One Great State

One Great State Partnership with SAIC: Supporting Student Artists in Southern Illinois

First Amendment Creative Brief:

An Art Competition for IL High School Students Sponsored by SAIC & IAEA

One great state SAIC


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA), and the Illinois Library Association (ILA) invited high school students to develop creative responses to the panel dialogue, “More Speech: A Conversation about the First Amendment,” on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019. The panel was simulcast at schools and libraries throughout the state for students to view.

One great state SAIC

Helping to Create Citizen Artists

SAIC believes that artists and writers play an important role as Citizen Artists. A Citizen Artist creates work that is part of the culture we live in and the society we build together. The School will award high school Citizen Artists selected through this contest with a full-ride scholarship to attend SAIC’s Early College Program Summer Institute (ECPSI). ECPSI is a two-week summer intensive that offers students from around the world the chance to earn two college credits (available to juniors and seniors), take art classes with SAIC faculty, have access to the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection, and live the college experience on SAIC’s campus. To learn more, go to the ECPSI website:

28 students attended the October 14th presentation about the One Great State Art Exchange. State legislators, SAIC, and the IAEA are supporting scholarships ($5,000 each) for up to 15 talented youth artists to attend SAIC’s two-week high school to college transition program on our campus will go to some of these deserving and motivated youth. We had students and art teachers from the following schools:

Marion High School
Carterville High School
Pope County High School
Cobden High School
Anna-Jonesboro Community High School Egyptian High School
Massac County High School
Century High School
Cairo School District

What’s Happened So Far

Josh Shearer, Vice President – Southern Region, for the Illinois Arts Education Association (IAEA) (and full-time art teacher at Anna Jonesboro middle school) has not only made possible financial support from the IAEA to fund two downstate students, he is also serving as the lead teaching artist/project manager for the downstate-focused part of this initiative.

Shawnee Community College allowed SAIC to use its educational center (gratis) to advance this downstate outreach re Livestream viewing and will continue to offer space for future learning opportunities for high school students.

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has allowed SAIC to use its Morris Library Guyon Auditorium and their expansive 3rd-floor rotunda (gratis!) to advance this downstate outreach re: via Livestream viewing and will continue to offer space for future student learning opportunities. Additionally, SIUC’s School of Art and Design has leveraged its amazing intellectual capital via its faculty and students, by working with SAIC and Josh to help students from the above-listed schools to develop their artw ork.

The beautiful and historic Cairo Public Library provided their entire second floor, with staffing support, to SAIC and the IAEA (gratis!) for the October 14th required presentation. And, it should be noted, that the Cairo Public Library was technically supposed to be closed on that day!

Josh Shearer

One great state SAIC

One great state SAIC