The Peoria Heights Arts Collaborative is among a wave of new additions in the Village of Peoria Heights. The nonprofit organization formed as an outgrowth of the inaugural Peoria Heights Fine Art Fair, co-chaired by Barb Milaccio and Theresa McDade in 2018. Amidst their extensive planning and preparation, they realized a need for assistance growing events in the thriving village. “We were surprised at how many local artists were in need of sponsorships to pay for tents and fees,” Milaccio explains. “We want to help offset their costs so they can be out in the community. We’re also trying to grow the Peoria Heights Fine Art Fair.”
This seed has since sprouted into a vehicle for expanding the visual, culinary, literary and performing arts in the Heights. As part of its initial fundraising efforts, the PHAC is hosting a New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at the Scottish Rite Theatre, with all proceeds benefiting the 2020 Peoria Heights Fine Art Fair. The Scottish Rite will be decorated in a “Great Gatsby” theme, with all the thrills and frills of the Roaring ’20s. Kansas City’s Grand Marquis will provide swingin’ jazz music, while guests enjoy savory appetizers and a silent auction of artwork and other items.
“The Scottish Rite Theatre is the perfect venue for this celebration since the building was constructed in the middle of that opulent and sometimes decadent decade,” Milaccio notes. At the time of its 1925 dedication, Calvin Coolidge was president, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue had just been played for the first time. A new home cost about $7,700, and a loaf of bread was less than a dime.