In The News

Grantee Partner Spotlight: Carolyn J. Stephens of CCAC


Arts in the Cemetery (approved August 2019)


Charleston, IL

Image from 9-28-29 event
Charlotte England, Coles County Arts Council president, and Carolyn J. Stephens (right)


Founded in 1984, the Coles County Arts Council is dedicated to fostering, promoting and developing the arts and the historical and cultural heritage of Coles County. CCAC is largely volunteer run, hosts its own events, and helps local groups hold workshops, exhibitions and performances to make art and history come alive in the community. This was CCAC’s fourth grant from Illinois Humanities.


“Arts in the Cemetery” combines dramatic performance with visual arts lectures and musical performance in an innovative, interactive program designed to bring to life the history, art and craftsmanship found in local graveyards. The result is an unusually immersive experience of some of the ways that the living honor their dead. In 2019, with IH support, CCAC extended the one-day event (Sept. 28th) by hosting an amateur photography contest and publishing a self-guided tour booklet to help visitors explore local cemeteries. The project aimed to increase CCAC’s community profile, inspire artists, and encourage people to visit and appreciate the art and culture of local graveyards.

Learn more about the project and upcoming events, including a Q&A session with Carolyn J. Stephens!

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