Our Collective Identity

Jan Wright, Publisher, art & society

“Traditions communicate values, stories and accomplishments while encouraging groups of people to create and share a collective identity… They remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become.”

These words, borrowed from the description of an upcoming exhibition at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, shine a light on the importance of our own local history. Recalling the CIAO and Friends Invitational that ran at the museum when it opened five years ago, Emergence: National Artists of Central Illinois provides a great platform for our region’s artists to showcase their contributions to our cultural landscape, and we applaud the museum for creating this new tradition of commitment to the arts community. The exhibit runs from September 30, 2017 to January 13, 2018.

Whether or not it’s the “World’s Most Beautiful”… Grandview Drive is certainly one of our region’s great pleasures—especially in the fall, when the leaves are changing colors and the Grandview castle is decorated for Halloween. I attended an event there last fall, and I can assure you the decorations inside are even more spectacular! Many thanks to Dr. Carl Soderstrom for sharing this beautiful landmark with our community.

Speaking of Grandview Drive, sometimes I must remind myself (when behind a slow-moving vehicle) that this might well be their first trip down this scenic roadway, whose stunning beauty never gets old. It’s no wonder Grandview claimed three categories in the 2017 Best of Peoria competition, as voted by our readers (Best Landmark, Best Photo Op and Best Place to Take a Stroll).

Springdale Cemetery is another majestic setting for a stroll… It’s neither depressing nor gloomy, but delightful, picturesque and educational. In this issue, we feature the Historic Springdale Cemetery Tours from the perspective of one of the actors who bring local history to life each October. “Every year when I come back,” writes Chip Joyce, “I see the grounds in better condition than the year prior.” A new entrance to Springdale was dedicated just a few weeks ago—kudos to those who made it happen, and the labor of love that goes into keeping these historic grounds neat and tidy.

You’ll find local history woven throughout this issue—we are proud to share the stories and traditions that together make up our unique, collective identity as a community, both “who we are today and who we are likely to become.” a&s

Subscribe to Peoria Magazines

Add new comment