A quiet, little event called Rock The Block took place this past Sunday in Peoria. It’s the first of its kind, but not unlike something we’ve all seen before.
Think of it as an impromptu street festival supporting local art, music, and food. It’s not the activities that are anything different – but the venue that is. Off the beaten path in the Warehouse District lies an under utilized alley. It just so happens that one of the buildings that opens to the alley is an artist’s studio called Ear in the Envelope. And you know what artist’s are good for right? Creativity!
So much time and effort has gone into the planning stages of the Warehouse District redevelopment to get people to “reimagine” it, but really the one thing that hasn’t been done is getting regular people out and exploring this area that has been otherwise left for dead. Even though it may not be neat, prim or proper, this space is still alluring even in its grittiest of days.
The event itself was intended to get people in the space and hopefully open their eyes to the fact that there are great places hidden around the city, but we need to get out of our comfort zones (and cars) to see and feel them.
The adults that meandered in were unsure of what was going on, as if they were “breaking rules” or something. The kids could care less. They saw an inflatable bounce house and it was on. Some vendors hocked their wears, the aroma of food billowed in the air, and the music from inside the studio made its way outside. It’s one of those areas that might be so “industrial” that it’s chic. There were even some glamor shots being taken for a modeling shoot or senior picture at the same time – who knows.
It’s funny how it really doesn’t take a multi-million dollar project to yield the same results of getting people out and about having a good time. It took some behind the scenes work, a few calls, some donation of free time, and some invites on Facebook. It’s not rocket science. Allow people to be people and remove the barriers of creativity and who knows what you’ll get. You never know, it might just end up being easier to create this new Peoria then we think.
Great work to everyone that helped put this on. It’s the vision of the people to create something out of nothing happening at the right time!