Peoria Magazine: July 2020

Their legacies are legendary, their impact profound. By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire the rest of us who are living out our own legacies, each and every day.

Publisher's Note
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Features

Sid & Flo Banwart

Over the years, this generous couple has quietly worked to make a positive impact on their community, having dedicated their lives to giving—and inspiring others to do the same.

Bob & Joan Ericksen

They came together as artists and teachers on a mission to connect children to art, science and nature, so today’s youth might experience the same magic they had felt as kids.

Junior & Jackie Watkins

From mentoring the next generation through sports to commemorating African American history, their life together has been one of dedication, purpose and accomplishment.

Best of Peoria 2020

Each year, Peoria Magazine presents the people, places and things that make our region the best place to live, work and play… according to our readers.

Business

Leading With Empathy

by Banu Hatfield, Zion Coffee Co

As we navigate this unfamiliar season, let us learn and grow and lead with kindness.

A collaborative program connects area businesses with recovery experts as the economy begins to reopen.

Advance planning helps to ensure service restoration with minimal disruptions.

by Ed Mitzen, Fingerpaint

One third of surveyed companies found it difficult to maintain company culture during the pandemic. What about after?

Community

Peorians Play on the World Stage

by Kathryn Eissfeldt, Peoria Area World Affairs Council

Three native Peorians have been major players in diplomacy and international affairs across the decades.

Economic & Social Justice

by Pastor Marvin Hightower, Peoria NAACP

It is time to roll up our sleeves and be intentional on making and implementing the necessary changes.

Empowering Community Health

by Andrea Parker, Hult Center for Healthy Living

The Peoria area’s premier health education facility celebrates its 30th anniversary.

by Reema Abi-Akar, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

Getting an accurate count for our region is crucial—especially in uncertain times.

Creative Stitches Workshop has facilitated the creation and donation of over 2,000 masks for distribution in underserved areas.

by Mitch Gilfillan, Quinn Johnston

We are a better community because of our diverse culture.  

UnityPoint Health employees came together to reflect on their commitment to the health and safety of people of color.

Lifestyle

Protect Yourself From Fake News

by Joel Shoemaker, Illinois Prairie District Public Library

There are many resources for fact-checking in today’s world of ever-increasing misinformation.

A Lifelong Passion for Nursing

by Jaymee Barra, UnityPoint Health – Central Illinois

Jeanine Spain’s dedication to improving people’s lives has led her up the ranks of leadership.

by Edie Barnard, Barnard Communications

Here’s a tip to help overcome “Zoom stage fright." It’s all about how you breathe! 

A new local subscription service aims to bring handcrafted, eco-friendly health and beauty products to your doorstep each month.

Art

The Funk Rages On

by Bill Conger, Peoria Riverfront Museum

A new exhibition chronicles a half century of arguably the Peoria region’s most renowned expressionist.

Look to the Sky

The work of five local artists will be showcased on billboards throughout the region over the next year.