The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB), along with Mayor Tom McNamara and the City of Rockford, announced plans for CRE8IV: transformational ART, a new mural festival that will take place at various locations in downtown Rockford.

CRE8IV, is pronounced "Creative," and found a really cool way to incorporate the popular 815 you've seen so much around the Rockford area into their title.

RACVB

CRE8IV will be a community-building, arts-infused event. Over the course of the festival, May 15th-19th, eight lead artists will work with teams of artists to create eight large-scale murals in Rockford’s central city. Each day the festival includes a free-to-attend Block party at one of the mural locations.

RACVB:

CRE8IV is inspired by Rockford’s vibrant art scene and patterned off successful mural festivals in Montreal, Denver and Detroit and made possible, in part, by a $91,800 matching grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism. “Illinois is full of vibrant cities and towns with endless attractions that are of interest to both residents and visitors alike. We are excited to provide the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau with a grant that will further their work to establish a new arts festival that will attract artists and tourists to the city,” said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“As we considered new experiences we could bring to life, the idea of a mural festival quickly rose to the top. Local and visiting artists will transform tired and dull walls into beautiful works of art. The daily block party events will allow residents and visitors a chance to interact with the artists and explore downtown Rockford,” said John Groh, RACVB president/CEO. “Perhaps most important is the long-lasting impact the murals will have as, over time, the city itself becomes an art gallery.”

The festival is produced and presented by RACVB and made possible by a matching grant from the Illinois Office of Tourism and the partnership of Painters District Council No. 30, Local 607. In order to fully match the grant and hire all eight artists, RACVB is working to secure match funding through sponsorship of the festival and each mural. Local match funding, to date, has been provided by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and RACVB.

Here's a peek at what's happening downtown:

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For the latest on what's going on in Rockford and around the Rockford area, check out the RACVB's website.