Arts, Culture & History

Arts, culture, and lifelong learning make up the critical supportive foundation for a healthy community. Supporting artistic expression and understanding the cultural histories of groups in the community provide this healthy foundation.

  • Art Inc. Peoria  ART Inc inspires and empowers the community through arts, education, and culture. We do this by enhancing the quality of life for the community, especially children & youth, through programming regardless of ability to pay
  • ArtsPartners - Founded in 1999, ArtsPartners of Central Illinois is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the following:
    • Promoting the not-for-profit arts organizations of the Peoria region to members of the community and visitors.
    • Increasing the vitality of arts and culture in the area.
  • Big Picture Initiative - Big Picture Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to build a thriving and vibrant community for all by using arts and creativity as a driver for social change, economic development, and wellness.  
  • Central Illinois Landmarks Association - Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation (CILF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation. Specifically, CILF helps identify, protect, and enhance buildings, structures and places of historic and cultural significance in Central Illinois communities. 
  • Contemporary Art Center of Peoria - Spend some time enjoying the arts and entertainment on the Riverfront, one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant neighborhoods in Peoria. See the exhibits, take in some live music or take advantage of some of the classes offered through the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria's educational program.
  • The Madison Preservation Association  - The Madison renovation is focused on what it brings to Peoria and Central Illinois. Its strategic location, when renovated, will benefit surrounding businesses and property owners for blocks in each direction. It’s 1600 +/- capacity will fill a gap between the community’s largest theater – at the Peoria Civic Center (2200 seats) – and an about 40-50% smaller venue at the recently and beautifully restored Scottish Rite Cathedral (900 seats). And most importantly, its beauty will encourage generations to come to perform, preserve our past, and support our community.
  • Peoria Art Guild - The Peoria Art Guild exhibits the artwork of local, regional, national, and international artists, and offers their work for sale or rent. However, its main purpose is education. The Peoria Art Guild offers classes for all ages and at all skill levels as well as special workshops and seminars. With several community outreach programs, The Peoria Art Guild also plays an important part in helping thousands of children gain valuable life skills.
  • Peoria Ballet - The mission of the Peoria Ballet is to further the participation, education, and appreciation of all disciplines of dance as a cultural art form, with a particular emphasis on ballet.
  • Peoria Guild of Black Artists From the website, "Peoria Guild of Black Artists (PGOBA) is a group of Black creatives from within the Peoria, IL community. Our mission is to bring the Black creative community together, uplift one another, advocate and provide a platform for Black folk in the Peoria arts community."
  • Peoria Historical Society  The roots of the Peoria Historical Society can be traced as far back as 1839. Incorporated in 1934 as the Peoria Historical Society, the Society was established to enhance the quality of life in the Peoria area by collecting, preserving, and displaying items relating to our history; encouraging and supporting historical research and education; and promoting and sustaining public interest in the history and contributions of our people and organizations. The Peoria Historical Society also manages two historic homes that also serve as museums: the Pettingill-Morron House on Moss Avenue and the John. C. Flanagan House Museum on Glen Oak Avenue. 
  • Peoria Municipal Band  The Peoria Municipal Band was formed in 1937 through the efforts of Local 26 of the American Federation of Musicians and interested citizens. Prior to 1937 the band was a professional municipal band complete with management and "Soloists of National Reputation". Current band members come from all walks of life, many are currently music teachers in the local schools. They are selected by audition and then commit to a full season of rehearsals and performance. Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed their music since 1937. Today, with the support of the city, the band continues the long-standing tradition of excellence in music.
  • Peoria Playhouse Children's Museum The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum provides children with the tools and inspiration they need to be explorers and creators of the world.
  • Peoria Public Library | Local History & Genealogy Located on Lower Level 1 of the Main Library, the Local History, and Genealogy Room is a vast and growing collection highlighting the history of Peoria, reputed to be the oldest European settlement in Illinois.
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a private museum of art, science, history, and achievement located on the riverfront in downtown Peoria, Illinois featuring rotating exhibits, a giant screen theater, a planetarium, and many special programs throughout the year.
  • Peoria Symphony Orchestra - Founded in 1897, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is the fourteenth-oldest symphony in the United States. Their mission is to entertain, educate and inspire through music. The PSO presents excellent live musical performances, innovative music education programs, and engaging community outreach efforts, which significantly impact the cultural life of central Illinois.
  • Peoria Zoo  Animals, events, and programs--there's something for everyone at the Peoria Zoo. 
  • SculptureWalk Peoria Located in the heart of the Warehouse District along Washington Street, SculptureWalk Peoria features rotating outdoor exhibits featuring three-dimensional artwork from around the world.  This outdoor exhibit is available to view year-round with docent-led tours available in the summer months. 
  • Wheels O' Time Museum  Interested in antique and collector autos, trains, airplanes, tools, toys, clocks, tractors, musical stuff, vintage clothes, fire trucks, bicycles and general family fun? Wheels O' Time Museum is that place (operated seasonally).