Encore! Mt Morris

Painting Our Legacy on The Canvas of History
JB_Straw-Aaron_4620-2018-Web-Banner-Logo


Stacks Image 492
Stacks Image 380
Stacks Image 476
Stacks Image 478

Straw Fest Day, Saturday, August 24th
Celebrating 'Fine Art in Straw' on the Campus

• Food Trucks, 11:30 – 8:00 pm, Campus
• Village Antique Mercantile, Noon – 7:00 pm, behind the Bandshell
• Blacksmith demo, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Wild Bulls, mechanical bull riding, Noon – 4:00 pm, Campus
• Harold Harrison and Lowell Harp on the Straw Jam Stage, 12:30-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 2-5:00 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Vehicle Airbrush show, Celebrating the Airbrush patented by Mt. Morrisʼ Liberty Walkup in 1883
• Straw Bale Races, 2:00 pm, 2 person teams, Wesley Avenue
• Straw Sculpture ʻPeopleʼs Choiceʼ voting ends at 4:00 pm
• Square Dance, with caller Bob Asp, experienced and inexperienced welcome, 4 – 6:00 pm, Wesley Avenue
• US National Straw Sculpture awards, 6:00 pm, Bandshell
• Illinois Rail (Bluegrass), 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Bandshell

Stacks Image 484
Stacks Image 486

Sunday, August 25th
Campus Celebrates
180 Years
1839–2019

• Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am service
• Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on the campus, 12:30-1:00pm
• Mt. Morris History by Wagon (mule drawn wagon rides), 1-4:00 pm
• Denny Jacobs on the Straw Jam Stage, 1-2:00 pm
• Old Sandstone Gallery open 1-3:30 pm; 'The Airbrush, A Place In History'
• Dan Phelps, blues guitar on the Straw Jam Stage, 2-3:00 pm
• Acoustic Axis on the Straw Jam Stage, 3-4:00 pm
• US National Straw Competition Sculptures on display all day

The campus is home of the former Rock River Seminary, founded by the Methodists in 1839. Disciples United Methodist Church, on the corner of West Hitt and Maple Streets, will honor the historic seminary during its 9:30-10:30 am Sunday service on Aug. 25th. It will feature special guests from our past. A short outdoor Commemoration Service will be held on the north side of Old Sandstone on campus at 12:30 pm Sunday, Aug. 25th. Both services are open to all.

The Rock River Seminary was a co-educational institution of higher education, offered courses in theology and the liberal arts, and remained the only institution of its kind in northern Illinois until Northwestern University opened in 1855. The Church of the Brethren founded Mt. Morris College after the seminary closed in 1878. The college remained in Mt. Morris until a disastrous fire in 1931. It later merged with Manchester College in Indiana.

Founded during the Antebellum or Pre-Civil War Era, the Rock River Seminary includes among its alumni eight Civil War generals, two governors, and several U.S. congressmen, senators, and state legislators. Graduates also became businessmen, educators, farmers, musicians, artists, scientists, ministers, publishers, editors, attorneys, and judges.

Congressman Robert Roberts Hitt of Mt. Morris attended and later owned Rock River Seminary. A close friend of Abraham Lincoln, he recorded all seven of the famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Hitt was later appointed Assistant Secretary of State, elected to the U.S. Congress in 1882, and served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for seven congressional terms. His uncle Samuel Hitt started Rock River Seminary in 1839.

Stacks Image 247
Stacks Image 387
Stacks Image 376
Stacks Image 374
Stacks Image 457
Stacks Image 401
Stacks Image 305
Stacks Image 471
Stacks Image 398
Stacks Image 331
Stacks Image 323
Stacks Image 326
Stacks Image 403

Stacks Image 395
Stacks Image 425
Stacks Image 427
Stacks Image 406
Stacks Image 290


Together as a Community
We Built a Giant Straw Bison!
You can see it on Hwy 64, behind the Union Savings Bank
in Mt. Morris, IL 61054

Stacks Image 288
Donations to Encore! Mt. Morris are tax-deductible. Please make checks payable to Mt. Morris Economic Development, with “Encore” on the Note line.
Mail to:
Encore! Mt. Morris
105 West Lincoln Street
Mt. Morris, IL 61054

Let's Talk
Contact Us and Let's Talk
Subscribe to Encore! News

Donations to Encore! Mt. Morris are tax-deductible. Please make checks payable to Mt. Morris Economic Development, with “Encore” on the Note line.
Mail to:
Encore! Mt. Morris
105 West Lincoln Street
Mt. Morris, IL 61054

Let's Talk
Contact Us and Let's Talk
Subscribe to Encore! News


Encore_Final_color_3-4-300small copy
What is Encore!

en·core |ˈänkôr|… The audience’s demand for a performance to continue or be repeated.


What is Encore! Mt. Morris? Volunteers committed to developing Mt. Morris, IL into a unique, thriving rural and cultural arts destination in northwest Illinois. Encore! Mt. Morris has the full cooperation and support of the Mt. Morris Village Board and Economic Development Group and complements other local economic development activities.


About Us
“Wouldn’t it be great if the old college campus buildings on the square were used for education again,” mused Roger Thorngren to his daughter, Andria.

Years later, that remark had grown into an idea -- a vision held by Andria Thorngren Burchett to combine education with the arts in the 1900’s era sandstone and red brick buildings on the former college campus in Mt. Morris, Illinois.
In 2015, Andria, herself an artist in Geneva, Illinois, shared that idea with the Mt. Morris Economic Development Group (EDG) and a spark was ignited.
Together with the Mt. Morris EDG and a group of supporters, a strategic planning conference was held in April 2016 to work through the idea of creating an arts destination point in this small rural community in northwest Illinois. More than 80 people from within and outside the community volunteered for a 3-day planning session, including planning educators, and former city managers and administrators from the Chicago suburbs. Read
more about the participants and event. See photos of the event.The result? Encore! Mt. Morris, composed of six committees, passionate about revitalizing their community, who are moving forward with action plans focused on key areas of need and opportunity.

Objectives
  • Build on existing strengths in local arts and artisans
  • Transform the historic campus buildings and other uptown properties into centers for visual, performing and culinary arts
  • Attract other small business such as lodging, cafes, fine dining, specialty shops, wine cellars, and galleries
  • Work with related groups, private instructors, artists, and regional academic institutions to incorporate educational opportunities
  • Strengthen tourism and infrastructure; create a robust business district that supports the arts activities

Funding
Donations to Encore! Mt. Morris are tax-deductible. Please make checks payable to the Mt. Morris Economic Development Corp, with “Encore” on the Note line.
Mail to:
Encore! Mt. Morris
105 West Lincoln Street
Mt. Morris, IL 61054

Let's Talk
Contact Us and Let's Talk
Subscribe to Encore! News