More than 40 years ago, the Illinois Valley Fine Arts Trust was created by local philanthropist M. Blouke Carus and his family. Blouke's vision was to have a central trust fund to support the arts throughout our entire region, then called the Illinois Valley. Grants were made and efforts were focused on continuous fund development to make certain that the arts were always supported by the Trust. After nearly 35 years, the Trust was renamed the OmniArts Trust, a 501(c)3 with the same mission. At the end of 2018, the Trustees of the OmniArts Trust voted to disband OmniArts, and gifted the financial assets to The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, to create The Arts of Starved Rock Country Fund.
The Fund was established to provide a non-competitive, neutral hub to engage and connect local artists and arts organizations, cultural organizations, sponsors, patrons, and venues; to provide competitive grant opportunities to arts organizations, museums, schools, libraries and cultural organizations throughout LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam and Grundy counties located in north central Illinois; and to offer online resources and educational opportunities to our arts community. We are strongly focused on collaboration and partnership throughout our region. Our mission is to bring the art community, traditionally operating in rural “silos”, together under a first-ever, neutral, regional organization. We are committed to assisting our local artists, arts agencies and cultural organizations deliver the highest quality, broad in scope, educational, and interactive arts opportunities to our very rural, and often underserved, populations.