-driven economy.


Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Derel Monteith, Musician

11:15 AM

Artists will learn how to submit and show their artwork at a fine art fair. In addition, they will learn the importance of quality photographs, tents and organizational skills to make there submissions successful. Artists will also learn website application processes.

Prerequisites: Artists should have basic understanding of art fairs.

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
65%

Session Speaker: Shannon Cox, Peoria Art Guild

From drafting a novel to pitching it to agents or publishers (or self-publishing), this how-to workshop will discuss the many intricacies of the writing and publishing business.

Prerequisites: Participants should have a goal of writing and publishing a book. Whether it’s just an idea or they have a fully completed manuscript, this workshop is appropriate for all who want to be published.

Bring with you: Not a requirement but a recommendation – A copy of Joe Chianakas' “On Writing and Publishing.” The book includes step-by-step instructions for formatting and publishing, along with insights and advice on agents, publishers, editing, and much more. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during the workshop for $13. Participants can also buy an advanced copy prior to the workshop on Amazon HERE.

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Joe Chianakas, Author

Would you like to see more sales through your existing Etsy Shop? During this session, Jenna Scifres will teach you how to optimize the Etsy search algorithm to get your items found in Etsy search and how to implement Etsy’s new promotional resources such as coupon codes and marketing tools. We will also cover the benefits and how-to’s of providing a great customer experience with customer retention.

Prerequisites: Attendees should already have an Etsy shop set up and be looking to increase their Etsy sales and learn more about promoting their products on Etsy and providing great customer service.

Bring with you: A laptop, tablet, or smartphone with Etsy account login information is not required but would be beneficial during class. Also downloading the “Sell on Etsy” app on tablet or smartphone.

Your Experience Level
65%

Session Speakers: Jenna Scifres, Owner/Jewelry Maker & Liz Barnes, Ear in the Envelope

WMBD's Shaun Newell will take registrants through the process of getting their story pitches seen and considered by news managers in Peoria.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Shaun Newell, WMBD

This session is perfect for artists who are ready to take their direct email outreach to the next level but also someone who is interested in learning the basics of developing a creative pitch deck to show off or sell their work. Students who attend will walk away knowing what types of things to include in a pitch deck and how to best present their work. These skills can be applied to getting in contact with local businesses, brands, and collaborators. Chelsie Tamms has personally used creative pitch decks to grow her wholesale opportunities with her art products - from selling at local businesses to the Field Museum.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Chelsie Tamms, Lettering Works

Marketing that speaks to everyone typically speaks to no one. ‘Identify Your Target Market and Send the Right Message at the Right Time’ will teach you how to identify the right audience for your business and how to develop messages that resonate specifically with that audience.

Prerequisites: Registrants should have an understanding of the value they provide and why customers buy their products or services.

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Francie Hinrichsen, Simply Integrated

Are you utilizing Square or another digital platform for payment processing? Come learn the basics on how to leverage these platforms for your benefit.

Prerequisites: Account with an existing point-of-sale platform.

Bring with you: Smartphone or tablet with POS platform pre-installed.

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Jake Hamann, Peoria Innovation Alliance

Join Sarah Marie Dillard for a lively and informal discussion including tips and strategies for making a living as a working musician in Central Illinois! Whether you’re looking to increase your income or just to increase your stage time, this round table discussion is meant for you. We’ll be answering questions like “What is one hour of my time worth?” “How important is touring?” “To play covers or to play originals?” “Should I invest more time on Facebook or Instagram?” “How can I diversify my services as a musician to broaden my clientele and increase my monthly revenue?” “How can I set myself apart from the rest for my listeners and my followers? For my business partners?” In this low-pressure round table atmosphere, we’ll take a thorough but fast-paced trip through the basics of music booking and move right along through “Music Marketing 101” with just enough time to discuss some options for diversifying your services that fall a little bit outside the box. The #1 goal of this round table is to fill in all the gaps, so bring questions and take home answers!

Prerequisites: For musicians who are actively seeking out performance opportunities and for aspiring managers and promoters.

Bring with you: Registrants encouraged to bring phones with functional Facebook and Instagram accounts but not required.

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Sarah Marie Dillard, Sarah & the Underground

A walk-through of practical lessons learned in pursuit of a life in the arts...oh yeah, a bit of songwriting too.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Barry Cloyd, Musician

1:45 PM

Lead singer-songwriters of the Way Down Wanderers (and native Peorians,) Austin and Colin will be on hand for a Q&A Session. Often referred to by fans as one of the hardest-working, hardest-touring bands on the circuit today - this Q&A will explore how the band was formed, what life on the road is really like, and what type of work goes into being part of a successful band (both on and off the stage.)

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speakers: Collin Krause & Austin Krause-Thompson, The Way Down Wanderers

Mitch will be sharing strategies to help you get more business, sell more of your art, and make more money with whatever type of art or creative work that you do. He has a variety of proven, low (or even no) cost, simple but effective, methods to increase your bottom line as a creative professional.

Some of the valuable strategies Mitch will be sharing include:

  • How to identify your target market.
  • The importance of having a “Unique Selling Proposition”.
  • How to generate free publicity in the media.
  • Using time proven direct marketing techniques to get more customers.
  • Using testimonials to get more business.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Mitch Williams, Mitch Williams Productions

One of the key hurdles in creating something successful is fostering good communication. Understanding our clients, motivating employees, getting our message heard, and even listening to our own voice requires effective communication. This session helps each attendee apply the six perceptions people use to see the world around them and the four channels we use to communicate. Attendees will better understand their own primary perceptions and how understanding all six can help them build a more dynamic business.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Dean Heffta, Clarus Results

Does the word marketing make you queasy? It IS possible to market your art in a way that you’ll feel good about. Learn how to find your voice and use it to consistently share your work with the world, both online and IRL.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: It may be helpful to have access to images of your work available.

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Elaine Luther, Being Bold LLC

Have you thought about teaching your art to others? Are you looking for ways to earn extra income? This session will give practical examples of how to set up classes, plan a lesson and teach future artists. Students will develop a plan for how to start teaching, what classes to teach, and how to find equipment and materials. If you have thought about sharing your art, come and learn how you can pass on your love of art through teaching others and find out about teaching opportunities at the Peoria Art Guild.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: Smartphone or computer may be helpful

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Jennie Hawkey, Peoria Art Guild

Dream of selling your art work, or opening your own dance company, music studio, or art gallery? There are decisions to make in starting a business, particularly in the arts. Learn what the options are before making the decisions. Then understand the steps to proceed with the required registrations. This includes researching the business name, deciding on the form of ownership, registering with the IRS, the State of Illinois, where to find out about local permits, establishing a bank account and insurance for the business. Starting the business correctly can give an owner peace of mind.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Cameron Horn, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University

Did you know there is an "artisan only" section of Amazon? In this session you will learn about the Amazon Handmade application process and get an introduction of what it's like to work with Amazon to sell your handcrafted products. Six-figure Amazon seller, Jenna Scifres, will share her experience and best practices.

Prerequisites: Attendees should possess basic computer skills as well as an active email account, and should have a product ready to sell (artwork, CD, jewelry, etc.)

Bring with you: A smartphone or similar device is helpful but not necessary

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Jenna Scifres, Owner/Jewelry Maker

Pouring in to the Fire: Building a Unique Business shares ideas on how a business that runs an ancient art practice sets hearts on fire. How do you market an unusual (and dangerous) business to the public? How do you find your place in the already booming art mecca of Peoria?

Prerequisites: Registrants should have basic social media knowledge

Bring with you: Smartphone or computer may be helpful

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Jam Rohr, Black Dog Metal Arts

At this roundtable discussion, Jonathan will take note of each participants’ creative mediums and expectations. Assessing these, the discussion will steer between the basics of relevant areas of intellectual property and question and answers from the participants. The goal will be to have each person discover what they did not know they need to know and achieve a useful baseline of knowledge to protect and monetize their creative efforts.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Jonathan Phillips, Attorney at Law

Author Chris Marchand will take you through the process of writing a good book proposal, deciding if you want to self-publish or find a publisher, completing the final stages of a book, and offering tips for marketing your book and finding your audience.

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
30%

Session Speaker: Chris Marchand, Author

Retail incubators and pop-up shops have gained popularity with merchants, entrepreneurs, and economic development organizations in recent years. But who do they serve and how exactly do they help?

Prerequisites: N/A

Bring with you: N/A

Your Experience Level
10%

Session Speaker: Jake Hamann, Peoria Innovation Alliance

Speakers

  • Robin Albright
    Artist, Coach, Speaker
    Robin Albright
  • Lizz Barnes
    Owner | Ear in the Envelope
    Lizz Barnes
  • Joe Chianakas
    Author
    Joe Chianakas
  • Barry Cloyd
    Musician
    Barry Cloyd
  • Bill Conger
    Curator of Collections & Exhibitions | Peoria Riverfront Museum
    Bill Conger
  • Shannon Cox
    Director | The Peoria Art Guild
    Shannon Cox
  • Sarah Marie Dillard
    Singer/Songwriter | Sarah & the Underground
    Sarah Marie Dillard
  • Jake Hamann
    Executive Director | Peoria Innovation Alliance
    Jake Hamann
  • Jennie Hawkey
    Program Director | The Peoria Art Guild
    Jennie Hawkey
  • Dean Heffta
    Founder | Clarus Results
    Dean Heffta
  • Francie Hinrichsen
    Owner | Marketing and Business Strategist, Simply Integrated LLC
    Francie Hinrichsen
  • Cameron Horn
    Manager, Rural Business Development | Turner Center at Bradley University
    Cameron Horn
  • Collin Krause
    Songwriter, Mandolin & Fiddle | The Way Down Wanderers
    Collin Krause
  • Austin Krause-Thompson
    Songwriter, Guitar & Keys | The Way Down Wanderers
    Austin Krause-Thompson
  • Elaine Luther
    CEO & Artist | Being Bold LLC
    Elaine Luther
  • Greg Lynn
    Owner | Grindstone
    Greg Lynn
  • Chris Marchand
    Author
    Chris Marchand
  • Barb Milaccio
    Owner | Exhibit A Gallery
    Barb Milaccio
  • Ross Miller
    Director of Technology Commercialization | SBDC at Bradley University
    Ross Miller
  • Derel Monteith
    Musician
    Derel Monteith
  • Shaun Newell
    News Director | WMBD
    Shaun Newell
  • Jonathan Phillips
    Attorney at Law
    Jonathan Phillips
  • Hannah Ramlo
    Executive Director & Yoga Instructor | Soulside Healing Arts
    Hannah Ramlo
  • Jam Rohr
    Owner | Black Dog Metal Arts
    Jam Rohr
  • Nikki Romain
    Executive Director | Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow
    Nikki Romain
  • Kate Schureman
    VP of Administration & COO | Peoria Riverfront Museum
    Kate Schureman
  • Jenna Scifres
    Owner / Jewelry Maker
    Jenna Scifres
  • Chelsie Tamms
    Owner + Designer | Lettering Works
    Chelsie Tamms
  • Mitch Williams
    Owner | Mitch Williams Magic Productions
    Mitch Williams
  • Jonathan Wright
    Editor-in-Chief | Peoria Magazines
    Jonathan Wright
  • Mae Gilliland Wright
    Director of Marketing and Communications | Peoria Symphony Orchestra
    Mae Gilliland Wright
    Robin Albright

    Robin Albright

    Artist, Coach, Speaker

    Robin Albright, CPCC – a Speaker, certified Life & Business Coach and most recently Author of the book, TWELVE TINY WELL-BEING TIPS FOR CAREGIVERS – is owner and president of RobinAlbright.com

    Robin’s background is sprinkled with several different highlights. She’s taught modeling & self esteem to young women, written human interest stories for a newspaper, worked as a corporate trainer amongst other various jobs.

    In 1999, Robin founded and developed two popular workshops – “Positive Leadership” and “Legendary Customer Service”, both of which she’s presented across the United States. In 2008 Robin received her certification from Coaches Training Institute and began offering visual coaching to individuals and businesses. Besides helping clients “draw out” new perspectives, conquer negative self-talk, open up possibilities and attain goals, she expanded her visual workshops by adding topics such as Be Your Own Super Hero, Life & Goal Mapping, Mister Pissy Taming, etc… Robin has worked with individuals and teams ranging from manufacturing firms, retail groups, non-profits and educational institutions.

    Robinalbright.com recognizes creativity as the force behind positive changes. Whether it’s through speaking, coaching or creating new products, Robin adds a creative flair to help clients visually connect with their focus/goal.

    Lizz Barnes

    Lizz Barnes

    Owner | Ear in the Envelope

    Lizz Barnes is a jewelry artist in Peoria, Illinois. She runs Ear in the Envelope Inc which includes here customer jewelry and Gottagettadeal on ETSY which sells jewelry supplies. Lizz’s ETSY shop is in the top 1% of sellers on that site. Lizz is involved with First Friday Open Studio events and was a part of starting the Emerging Artist Collective.

    Joe Chianakas

    Joe Chianakas

    Author

    Local author and professor, Joe Chianakas has written and published several books. Most known for his Rabbit in Red series, he’s sold thousands of copies around the world. He’s a full-time professor of communication at Illinois Central College and also an adjunct professor at Bradley University. His writing is currently represented by Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

    Barry Cloyd

    Barry Cloyd

    Musician

    Barry Cloyd is a Midwestern based, touring singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, performing over 200 shows per year, who has spent a lifetime creating a performance style that weaves the genres of Blues, Folk, Celtic, Original and Roots music into a unique blend all his own. A strong vocalist and multi-instrumentalist as well as a storyteller, theatrical performer and historian, Barry delivers his music on a multitude of guitars (6 & 12 string, Dobro, high-strung, etc.) and other stringed instruments, such as 5-string banjo, mandolin, requinto and bouzouki. Honored by Chicago’s Millennium Park with inclusion as part of their series, “Great Performers of Illinois”, Barry is also a member of the Illinois Arts Council ArtsTour Roster.

    His first CD release “The Wind and the Water” features all original music and some of Nashville’s finest session musicians including members of Amy Grant’s, Stephen Stills’ and EmmyLou Harris’ bands. The follow-up CD’s, are “After the Storm”, a Celtic/Americana piece, “Yuletide Fire”, an acoustic Christmas CD, “The Rainmaker’s Garden”, featuring 12 original songs and the latest all original CD “Spirit Dance”, with 11 of Barry’s newer songs. He tours primarily as a solo artist, but also associates with a fine group of musicians who can accompany him in various formats. Barry fronts a duo called “Clones”, and a band named “Celtricity” which has appeared as a three piece, four piece or five piece group, depending on the requirements of the venue. “Celtricity” is jam band/fusion group that weaves together the genres of Folk, Celtic, Blues, Roots, World and Barry’s original music.

    Barry has co-written, produced and toured more than 20 original folk musicals, written more than 350 songs, and has appeared in over 300 TV commercials and 70 industrial films, some of which have been shown internationally. He is also a regular guest on radio and television programs wherever he travels. In addition, Barry has performed/toured in Ireland, England, Wales, Mexico, the Caribbean and much of the U.S. and is a co-founder, with Brian “Fox” Ellis, of Prairie Folklore Theatre. PFT is a touring theatre company which creates and produces original musical theatre based on the history of the Prairie and Great Lakes States. Prairie Folklore Theatre has also produced CD’s of four of its original shows, “Prairie Fire”, “A Prairie Christmas”, “River Ghosts” and “Civil War Ghosts and Legends”. Additional upcoming projects include Barry’s sixth solo CD, to be recorded partially at Tim Carter’s Nashville studio and another PFT CD release. Also Barry is featured in a Prairie Folklore Theatre documentary film project entitled “Voices for the River” (funded by the Illinois EPA).

    Bill Conger

    Bill Conger

    Curator of Collections & Exhibitions | Peoria Riverfront Museum
    Shannon Cox

    Shannon Cox

    Director | The Peoria Art Guild

    Shannon Cox is the Director of the Peoria Art Guild and Co –Chair of annual Peoria Fine Art Fair. She has been involved with arts for years and her experiences have led her to her new position. She is a Manito native that now resides in Pekin with her husband Brian who is retired from the Pekin Fire Department

    Shannon feels the fine arts community in Central Illinois is growing and thriving and there are many different organizations that promote art. Her mission is to work with them on like minded projects.

    Originally, the Peoria Art guild was brought together by a group of women in 1878 who felt the arts were of important historical and educational value that required preservation.

    In the 1930’s, the Peoria Art Guild (then called Peoria Art Institute) was instrumental in the creation of fine arts program at Bradley University. By the 1960’s, the Peoria Art Guild and other performing organizations partnered to create the Lakeview museum.

    As the Peoria Art Guild has progressed as a leader in contemporary art over the years their successes have mounted. In 2019, the Peoria Art Guild celebrated its 57th anniversary of hosting the Peoria Fine Art Fair. This fair has brought local and nationally recognized artists together to showcase the breadth of their work to the Midwest.

    Sarah Marie Dillard

    Sarah Marie Dillard

    Singer/Songwriter | Sarah & the Underground

    Sarah Marie Dillard is a singer/songwriter, band leader and private music educator from the Central Illinois area. She is a proud advocate for fine arts and actively champions fair and equal pay for artists, cross-generational music education, free and accessible music education for all students regardless of class/background/learning ability, and the practice of sub-creation as a means to better quality of life. Her evident passion for arts education recently led her to membership on the Illinois Central College panel for Music Business development, and she is extremely positive about the work the panel is already doing to groom young, local musicians into competent and confident music business entrepreneurs. She is also an active member of Arts Partners of Central Illinois and continues to be inspired by their worthy work of planting and growing artists in the Peoria area. Appropriately dubbed “The Songbird of Central Illinois,” Sarah is proud to proactively take part in making a new name for Peoria as a city that highlights the exceptional talents of seasoned veterans and provides the opportunity and encouragement for young artists to grow!

    Sarah has been honored to be featured alongside many talented artists including Maia Sharp, Linda Taylor (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Lissie, The Way Down Wanderers, Chicago Farmer, David Hoffman (Ray Charles Orchestra), Mike Nellas (Matthew Curry Band) and Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear.

    Jake Hamann

    Jake Hamann

    Executive Director | Peoria Innovation Alliance

    Serial Entrepreneur. Disruptive Innovator. Ecosystem Builder.

    With over 12 years of experience in marketing, training, and innovation initiatives at Fortune 100 companies, Jake’s element truly transcends in matching problems with ingenious solutions. His resume speaks for itself. In 2012, Jake founded and grew an innovation agency (ONEFIRE) from 2 to 35 employees and $3M in revenue within 4 years; focusing on operations, sales, strategy and culture.

    His work with various Fortune 100 companies includes the creation, management and leadership of various enterprise content standards and processes, participation in multiple enterprise innovation initiatives related to disruptive technology, and R&D projects involving augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

    As the co-founder of Startup Peoria and a founding member of the Startup Champions Network (formerly Startup America), a nationwide non-profit dedicated to supporting innovation ecosystem builders and the entrepreneurs they serve, Jake has built an extensive global network of connections that have brought Peoria into the national spotlight.

    Most recently, Jake founded and now serves as the Executive Director of the Peoria Innovation Alliance; a local non-profit that is fostering a collaborative movement to reposition the region and change our narrative to one of positivity and progress through the support and celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup activity.

    Jennie Hawkey

    Jennie Hawkey

    Program Director | The Peoria Art Guild

    Jennie Hawkey is the Program Director for the Peoria Art Guild. She has been a teacher, educator and artist in the Peoria area for many years. She is dedicated to developing art education, especially in the fiber arts.

    Dean Heffta

    Dean Heffta

    Founder | Clarus Results

    Dean Heffta is the founder and lead trainer of the Peoria based training and coaching firm Clarus Results. Experienced in sales, client service, and executive leadership, he bring his passion for people smarts and organizational effectiveness to helping teams improve results.

    As one of only a handful of trainers of Process Communication Model in the Midwest, he helps people leverage the same science of communication that NASA and Pixar used to build their team success.

    Dean is a “40 Leaders under Forty” alumni, a certified professional coach, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Drake University’s MBA program.

    Francie Hinrichsen

    Francie Hinrichsen

    Owner | Marketing and Business Strategist, Simply Integrated LLC

    Francie Hinrichsen is the owner and founder of Simply Integrated, LLC, a marketing and small business strategy company based out of Morton, Illinois. Through her work, she helps small businesses to understand how to effectively identify their target market, deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, and develop a digital presence for optimized conversion.

    Francie sits on the Peoria Innovation Alliance board of directors, is on the Peoria Made committee, and also organizes a monthly local meetup for women business owners in the central Illinois area called ‘Lipstick and Lattes,’ which helps group members push through their current business challenges.

    Cameron Horn

    Cameron Horn

    Manager, Rural Business Development | Turner Center at Bradley University

    Cameron Horn comes from an extensive background of rural business development. Growing up and living in a small rural farming community, he gained immense of knowledge on rural business growth and practices. He attained his Bachelors in Management & Leadership and MBA in Marketing from Bradley University. He has over 19 years combined of rural business experience, owning and operating two separate family businesses, both retail and service industries. Prior to filling the Rural Business Development Manager role at the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, Cameron served as a business advisor for the SBDC for two years, advising clients on start-ups and existing businesses. He is very active in the community, volunteering at the Riverfront Museum and serving on the Board of Directors for his local Chamber of Commerce.

    Collin Krause

    Collin Krause

    Songwriter, Mandolin & Fiddle | The Way Down Wanderers

    The Way Down Wanderers are from the very heartland of America – central Illinois, Peoria, to be exact – which is reflected in their distinctive sound, which draws on elements of bluegrass, but also touches on classic rock influences including the multi-part harmonies of the Beach Boys and The Band’s hybrid soul, as well as the roots qualities of The Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, with surprising elements of jazz, classical music and even hip-hop.

    The band’s two chief songwriters – Austin Krause-Thompson and Collin Krause – have known each other for six years now, starting when Austin was 19 and Collin 15, and while they each write separately, this time around there was much more working in tandem.

    “We’re so much more used to working with each other now,” says Austin, who recently married Collin’s older sister, making them brothers-in-law. “Collin and I are really getting a feel for one another, the way we write together.”

    Austin Krause-Thompson

    Austin Krause-Thompson

    Songwriter, Guitar & Keys | The Way Down Wanderers

    The Way Down Wanderers are from the very heartland of America – central Illinois, Peoria, to be exact – which is reflected in their distinctive sound, which draws on elements of bluegrass, but also touches on classic rock influences including the multi-part harmonies of the Beach Boys and The Band’s hybrid soul, as well as the roots qualities of The Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, with surprising elements of jazz, classical music and even hip-hop.

    The band’s two chief songwriters – Austin Krause-Thompson and Collin Krause – have known each other for six years now, starting when Austin was 19 and Collin 15, and while they each write separately, this time around there was much more working in tandem.

    “We’re so much more used to working with each other now,” says Austin, who recently married Collin’s older sister, making them brothers-in-law. “Collin and I are really getting a feel for one another, the way we write together.”

    Elaine Luther

    Elaine Luther

    CEO & Artist | Being Bold LLC

    Elaine Luther is an artist and arts writer. She makes assemblage sculpture including “Our Ladies of Perpetual Housework” and “Medals that You Wouldn’t Want to Earn.”

    She writes for Craft Industry Alliance and Moore Women Artists as well as her own blogs. In addition to all that, she’s a content marketing specialist with Free Fly Marketing and she and her kids host the podcast Being Bold.

    Greg Lynn

    Greg Lynn

    Owner | Grindstone

    Since 2006, Greg has been a leader in web design & development, marketing, communications, and training. Greg has helped national and international non-profits by focusing their overall communications strategies and by delivering effective and attractive digital solutions. He is committed to leadership development, and has trained leaders from Illinois to the West Coast.

    Greg is active in the Peoria, Illinois area. He founded and leads a non-profit, forged community-focused partnerships with businesses and social service organizations, and is an influential voice in shaping the future civic life in Peoria.

    As an Interactive Media Instructor at Bradley University, Greg developed a course on web design and trains students on media creation.

    Chris Marchand

    Chris Marchand

    Author

    Chris Marchand is a long time Peoria educator and pastor. He has also published the blog and podcast PostConsumer Reports since 2011 and published his first book “Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas” in 2019

    Barb Milaccio

    Barb Milaccio

    Owner | Exhibit A Gallery

    Barbara Milaccio is a Peoria native and the owner and operator of Exhibit A Gallery, located in the heart of the Peoria Heights shopping district.

    Ross Miller

    Ross Miller

    Director of Technology Commercialization | SBDC at Bradley University

    Ross is the Director of Technology Commercialization at the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University. His primary duties include assisting entrepreneurs in the process of applying for a patent and advising entrepreneurs who are looking to commercialize a patent. Ross is skilled in Innovation processes such as Lean Launchpad, Lean Startup and Design Thinking. He teaches these methodologies to clients to help them develop better products and services for customers. The goal is to understand the customer’s problems and develop solutions for those problems. This helps clients develop solutions that will sell and solve customer problems.

    Prior to this current position, Ross was the Director of the Small Business Development Center and held various positions advising entrepreneurs in Central Illinois since 2001. Ross has presented numerous seminars on topics such as managing taxes, marketing, web site development, and search engine optimization.

    Ross is also an entrepreneur, starting his own business in 2019 where he works directly with businesses that are introducing new products into the market. He leads projects to develop and sell products until a sustainable business model is tested and established.

    Prior to working at the SBDC, Ross received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of South Dakota, spent several years in the advertising industry, and at the beginning of 1997, he began selling and managing web site development and marketing projects. Initially working with small businesses in Kentucky, then working with Fortune 500 manufacturers to develop effective web sites.

    Derel Monteith

    Derel Monteith

    Musician

    Derel Monteith is a pianist, keyboardist, and composer based in Illinois. After focusing on classical piano during his childhood in North Carolina, Derel developed an affinity for improvised music and earned a degree in jazz studies from the University of Miami. Among others, he has performed with Nnenna Freelon, Vanessa Rubin, Frank Foster, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and studied with the Grammy-winning composer Maria Schneider. In 2015, Derel formed the Derel Monteith Trio, which focuses on his original compositions and instrumental covers of rock songs. His other primary outlet is fully improvised solo piano. Both on his own and through his trio, Derel has honed a modern, melodic approach that makes him an engaging artist.

    Shaun Newell

    Shaun Newell

    News Director | WMBD

    Shaun Newell is the News Director and WMBD/WYZZ in Peoria. He has led the team there for the past three years. Shaun has an extensive background in local news, including management roles at WMBD radio and WEEK/WHOI-TV. He also served as the Marketing and Communication Director at the Center for Prevention of Abuse. Shaun is a 2002 graduate of Western Illinois University and a 2013 graduate of Bradley University’s MBA program.

    Jonathan Phillips

    Jonathan Phillips

    Attorney at Law

    Jonathan is an intellectual property attorney. He advises artists, creative professionals, and small and medium sized businesses on how to gather, protect, and enforce their intellectual property rights, including, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents.

    Hannah Ramlo

    Hannah Ramlo

    Executive Director & Yoga Instructor | Soulside Healing Arts

    Hannah Ramlo is the founder and director of Soulside Healing Arts, a nonprofit yoga studio that provides pay-as-you-can, trauma-informed mindfulness services to the community. After completing her 200-hour yoga teacher training, becoming certified in trauma-informed yoga, and receiving a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Bradley, Hannah opened the doors to Soulside to blend her love of yoga with her desire to be working in the social service field. As a teacher, Hannah works to deepen each student’s capacity to identify patterns and structures, both limiting and liberating. She seeks to guide groups with reverence for variety, empowering students to embrace what each moment calls for in their singular body.

    Jam Rohr

    Jam Rohr

    Owner | Black Dog Metal Arts

    Jam Rohr owns Black Dog Metal Arts LLC with her husband, Danny Rohr. Jam is also the Gallery Curator at Illinois Central College, and Adjunct Faculty at Illinois Central College, Eureka College, and Illinois State University.

    Danny and Jam travel the country to cast iron, and have poured in Alabama, Indiana, Scranton, Illinois, and this year in Colorado and New Zealand. Jam has served on the steering committee for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices in 2019 and 2021, has spoken on a panel about Iron and Materiality at the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in 2018, organized the first artistic iron pour in Peoria, IL history as part of Big Picture Peoria in October of 2019, and organized the first iron pour run by FEmale identified artists in Peoria, IL history in November of 2019.

    As Jam has recently moved back to Peoria, her goal has been to bring the cast iron community to Central Illinois while sharing the incredible art scene that Peoria has to offer with the iron community around the world.

    Nikki Romain

    Nikki Romain

    Executive Director | Artists ReEnvisioning Tomorrow

    Nikki Romain is Co-Founder and Executive Director of ART Inc. She is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Theater. Nikki has an extensive background in the arts as an actor, singer, writer, and voice over artist. She was selected to perform with the well-known Chicago Praise Ensemble and toured throughout northern Italy. Nikki has performed in musicals and theatrical productions across the country such as, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, Godspell, Steel Magnolias, For Colored Girls, and Shoe Story. She wrote, produced, and played in her one woman show, “Lost and Found” (a story about how the arts saved her life), at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Los Angeles and the prestigious Royal George theater in Chicago. Using arts and culture as a vehicle, Nikki’s mission in life is to empower the lives of women and youth.

    Kate Schureman

    Kate Schureman

    VP of Administration & COO | Peoria Riverfront Museum

    Kate has deep roots in Central Illinois and is a fifth generation native of Peoria County. After graduating from Peoria High School, Kate attended DePauw University in Greencastle, IN majoring in Political Science.

    Having been around government service since the age of five, when her father first ran for the Peoria City Council, eventually serving as Mayor of Peoria, Kate began her career in Washington, DC working on Capitol Hill. She kept her connection to Central Illinois by serving as a Congressional Aide for U.S. Representative Ed Madigan from Lincoln, and U.S. Representative Tom Ewing from Pontiac.

    Missing the wonderful prairie sunsets, Kate returned to Central Illinois after seven years in Washington. Wanting to give back to the community that helped raise her, Kate went to work at Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1997. Now in her 22nd year at the museum, Kate is VP of Administration & COO.

    Kate is married to Bill, a Manager at the Morton Culvers by day, and Lincoln College adjunct professor by night. When not working, Kate and Bill enjoy spending time with their 12 nieces and nephews, 12 great nieces and nephews, watching C-SPAN, hanging out with 4 feline kids, riding roller coasters, and of course, visiting museums!

    Jenna Scifres

    Jenna Scifres

    Owner / Jewelry Maker

    Jenna Scifres creates handmade jewelry specializing in sparkly stud earrings and personalized dainty designs made with high-quality materials. Jenna started by selling her jewelry at craft shows and the Peoria Riverfront Market in 2009. She expanded to selling on Etsy in 2011 and was able to quit her Human Resources day job in 2016 to create jewelry full time. Jenna Scifres Handmade Jewelry is now available on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, jennascifres.com and over 40 boutiques across the US.  She has also taught jewelry making classes at Illinois Central College and at local wineries and breweries. Her jewelry has been featured in print publications and worn on eight television shows and motion pictures. Her ever-growing business now employs five part-time workers to help create and package her jewelry.  Jenna has a passion for sharing her knowledge with other makers and small businesses to help them succeed.

    Chelsie Tamms

    Chelsie Tamms

    Owner + Designer | Lettering Works

    Chelsie Tamms is an award-winning lettering artist and designer currently based out of Chicago. She is the owner of Lettering Works, a branding and design company that helps businesses connect with their audience through strategy and creativity. Chelsie founded Lettering Works after graduating from Bradley University in 2016 and successfully ran the business in Peoria for three years before relocating to Chicago.

    Mitch Williams

    Mitch Williams

    Owner | Mitch Williams Magic Productions

    Mitch Williams is a multi-talented, world-class contemporary magical performing artist and inspirational speaker with credits in six countries on three continents. He has won several national and international performing awards, is considered an expert at sleight of hand, and is also an accomplished artist, athlete, and authority on creativity, peak performance, and human potential. He brings this wide variety of talents, skills, and expertise to his work, making his programs among the most original and innovative in his field.

    As an entertainer, Mitch has gained years of experience performing across this country and around the globe, for venues as diverse as television, cruise ships, revue shows, nightclubs, theatres, conferences, and corporate events. For more than twenty years, Mitch has used his unique and memorable programs to help corporate and other groups, from Beverly Hills to New York City and far beyond, to make their events incredibly successful, impressive, and just plain fun.

    As a speaker, trainer, and consultant, Mitch has lectured throughout the United States, conducting a variety of lectures, seminars, and in depth workshops. Mitch brings to his various educational and self improvement programs expertise as an extremely competent teacher in a variety of areas. A true modern Rennaissance man, he calls on insights from his extensive background in such diverse fields of study as: art (he is an accomplished graphic artist and painter); the martial arts (he holds a fourth degree black belt in Judo and has experience in Aikido, Ju Jutsu, Karate, and Tai Chi): as well as his ongoing studies in psychology, peak performance, human potentials, philosophy, science, creativity, and movement technique.

    He is also author of the book, A Call to Magic – the Artful Science of Transforming Self and World, which is an encapsulation of his broad insights into being all that we can be and living a life of true magic and inspiration.

    Jonathan Wright

    Jonathan Wright

    Editor-in-Chief | Peoria Magazines

    A Peoria-area native, Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in 1998, majoring in business management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

    He then attended Denver Technical College in Colorado, earning a certificate in information systems programming, and spent five years as a computer programmer/analyst at MetLife before moving back to the area in 2005.

    After a stint as lead web developer with Integrity Technology Solutions, he joined Peoria Magazines in 2006 as Editor In Chief. A 2008 graduate of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership School, he served two three-year terms on the associate board of Peoria Public Radio and the board of ArtsPartners of Central Illinois. He currently sits on the board of the Sun Foundation for Advancement in the Environmental Sciences and Arts, the Advisory Council for the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University, and the Marketing Committee for the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

    In addition to teaching a course in magazine production at Bradley University, he has logged time as an independent publisher, freelance writer, musician, DJ and concert promoter. He resides in Peoria with his wife, Dr. Mae Gilliland Wright.

    Mae Gilliland Wright

    Mae Gilliland Wright

    Director of Marketing and Communications | Peoria Symphony Orchestra

    Mae holds a Master’s Degree and Doctor of Philosophy in the digital humanities field from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to her work at the PSO, Mae is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and consultant. She is on the ArtsPartners of Central Illinois Board of Directors and has been the chair of ArtPop Peoria since 2015. She also sits on the board of ART, Inc. and the Marketing Committee for Align Peoria. Mae is a member of Americans for the Arts. In her spare time, Mae enjoys gardening with her husband Jonathan, creating glass art in her studio, and traveling to new places.

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