Carbondale Community Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization that has encouraged the creative culture of Southern Illinois since 1987. Beginning with “Arts in Celebration,” southern Illinois’ first multi-arts festival, and expanding to become a full-service local arts agency, CCA has worked closely with the City of Carbondale and the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) to integrate the arts in the daily lives of our citizens.


The overarching mission of Carbondale Community Arts is to cultivate, nurture, and celebrate the creativity of our total community. This mission is advanced by

  • promoting and facilitating access to and popular appreciation of the arts throughout the greater Carbondale community;
  • expanding available avenues and developing new resources for learning and participation in the arts by community youth; and
  • encouraging the emergence and development of cultural opportunities for citizens throughout Southern Illinois.


Carbondale Community Arts was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in 1987 under the leadership of area artists Kathy Sanjabi and Bonnie Moreno. Its original purpose was to produce a multi-arts festival designed to heighten awareness of the arts for residents of Southern Illinois. The resulting event, Arts in Celebration, continued as biennial outdoor weekend festival for twenty years and served as a springboard for many continuing arts and culture traditions.


CCA is governed by a volunteer board of directors (see list on this page) that works with the organization’s professional staff to advance the organization’s mission and guide its many programs. CCA’s offices are located at 304 W Walnut Street in downtowm Carbondale.

CCA also maintains a gallery at the Carbondale Civic Center (Civic Center Corridor Gallery).

Financial support for CCA is provided by the City of Carbondale, the Illinois Arts Council, local businesses and civic institutions, and individual donors Significant in-kind contributions are also a critical component of CCA’s community support.


Local Arts Agency Services

Over its 25 year history CCA has expanded in scope and impact to become a local arts agency that serves Carbondale’s residents and visitors on a daily basis. The office staff is available to answer questions from individuals and other arts organizations and consult with local units of government to provide assistance with arts-related programming.

Southern Arts Fund Community Arts Access Program

Since 1999 CCA has participated in the Illinois Arts Council’s Community Arts Access Program, regranting state and federal funds to artists and to arts organizations in Illinois’ southernmost 26 counties through the Southern Arts Fund.

Educational Outreach Programs

Since 1997 The All Southern High School Theatre Project has offered talented students from around the region an opportunity to access college-level theatre training as they rehearse and prepare for the culminating production of SIUC’s McLeod Summer Playhouse.

Since 2007 Poetry Out Loud has provided high school students throughout the southern Illinois region with opportunities to excel in the arts outside the classroom.

From 2009-2011, CCA partnered with Columbia College to bring the arts-centric family involvement programming to Carbondale Elementary Distrct 95 through Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC).

ArtWorks in Schools

Educational outreach of another variety is exemplified in “ArtWorks in Schools,” a CCA program that placed significant works of art in each of Carbondale’s public schools. [Click here for a photo gallery of ArtWorks installations.]

Public Galleries

Throughout the year CCA manages a gallery at the Carbondale Civic Center, the Civic Center Corridor Gallery in addition to the gallery at 304, CCA's headquarters.  Exhibits feature works by local, regional artists and even natioanl artist is a variety of media.

Other Public Arts Programming

Humanities Exhibits

In addition to its fine and performing arts involvement, CCA frequently seizes opportunities to host humanities exhibits and special events. Most recently, in the autumn of 2011, CCA worked with program partners throughout the southern Illinois region and with the Illinois Humanities Council to host the Smithsonian Institution’s Museums on Main Street program “The Way We Worked” at the SIUC University Museum. Along with this visiting exhibit about the post-industrial revolution history of America’s workforce, CCA volunteers worked with Museum staff to create a companion exhibit, “Working in Southern Illinois.”

About CCA

304 W Walnut St
Carbondale, IL 62901



Board of Directors

Jay Needham, President

Kathleen Pine, Vice President

Gary Kolb, Treasurer and Past President

Jak Tichenor, Secretary

Darrell Bryant

Tracy Dillard

Ronda Dunn

Steve Grimmer

Curtsy Kenny

Jo Poshard

Gail White

Community Partners & Endowment Benefactors

Carbondale Park District
City of Carbondale
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

B and A Travel Service
Center for Comprehensive Services
Neil and Mary Ellen Dillard
E.T. Simonds Construction Co.
Garwin Family Foundation
Patricia Guyon
E. Joyce Guyon Memorial Fund
Anne Hill
Gayle Klam
Moore Corpora Foundation
Glenn and Jo Poshard
John and Marsha Ryan
Kassy Simonds
Carolyn Wagner Snyder
Southern Illinois Healthcare
The Southern Illinoisan
Emil and Edith Spees
Wells Fargo Foundation
White and Borgognoni Architects

Development and Design by Splattered Ink