Mad Hatter Ball: A night to celebrate the arts and student artists

Mendota student selected for outstanding visual art

PERU – North Central Illinois (NCI) ARTworks has announced seven area high school students who will be recognized during the third annual Mad Hatter Ball. The event will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Celebrations 150, 740 East U.S. Rte. 6, LaSalle.

“This is a celebration of outstanding performing and visual artistic talents of high school students throughout the Illinois Valley,” said Sue Gillio, chair of the Mad Hatter Ball and owner of Music Suite 408, The Fine Arts Factory and The Paintbox. “We’ll also celebrate the many arts opportunities NCI ARTworks has launched and expanded this year, with fun and whimsical ways for our guests to celebrate the arts, too.”

The 2019 honorees include:

Teaghan Tillman, Visual Art, Mendota High School

Emma Anderson, Piano, LaSalle Peru High School

Reid Rynke, Vocalist, LaSalle Peru High School

Erin Daniel, Vocalist, Ottawa High School

Alaina Gallion, Dance, Ottawa High School

Victor Heredia, Piano, Hall High School

Mia Mautino, Visual Art, Hall High School

Tickets will be sold at the door or in advance at,, at the NCI ARTworks Westclox ARTS Center or Music Suite 408 in the west wing of the Westclox building on Fifth Street, Peru, or call Sue Gillio at (815) 228-8204. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The fun and whimsy will be led by Mad Hatter host Sean Walsh, local musician who can be heard mornings on 96.5 the Wolf and afternoons on 99.3 WAJK, and the 2019 Queen of ‘ARTs who will be announced and crowned at the event.

Reigning Queen of ‘ARTs Kathy Casstevens, marketing director at Starved Rock State Park, will crown the new Queen of ‘ARTS from among three queen candidates who will be chosen by online votes or by paper ballots provided by the candidates. The winner will be the candidate with the greatest number of votes. Voting begins Aug. 19 and closes Sept. 19.

Guests are invited to wear their favorite “mad” or fancy hats to the event and prizes will be awarded. Fancy dress is not required.

The Mad Hatter Ball will feature a light buffet, “unbirthday cake” for dessert, and a cash bar. Al and Jeanne Brown will perform live. Guys on the Radio will provide DJ music. There also will be a silent auction for a half-dozen experience packages as well as raffle items and a Balloon Burst with a $500 prize in one of the balloons.

Mad Hatter Ball proceeds benefit NCI ARTworks programs and activities including the new Westclox ARTworks Center that contains a comfortable, multi-purpose room to showcase art, for meetings and performances, and as a lounge and waiting area for families with students attending lessons. The space also includes a kitchen facility and the organization’s business office. NCI ARTworks is a 501c3, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and expanding the arts community in LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.


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