Rock The Block


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!

Rock The Block Map

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.

Rock The Block Before

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!


4 thoughts on “Rock The Block

  1. My biggest takeaway from the event: Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who participated was terrified of breaking rules. Its time to recognize our rules aren’t protecting us anymore, they are smothering our community and our creativity.

    We’ve made most of this community a bland vanilla because vanilla is safe and most people will eat it. But vanilla doesn’t excite us, people don’t write songs about just tolerating things, no one falls in love with a plain beige painting. We need to differentiate our spaces from one another, we need to make them different to give them value, and in order to do that we’re going to need to change some rules (or break them).

  2. It was a great adventure with many more to come.

    Our goal is to get people to step out and get over their fears of the unknown.

    After a few steps we’ll ALL realize that we have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

    Thanks for planting the ideas.

    I look forward to to many creative events and lots of RULE BREAKING ahead!!!

    ***I never have been a fan of rules anyway! 🙂


    Ear in the Envelope Inc

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