Mount Carroll Library receives Community Arts Access Grant to develop a digital archive of local artists and their work.

The Mount Carroll Township Library has received a $1,256 grant from The Freeport Art Museum, through the Illinois Arts Council.

The Community Arts Access Grant will help fund the library’s new “Artist’s Crossroads Project,” an artist’s registry documenting the life and work of past, and current Mount Carroll area artists, musicians, craftsmen, and other creative individuals. Biographical information collected about individual artists will be paired to digital examples of each artist’s visual, written, or audio/video material. This digital “card catalog” will become part of the Mount Carroll Library’s permanent collection. The collected materials will then serve as a reference for diverse audiences, and will be available for checkout at the library, exhibited in small displays, and will be accessible in digital formats on-line.

Mount Carroll has a rich history of supporting the arts and artists, partially due to the past presence of Shimer College and its arts faculty and students. We had and continue to have our own local artists as well— visual artists, musicians, and other talented residents who pursued their own very personal vision of art and creativity. Our town still attracts artists, many of whom grew up here, or relocated from larger cities and other areas. There are at least a dozen visual artists working in their own studios in Mount Carroll at present.

There is also a thriving popular music scene in Mount Carroll in which the region’s professional and amateur musicians gather to play music together. There are also has a number of musicians who maintain recording studios, and help to support young people who are writing and recording their own music.

The Community Arts Access Grant will help us to share the unique artistic community that is Mount Carroll with a broader public— our community serving as a “crossroads” of many types of cultural expression in rural Northwestern Illinois. The pride we have in our own tradition of artistic expression will also be shared with others through this project.

Mount Carroll visual artist Dan Brinkmeier will serve as coordinator for the project, which will also involve a large number of local residents as content providers and production team members.

Interested residents who want to help us develop and carry out this community based project can join us for an informational meeting Wednesday, May 4, at 6:00 pm at the Mount Carroll Library.

This program is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Freeport Arts Museum.