Who we are

Our mission is to promote, enhance and develop the arts for the people of Coles County in an effort to provide the opportunity for all segments of the population to enjoy, appreciate and participate in the arts and thereby create an improved quality of life.



Executive Board:

President - Charlotte England

VP for Membership - Richard England

Secretary - Pam Gutowski

Treasurer - Ryan Siegel

Past President - Jeri Matteson Hughes

Area Chairs:

Dramatic Arts/Dance - Earl Halbe

Literature - Daiva Markelis

Musical Arts - Elizabeth Halbe

Visual Arts - Open for 2021

Historical Heritage - Carolyn Stephens

Memoir - Janet Messenger

City Art I & II - Heather Ames

Grants - Paul Hinson

​About the Coles County Arts Council


The Arts Council was founded May 23, 1984 as the Charleston Area Arts Council by a group of community-minded individuals dedicated to promoting the arts, arts activities and artists in Charleston, Illinois and the surrounding area. The Board of Directors was composed of three individuals - Donald Carmichael*, Tarble Arts Center director; Cary Knoop, sculptor, EIU Art Faculty member; and Patricia Mahler, artist, Charleston art teacher at Jefferson School and owner of Homestead Studios. Others on the incorporation committee were - Virginia Anderson*, Jackie Adkins, Jacqueline Bennett, Mildred Hofacker*, DuWayne Hansen, Richard Lawson, Paula Phillips, Diann Graham Gunn, Olga Durham, and Becky Sawyer Spoon.


Ten years later, on November 18, 1994, an amendment was made to the Articles of Incorporation changing the name of the group to Coles County Arts Council. The name change signified a growing organization expanding to serve more people and more of Coles County and the surrounding east central Illinois area. Carol Hindman served as President at this time.


Today, thanks to the support of our growing membership and an active working Board of Directors, we are building on a solid foundation of the past and striving to meet the interest and needs of today’s artists, artist-interest groups, and Coles County communities and residents.


 (a)The Coles County Arts Council is approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.  All memberships/donations are tax deductible.

Coles County Arts Council   P.O. Box 163, Charleston, IL 61920