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Peoria Public Library's McClure Branch has a unique job posting for an 'artist in residence.' Here's what the gig entails

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Peoria Public Library
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Soon, an artist will be among the book shelves in the Peoria Public Library's McClure Branch.

Working in conjunction with the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, the library was awarded a grant to hire on an "artist in residence" this spring.

Sarah Couri is the McClure branch manager. She said she wants to create opportunities for teens in particular to learn, without being graded on it or worrying they might fail.

"One of the really powerful experiences that teens can have is learning to make something, whether that's coding or, you know, or something very technical, or something that's a little bit more creative. That ability to just try something new is a really powerful experience," she said.

The artist will teach evening classes once a month, and display their work in the library. They'll also hold "office hours" on weekends to give amateur artists feedback on their work. In exchange, the artists will be paid for their time and supplies. The Delta Kappa Gamma Society will assist with food, housing, and other additional support.

Couri says the artist's preferred medium isn't as important as their enthusiasm.

"It doesn't matter at all. We're open to anyone. We're open to anything. I'm really excited to see where this leads, because we are open to anything," she said.

Couri said a leather worker recently reached out to express interest, for instance. Optimally, she'd like to reapply for the grant and see the program continue on into the fall.

"I think the library already has a really strong relationship with a lot of local artists. And I feel in some ways like we're just putting McClure on the map with this," Couri said. "We've got the Music in the McKenzie that happens each month out at the North Branch. There's that beautiful gallery downtown. And so now we have a chance to bring something similar and with even some learning opportunities for people in the East Bluff and Center Bluff."

To learn more about the artist in residence position or to apply, click here.

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