Urbana Arts & Culture Program
Mission and Vision:
The Urbana Arts and Culture Program (formerly Public Arts Program) and Commission was established by the City Council in April 2008, to foster a city where all residents may engage with the arts and where artists thrive and are valued. The arts, as used in this program, includes but is not limited to music, theatre, visual arts, dance, creative writing, film/video, crafts, performing arts, spoken word, environmental arts, multimedia arts, architectural arts, landscape architecture, and emerging media. Urbana is an Illinois Arts Friendly Community, designated by the Illinois Arts Alliance and Illinois Municipal League in 2008. Through public support for the arts, the City of Urbana increases opportunities for the creation of art, thereby enhancing the quality of life, economic development, citizen participation, cultural awareness, and vibrancy of the community. Since 2018, the explicit mission of the Urbana Arts and Culture Program has been to celebrate Urbana's artistic and cultural diversity.
The City of Urbana's Arts and Culture Program operates a number of arts programs, including:
- The Urbana Arts Grants program offering individual, group, nonprofit, and festival grants for creative projects
- Art Now! a mini-documentary series featuring local artists and artistic groups each month on UPTV6 and online
- Artist of the Corridor, dual-site exhibitions of the work of Urbana artists displayed at City Hall and the Urbana Free Library
- Art at the Market and Art in the Square, family-friendly art activities at the indoor and outdoor farmer's markets
- Murals on Glass, an eye-catching, large-scale display of artwork by Champaign County artists on windows in downtown Urbana
- The Urbana Sculpture Project, a program to install sculptures in the City of Urbana in partnership with the Public Art League
- Young Artist Studio, a workshop series for youth featuring local artists organized in partnership with the Urbana Free Library
- The Annual Urbana Art Expo, a juried fine arts exhibition and sale organized with 40 North Champaign County Arts Council
- Culture Fest!, a Boneyard Arts Festival event featuring local artists, musicians, and performance groups
- Open Scene Open Mic, a series of all-ages downtown open mic events designed to foster creativity, community, and connection
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.