Introducing IVCC Voices

River Currents is starting a blog with a specifically eclectic vision in mind: to foster the literary and visual arts within the Illinois Valley and IVCC’s greater surrounding community. That somewhat lofty and noble goal means we want to start them young, grow their talent and interest, support their goals, and (hopefully) keep them around. The “them” in that scenario is you, the IVCC student of present, past, and future.

No matter your gps coordinates, pursuing the arts can be a difficult (and unpopular, there we said it) endevour. And while we know you may not be planning to stay in the Illinois Valley, we want to make it as enriching and inviting as possible for those of you who want to stick around and grow our community.

Here’s a more academic-y way of stating our goals:

  1. inspire our community’s youth
  2. support youth interest in the arts
  3. encourage talent
  4. promote education within the arts
  5. cultivate an arts-minded community

The first two goals will take a little foundational work since we’re visualizing a connection between the community college and k-12 environment there, but the last three are firmly in our wheelhouse. Our publication and special events already encourage talent, but some of our students have recently expressed questions about what happens to students who go into literary and visual art related fields after they leave IVCC:

  • What college and what program do they transfer to?
  • Do they all leave the area?
  • Do they change or finish their degrees?
  • Do they get jobs where they want to live?
  • Are they unknowingly filling the streets of the Illinois Valley this very moment?

And that’s where the blog comes in. We’ll have a couple different bloggers each semester, each writing about his/her experiences both current and post IVCC. After a few years, we should have a pretty hefty resource of information about post IVCC stuff like

  • what it’s like to transfer from IVCC to university
  • what it’s like to graduate with a BA
  • what higher education degrees do our students get
  • what universities offer programs our students like/dislike
  • how to take time off between IVCC and transferring

And we should also have some cool IVCC-based stuff such as:

  • what artsy clubs does IVCC have
  • what writing, literature, English-y classes IVCC has
  • what art and design classes IVCC has
  • best semesters to take such classes
  • maybe we’ll eventually get learning co-horts to evolve naturally where students move through courses together
  • what about an informal mentor-like process where IVCC alumni tell soon-to-graduate IVCC students what not to do

Right now, we’ve got the most recent River Currents editor-in-chief ready to write as well as a creative writer who just transferred to NIU to study writing. They will start posting in the next week–it is the summer, after all. We’re waiting to hear back from someone interested in teaching English, and still need art-focused present and post students. But that’s the beautiful thing about this, we’re ready to learn and grow.

Disclaimer: the views expressed herein the IVCC Voices blog or any published issues of the magazine are not necessarily those of the staff or faculty of IVCC. The River Currents staff encourages freedom of speech and the integrity of artistic expression.

Subscribe to the blog, tell us your experiences, and let us know what we’re missing. More to come…



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