"The First Annual Knox County Celebration of the Arts" - A Proposal For the Establishment of a Comprehensive Annual Six Week Summer Festival For Artistic Expression Throughout Knox County, Illinois



Artistic expression is wide ranging in form, pervasive at all socio-economic levels, derives from all age groups and is timeless in nature. Artistic expression also is not driven by or pertinent to economic cycles. Almost all people have been gifted with artistic talent in some form, excluding perhaps the author of this paper. Many are multi-talented. Many also seek a legitimate and reproducible venue through which artistic expression is welcome.

I propose the establishment and eventual institutionalization of an annual six week long festival of the arts to be held from June 15th through August 1st throughout Knox County. The festival would be totally devoted to the artistic expression of Knox County residents [and outside guests] who are willing to participate. Forms of artistic expression would be unlimited and organized in cells, each with its own venue or venues. All forms of artistic expression would be invited, including but not limited to the following:



Organization would be in the form of an available matrix or scaffold upon which virtually all forms of artistic endeavors can plug into. Similar in style to the World Olympics, The County as a whole with its many available sites would serve as the matrix. The matrix would be the very structure of the festival.

Participation wound not be limited, but all inclusive. The festival mission or foundation principle would be the opportunity for artistic expression among one‘s peers. All forms of artistic expression and venues would revolve around this principle and reference to a central mission - the opportunity for artistic expression. There would be no implicit or explicit hierarchy or delineation for the various venues or forms of expression.

It is presumed, but by no means proven or clearly anticipated that:

Other annual events that occur in various communities in Knox county tend to be organized and administered from the inside out. A committee is established which provides a considerable share of both the macro and the micro structure of the event. A six week festival as this is proposed would revolve around a central mission or purpose. A board of directors would be organized which would then appoint an overall festival leader. The emphasis would be upon leadership and not management. The leader would provide the festival with an artistic expression matrix or event scaffold. The matrix would be composed of the sum total of available sites, dates and times for the various artistic expression groups who would all together make up the six week continuously running festival. The matrix would literally be six weeks long, seven days per week. The key element to keep in mind would be organization from the outside in. Each artistic expression group would be self directed and be responsible for plugging into the matrix, providing its own news releases, announcements and so.

It would be essential that the Festival be viewed by all residents from all socio-economic levels as all inclusive. All forms of artistic expression would be welcome. A standard of absolute inclusiveness would be both implicit and explicit. Artistic expression would revolve around and be first and foremost linked directly to the "celebration" of the arts. Symphonic musicians, folk artists, poets and tattoo artists would all be on one level playing field, all part of one central purpose - the collective celebration of the arts through expression.

The main purpose for this paper is to stimulate thought and ideas, elicit feedback and perhaps dream a little for the people of our county and region.

The author of this proposal is a self employed marketing, sales and service provider involved in orthopaedics who is devoid of artistic talent. His father, Jack Wilson is a retired professional artist whose artistic expression began in the form of charcoal drawings while he was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II.