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32nd Annual Gerald M. Brookhart Arts in Education Spring Celebration

Feb 1, 2017

Beginning April 19, 2017, the 32nd Annual Gerald M. Brookhart Arts in Education Spring Celebration will be held on the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. every weekday through May 24th.  The Peoria County Regional Office of Education, Beth Derry, Peoria County Regional Superintendent and Mary Rous, Project Director, coordinate the annual event.

As an Advocate for both Fine and Applied Arts in Education for over 30 years, the GMB Spring Celebration is a 5 week long performance and exhibition destination for Central Illinois school age students that reaches over 7 counties throughout Central Illinois.  All organized educational programs PreK-12 are invited to present their works from the current school year at no cost.  The event is held at an open air venue in the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza.  Two to three stages run concurrently each weekday from April 19 through May 24 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


  • All Fine Arts and classroom Directors and Staff can currently schedule any Fine Arts performance groups or exhibits by visiting our website
  • We are once again collaborating with Sculpture Walk Peoria.  Free educational coloring books are available to schools for use in the classroom.  Contact the ROE or Joe Richey at Sculpture Walk at for free distribution.
  • Support is needed to keep this event successful. Interested community members can help by volunteering or sponsoring a stage for a day.  Visit our website for more information or contact Mary Rous, Project Director at 309-253-2020.
  • The Gerald M. Brookhart Spring Celebration Arts in Education is a Not-for-Profit 501(c) 3 organization and is part of The Friends of the Regional Office of Education #48.

Please contact Mary Rous at the above contact information for interviews or appearances to discuss the program and the continued effect of this iconic event.  Fine Arts in education are far more reaching than just Choir, Band and Orchestra.  It is our intent to get the word out as staffing is down in these specialty areas for schools to think outside the box.  The community looks forward to this program every year.  Classroom plays, dance, Readers Theater, Spring Musicals, and writing classes, just to name a few, are all part of what we would love to showcase at the GMB Spring Celebration.

Additional Program History

In the spring of 2014, the event was renamed by the Peoria County Regional Office of Education to honor retiring long time Regional Superintendent Gerry Brookhart.  Three decades ago his vision and hard work established the Spring Celebration.  Dr. Brookhart is still involved and supports the event as a volunteer, mentor, and sponsor.  Numerous activities are planned throughout the five weeks including performances and exhibits from past Spring Celebration Alumni to celebrate the 32 years of Fine Arts in Education and the continued need for advocacy for Fine and Applied Arts in education that continues today.  An invitation for past Alumni can be found on our website

When the Spring Celebration began in 1986, 1,000 students from 12 Peoria County schools were showcased in one single week. This spring, 32 years later, more than 10,000 students from nearly 100 schools will perform, exhibit, and demonstrate their talents in the Fine Arts and Applied Arts. Students from public and private schools, grades PreK-12, will participate. This year the celebration will represent seven central Illinois counties: Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Fulton, Henry, and McLean. For a complete schedule or additional information, visit or call 672-6906.

This year’s spring event is sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., the City of Peoria, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Commerce Bank, Ameren Illinois, Associated Bank, South Side Bank, Heartland Bank and Trust Company, Kidder Music, Technicraft Display Graphics, and the County of Peoria.

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