News

WIU Acknowledged for Arts, Creativity

WIU Acknowledged for Arts, Creativity

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Macomb is a creative place.

The director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Chris Merrett, says the hometown of Western Illinois University – where his institute is based – rates highly on the “creative class index.”

“It can have an artisanal aspect to it, value-added agriculture, local foods,” says Merrett in explaining what about Macomb may stand out. But the factors Merrett cited have been around for generations; they are by no means new, though the way of looking at them may be. “We know there are many parts of the rural Midwest that are linking these ideas of local agriculture, tourism, the arts, (and) in Downstate Illinois, the wine trail,” he said.

Merrett says it could give hope for the parents who have spent tens of thousands of dollars so their child can get a degree in, say, art history. “I’d like to think the fine arts, the humanities are themselves a marketable skill. You get a group of creative people together in a downtown area, there’s a critical mass of vitality that can be an engine for growth,” he said.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

Fresh
randy-travis

A look back at some of the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Surprising talent creates weird onscreen magic in ‘Foxcatcher’

Fresh
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows Channing Tatum, left, and Mark Ruffalo in a scene from "Foxcatcher."

Sibling rivalry, loneliness, competition and madness fuel director Bennett Miller’s award-worthy true crime tale Foxcatcher.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Wild’ is both unsettling and triumphant

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Reese Witherspoon in a scene from the film, "Wild."

Reese Witherspoon leaves her comfort zone as real-life hiker Cheryl Strayed in "Wild."