With the support of Good Chaos, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Artspace 304 announces the first ever Arts Amaze Southern Illinois Conference.


This event, a project of the Southern Illinois Arts Council, will bring together artists, performers, educators, advocates, and arts organizations to celebrate creativity, embrace innovation in arts education, and inspire new ideas in visual and performance arts. The conference will feature NEA dignitary, Ra Joy as keynote speaker, along with numerous breakout sessions, led by regional experts.

 CPDU’s available.

When & Where

The conference will be held at John A. Logan College in Carterville, on Saturday, March 9, 2024. 

Check In: 8:30 – 9:30am

Conference start time: 9:30am

Conference end time: 5:30pm


Ignite imaginations, learn from one another, and leave with a wealth of inspiration and knowledge to enrich attendees’ creative journeys!

Tickets – Available Now!

Admission includes keynote speech, presentations, information booths, lunch, opening and closing reception. 


$50  Artists, Performers & Teachers

$75 – Employees of Arts Organizations with budgets under $500,000

$100 – Employees of Art Organizations with budgets over $500,000

RSVP to the Pre-Conference Reception: A Conversation with Ra Joy

Join Artspace 304 in welcoming Ra Joy, NEA’s Chief of Staff and long-time arts advocate. In town as the Keynote Speaker of the March 9th Arts Amaze SI Regional Conference, Mr. Joy will be joined by John Shaw, Director of Paul Simon Public Policy Institute to record a “conversation” about the arts and humanities and their importance to society, the economy and our humanity. An SIU-C alum, Ra Joy is passionate about strengthening rural economies and celebrating their diversity and he maintains that the arts need to be a civic priority. 

The reception is Friday, March 8 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. The conversation will take place early in the evening, leaving time for Q&A, refreshments, and an experience of the highly praised Passing into Shadow, solar eclipse installation. There is no fee, but space is limited, so registration is required.

Schedule of Presentations, Panels and Workshops

8:30am – 9:30am


Coffee, pastries, and conversation

9:30am – 10:00am

Welcome and Overview of the Day – JALC Theater

Welcome: Provost and Trustee, John A Logan College

Opening remarks: Comptroller Susana Mendoza, State of Illinois

*** Talk with representatives from Arts Alliance Illinois – Carlos Salazar-Lermont & Johnna Schultz throughout the day at their Information Table in their Conference Hallway

10:10am – 11:10am

Session #1

Bill’s Garden – Creative Collaboration: Gary Kolb and Alberta Skaggs Doolin

Spontaneous Art Creation Workshop: Gregory Wendt

IAC Updates for Southern Illinois: Jackie Banks-Mahlum

11:20am – 12:20pm

Session #2

Exploring Modern and Free Form Quilt Design: Shawnee Quilters

Take it to the Street, Succeeding in Public Arts: Panel Discussion plus Q&A

Art Social – Why it Matters: Guy and Michele Aitchison plus Luke O’Neil

12:30pm – 2:20pm

Lunch and Keynote Speech – Main Conference Room

Introduction: Marsha Ryan, Board President, Artspace 304

Keynote: Ra Joy, Chief of Staff, National Endowment for the Arts

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Session #3

From Trash to Timeless Art: Upcycling Paint Workshop: Alexis Estes

Much Ado About Acting: Julia Stemper

From Art Practice to Art Profits: Panel Discussion plus Q&A

3:40pm – 4:00pm

Closing Remarks – JALC Theater

4:30pm – 5:30pm

Closing Celebration – In Reception Area

Live music by Smith and Hill, appetizers, conversation

Arts Amaze Presentations, Panels and Workshops