Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Open House for new Buchanan Center Director

A community wide reception for Ms. Susan Twomey, the new Executive Director of the Buchanan Center for the Arts, has been scheduled for Sunday March 9, 2008 from
1 - 4 pm in the main gallery of the Center on the public square in Monmouth, IL. Refreshments will be served and all members of the public are invited to stop by to greet her and welcome her back to her old Western Illinois stamping grounds.

The Buchanan Center for the Arts was founded in 1989 by a generous gift from the estate of Grace E. Buchanan, who stipulated that her resources be used to provide “opportunities for education in and enjoyment of the arts in Warren County.” Ms. Twomey is only the third BCA executive director since 1989 and the Board of Directors believe her wide experience in the arts, education, business, and fund raising will carry on the work of former directors Midge Mason and Mike DiFuccia and will also reaffirm the importance of the Grace Buchanan’s legacy for the community.

Please drop by on Sunday, March 9th anytime from 1-4 pm to make sure that our new Executive Director will know the full extent of her community support.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Van Kirk Schuytema Show Opens Strong

Over seventy people attended the opening of the latest Buchanan Center for the Arts exhibition Friday evening Feb. 22, 2008. They were treated to stunning photographs by John Van Kirk and remarkable ceramic creations by Mary Schuytema.

The show will run in the Buchanan Center gallery on the square in downtown Monmouth, IL until March 20, 2008 and can be viewed free of charge T-Sat from 9-5 and Sat from 10-2. Most of the items are available for purchase.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


The Board of Directors of the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, IL is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Susan Twomey as the Center’s new Executive Director. She will begin her duties on March 1, 2008.

Ms. Twomey has long ties to Monmouth and western Illinois and has recently returned to the community. For the past three years she has been creating artwork and designing displays for Trader Joe’s in the Chicago area. Prior to that she has been a homemaker, a professional caterer in Washington DC, a kindergarten teacher, a jewelry designer, and the director of the Champaign County Arts Council.

She attended Monmouth College for two years before going on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado. She obtained her teaching credentials from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

With her wide experience in business, fund raising, the arts, and education, the Board of Directors feels that she is an ideal choice to, as she put it in her application letter, “ensure that the Buchanan Center for the Arts remains a viable and valuable asset to our community.”

The Buchanan Center for the Arts was founded in 1989 by a generous gift from the estate of Grace E. Buchanan and has been a leader in providing arts appreciation and education throughout western Illinois. It is the authorized re-grant agency for the Illinois Arts Council in Warren County and receives support from the Illinois Arts Council—a state agency. The Center currently has almost two hundred members and offers regular gallery exhibitions, drama and art classes, and an assortment of lectures and performances throughout the year. It is open free of charge from Tues-Fri 9-5 and Saturdays from 10-2. You can get further information by telephoning 309-734-3033 or by checking the BCA website at

Friday, February 01, 2008

OFTA Hosts Prof. Jim Betts of Monmouth College

You won’t have to sing along, but you will probably recognize some of the tunes if you attend the Wednesday, February 13th OFTA (Old Friends Talk Arts) program at 10:00 am at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in downtown Monmouth, IL.

Professor Jim Betts of the Monmouth College Music and Education departments will give a presentation titled “Musical Migrations.” He will be looking at some the fascinating paths that are taken when songs and musical themes are transported across time, culture, and geography.

Dr. Betts received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa, and bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Southern Illinois University. In addition to performing in classical and jazz groups on several instruments, Dr. Betts is active in the fields of computer music and sound, video production, and Web design, and holds a Master of Science degree from Western Illinois University in Instructional Technology and Telecommunications.

OFTA is in its sixth year and presents programs relating to art and culture on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Buchanan Center. Admission is always free and refreshments are served. . If you have an idea for a program, please contact Jim De Young at 309-734-5529 or e-mail him at

OFTA is supported by grants from the Buchanan Center and the Illinois Arts Council—a state agency