Who we are

40 North | 88 West began as a true community effort.  Local residents saw a need for an umbrella organization that represented the arts in Champaign County.  This group met on a regular basis, holding many discussions on the local arts community.  After a year of engaging various members of Champaign County in discussion, the group became very organized and applied for a grant from the Illinois Arts Council to hire a consultant.  Cheryl Yuen held many focus groups and talked with people throughout the community to determine the need for an arts council.  After open discussions, private meetings and weekend retreats, Ms. Yuen gave a report of her findings in June 2001.  The general consensus was that the community needed an arts council that truly reflects the arts of Champaign County.  There are many artists, artistic venues and organizations that thrive in this area; however, an umbrella organization was in need to facilitate collaborative efforts, inform the public of the local arts community and act as an advocate for local arts, culture and entertainment.

In July, 2002, 40 North received funding, again from the Illinois Arts Council, to hire a graduate intern.  With a full-time staff person in place, it was possible to launch the organization.  During Illinois Arts Week, 40 North had its official launch celebration.  People from throughout the county were represented at the celebration.  The event was hugely successful, a perfect start for the organization. 40 North continues to strengthen its internal structures, develop greater and more diverse relationships with various stakeholders and boost its public image. The awareness and value of 40 North and the arts of Champaign County continue to gain momentum.


40 North will ADVOCATE for the individuals, organizations, and enterprises in Champaign County that constitute its arts, culture, education community by promoting awareness of the extraordinary quality, quantity, and diversity of arts, culture and education activity in the County and by actively lobbying for public- and private-sector support of the arts, culture and education community.


40 North will serve as an extensive repository of INFORMATION about the individuals, organizations, and enterprises in Champaign County that constitute its arts, culture and education community. This information will be made publicly available and distributed through distinctively designed and effectively employed vehicles, including an engaging, powerful, and user-friendly website linked to an extensive arts, culture and education database.


40 North will encourage, support, and enable COLLABORATION not only between members of the arts, culture and education community, but between that community, business, government and the public at large through a sustained process of cross-sector communication, convening, and event planning.

What we stand for