The Art Center

Innovative Play Program

What this program is designed to do:  The Innovative Play Program strives to assist coworkers, friends, and other small groups of people in unlocking the power of art through creative problem-solving in a social setting. Participants will gain not only new artistic skills, but also a deeper understanding of themselves. All Innovative Play Programs are led by our education staff on-site with plenty of freedom for individuals to try something new in a safe environment.

No food or drink is allowed in the Art Center (except water) at any time. The project for the Innovative Play session will be facilitated by a member of the education department as we all socialize and help each other to unleash the playfulness we hold inside of ourselves.

For booking, please use the forms below or contact Rachel Roundtree, Director of Education, at 217.223.5900 or email Please book your session at least 2 weeks in advance of the intended session date.

NOTE: Cell phones will be asked to be turned off during the duration of the Play session.

Play with Clay: Wheel Throwing
4-8 people, 2 hours long
$60/person ($30/person Non-Profit Rate)

Learn to throw clay on the wheel with friends in this privately-run session led by our qualified instructors! Unlike other Innovative Play options, this session is available in 2 hour time slots ONLY. This accounts for set up, instruction, clean up, a bisque firing, and all the fun in-between.

Play with Clay: Hand Building
5-12 people, 1-2 hours long
$20/person/hour ($10/person/hour Non-Profit Rate)

A challenge of design, form, and function, construct a clay sculpture using hand built clay pieces.  This session is available in a 1 or 2 hour time slots, this accounts for set up, clean up, and all the fun in-between.

Play with Paint: Acrylic
5-12 people, 1-2 hours long
$12/person/hour ($6/person/hour Non-Profit Rate)

If the idea of staring at a blank canvas and having an array of colors at the tip of your brush makes you nervous, this may be the play for you! Overcome self-intimidation by leaning back into wonderment and endless possibilities as you free paint on an 11×14 canvas.

Art Center Instructor: “When was the last time you were given materials and just told to play?”
Play with Paint Participant: “Kindergarten!”

Play with Paint: Watercolor
5-12 people, 1-2 hours long
$12/person/hour ($6/person/hour Non-Profit Rate)

Was watercolor the bane of your elementary school days or did you absolutely love it? Most people have a love-hate relationship with the finicky nature of watercolor paints, but patience is often all that’s needed to master it. Join us in exploring watercolor paints together in a creative, relaxing atmosphere!

Play with Pencils: Drawing
5-12 people, 1-2 hours long
$12/person/hour ($6/person/hour Non-Profit Rate)

Giving a visually artistic spin on the improv rule “yes, and…”, participants will work as a group to collaborate on a set of drawings. Designed to explore building something as a team, contributing to projects, and letting go of expectations.

Each participant will walk away with an original piece of art create with the help of their teammates.