The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Amanda Weygand as the newly appointed Administrator of The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund.
Amanda Weygand is the Owner of Open Space Art Gallery & Studios in Ottawa, Illinois. Open Space is a community art center and creative space for every age and skill level.
"Open Space has created a home for all creatives in our community,"Amanda shares. "The gallery space features a new artist every month, giving artists a chance to curate, hang, and show their work in a professional setting. We have an artisan shop where local makers can sell their smaller pieces, and we have a studio space where we have local artists teaching their talents to our community! The space in inclusive and inspiring. We have worked very hard to help our community grow in so many ways. One of our events, Third Friday, is an art market including all our downtown. We have artists fill Madison Street, music, restaurants serving artisan cocktails, and small businesses stay open late. It has really brought our entire community together! We have also helped our city decorate parks for the holidays, as well as help organize other events in the community like the Kites in Flight Festival. I bring my “Kids Create” tent to a lot of the events, too, where we offer a free craft for children. Bringing our community together through the arts is one of my biggest drives. I am always looking for ways to keep growing our tribe and helping in any way I can."
The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund offers competitive grants to charitable arts and cultural organizations and provides a non-competing, neutral hub to engage and connect members of the arts community. Initially made possible by a generous gift from the former Illinois Valley Fine Arts Trust and the Omni Arts Trust, our work includes workshops for artists, hosting the OmniHonors event to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a significant achievement in the arts, and a comprehensive website for all artists to connect, share their work and be celebrated.
We are proud of the performance of The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund. A $100,000 Endowment for the Arts was created in March 2019. The principal of the fund will exist in perpetuity, with only the interest earned available for expenditures. Grants totaling more than $78,000 have been awarded to local arts and cultural organization, as well as libraries and schools. In addition, we awarded emergency funding to individual artists struggling with navigating the negative impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In a nutshell, Amanda says, “Promoting art and artists in our community is my passion. I am so excited to be able to further that in my new position with the Starved Rock Community