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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

More Splashes Of Color Coming To Rockford And Surrounding Areas

A Rockford art initiative that started in 2019 reemerged this year and is expanding to other cities.

Martesha Brown, the director of advancement at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the public https://youtu.be/qJK9E3I10ks" target="_blank">mural program, CRE8IV:transformational Art, was a success two years ago. 

“The beautiful thing about the ‘CRE8IV:transformational Art’ murals is that it provides access to art for all. It is so important that we continue to do that,” she said. “We had that opportunity in 2019. We weren't able to do it in 2020, had to take a little bit of a break.” 

Brown explained how other areas joined in.

“So, the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, we service the entire Winnebago County,” she said, “and so with that being a factor in just the great success of the 2019 murals, we had conversations with our partners and we're able to expand it.” 

Muralists will splash life into lackluster walls in Rockford, Loves Park, Rockton and Pecatonica starting June 7 until the 11th.    

Interested artists with mural experience should submit an application by April 10. Local artists are encouraged to apply. The call is open to national artists as well.

CRE8IV is made possible with the help of a $20,000 grant from the Kjellstrom Family Foundation. RACVB is looking to match that amount with sponsorships and donations. Those interested in assisting can email Brown. 

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.