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ARTigras event to celebrate local arts May 2

March 23, 2015

Artigras logoArt is in the air – and on the ground – thanks to ARTigras, the inaugural celebration of the arts taking place Saturday, May 2.

New, cool stuff:

  • ARTigras Workshop Wednesdays are scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. April 15, 22 and 29 in Room 213 of the Visual Arts Building and are open to the public ages 13 and older. Come for ARTigras project ideas and assistance!
  • Everyone loves a parade! An arts parade is a chance to let your imagination free or simply see the creativity others have to share. Look at colorful costuming, listen to musical talent and enjoy the flamboyant twists. A parade entry form (submission are due Friday, April 24), parade guidelines and a parade volunteer form are all available online. The ARTIgras website also offers advice on how individuals and groups can participate in the arts parade.

Sponsored by NIU and the City of DeKalb, ARTigras festivities include an arts parade followed by a variety of art receptions and musical performances by some of the area’s top talent.

“The parade is the kickoff of the whole ARTigras celebration,” said NIU First Lady Dana Stover, part of the steering committee for the first-time event. “We want NIU students and members of the community to be part of the parade, or come out and be a spectator and enjoy the creativity of other people.”


Stover said the idea for ARTigras came last April, following a student art reception she and President Baker hosted at their home. After talking with NIU art faculty members Billie Giese and Cindy Hellyer Heinz, and NIU Director of Special Events Ellen Andersen, the group brainstormed on how to take the art reception to the next level.

“We have an amazingly strong College of Performing and Visual Arts,” Stover said. “It is widely recognized on campus, but I am not sure all the people in our community realize what great talent we have or get a chance to see it.”

Following the parade, shuttle buses will be available to transport attendees between five different exhibition venues, showcasing the work of NIU’s most promising emerging artists from the School of Art and Design. Musical performances from Community School of the Arts Steelband and the NIUkulele Ensemble will take place at Recital Hall, and the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra will perform at Boutell Memorial Concert Hall during a ticketed performance.

“I think any vibrant community needs to have this kind of cultural art spirit to it,” Stover said. “It brings people together and bonds the NIU and downtown community. I think students really appreciate when people come out and view their art, and they gain from people engaging them in conversations about their art.”


Family, friends, students, schools and community groups are invited to participate in a moving work of art or to cheer as spectators.

featuring BFA and MFA students


For more information, visit or call (815) 753-1473.