Beyond Alternatives is a two-day symposium organized by Dulcee Boehm and Cory Imig, which focuses on artist-led organizing outside of large metropolitan areas. Since beginning Say Uncle in 2015 (with Benjamin Cook) the Central Illinois area has revealed itself, welcoming Say Uncle, as a landscape full of small art communities in small cities and towns. Through touring work and holding exhibitions at a number of spaces, threads and conversations have begun and came to the surface during the Regional Alternatives discussion Jason Judd and Sight Specific Arts (formerly the Bloomington-Normal Arts Collective) organized last spring. It was enriching to have conversations about artist led projects in the place where the work is actually happening.
Beyond Alternatives is a response to this growing energy, and is intended as another jumping point for Central Illinois to continue with its work in broader conversation. It deliberately is not a how-to sort of symposium, instead it brings critical minds together that are already doing arts organizing in collaboration with institutions, cities, each other and those invested in going beyond a grassroots approach. Beyond Alternatives aspires to have a conversation that is open to the specificity of places outside of large metropolitan areas sustaining both the challenges and opportunities those places offer to artists and organizers.
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