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Join us for a look at how various arts organizations in Rockford are adapting to changing cultural and economic environments. You'll hear how the community's dance, theater, and visual arts groups are collaborating and innovating to reach new audiences.

Big Art Is On Its Way To Downtown Rockford

A group of monumental sculptures will soon be calling downtown Rockford home. 

Five sculptures, created by internationally renowned artists Hans Van de Bovenkamp and Boaz Vaadia, will be on loan to the city for one year.  The pieces will be installed in late May along East State Street and North and South Main Street in downtown Rockford.

Josh Albrecht is director of marketing and public affairs for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He says the project fits in with efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown.

"What we’re really trying to do is instill additional community pride through art as well as enhancing the streetscapes," Albrecht said. " It is very visible and very interactive. So this is something where people can really experience this art up close. They can see it on the streets. They can see when they’re driving by. They can walk up to it."

And even touch it. 

Albrecht says the goal is to one day have a program that installs sculpture in the city each year on a rotating basis.

The Bureau and Forest City Beautiful are partnering with local businessman and art collector Dick Behr to underwrite the costs for the exhibition.  The pieces were most recently on display at Illinois Wesleyan University in Normal. The art has also been displayed in New York City and Sarasota, Florida.

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."