Visit Spark! Places of Innovation in Chatsworth

A view of the interior of the Central Illinois Connection Center

Chatsworth Community Connection interior 1

Sep 9 – Oct 14, 2023
Days and Times Vary


Hillsboro Public Library
420 S Main St
Hillsboro, IL 62049


Open to the public

Exhibition Hours and Location

  • Tuesday – Friday: 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CST
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST
  • Central Illinois Connection Center, 404-408 East Locust Street, Chatsworth, IL
This exhibition and related activities are hosted by Community Connection of Central Illinois
To schedule a tour, please call Mary Catherine Carter at (815) 848-6246.
Site Specific Square SM Tile Chatsworth

About Spark! in Chatsworth

Partner communities Chatsworth and Fairbury, Illinois have come together to bring you Spark! Places of Innovation. Each community is featured in this Smithsonian traveling exhibition.

Fairbury has put a new spin on the “farm-to-table” idea by bringing award-winning Chicagoland chefs to Fairbury farms. These chefs also learn local farming techniques at their Chef Camp.

Chatsworth has become a regional hub of activity with its Central Illinois Connection Center, a facility that connects people and resources and showcases the work, talents, and artistry of the region.

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A Toledo, Peoria, and Western (T.P.&W.) caboose across the street from the Central Illinois Connection Center in downtown Chatsworth

Fairbury IL Chef Camp final

Big city chefs come to Fairbury, IL to learn farm techniques firsthand at Chef Camp. Photo courtesy Fairbury Improvement Group.

These two communities truly believe in the spirit of generosity and working together. The companion exhibit to Spark! demonstrates this spirit. Curated by Mary Fisher-Miller of Chatsworth Township Library, the companion exhibit will describe the terrible train accident that occurred near Chatsworth in 1887 and its aftermath. This tragedy brought out the best in the community's residents. The companion exhibit will feature more aspects of rural life in central Illinois as well. Learn more about Fairbury and Chatsworth and their road to Spark! in this article written by Matt Meacham, program manager for statewide engagement at Illinois Humanities.

Join us on Saturday, September 9, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for the grand opening celebration of Spark! at the Central Illinois Connection Center. The celebration will include a day of activities for families and guests of all ages! It features a ribbon-cutting ceremony, performances by the Orpheus Mandolin Orchestra, presentations by local celebrities, and much more!

Don’t worry if you can’t make it on opening day, plan your visit for another time. There’s plenty to do while you are in town. Plan a tour and taste of central Illinois, visit Heart’s Desire in Fairbury, drop by the Community Connection Shoppe, see Blue Iris Live at the BigHouse, and more. #LoveLocal

Spark! Places on Innovation is presented in partnership with the Community Connection of Central Illinois, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, and Illinois Humanities.

About Spark! Places of Innovation

Spark! Places of Innovation, part of Illinois Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program, is a Smithsonian traveling exhibition that highlights innovation in rural America from the perspectives of people who have lived it. Their words, images, and experiences, gathered through an ambitious crowdsourcing initiative, are the heartbeat of the exhibition. The communities featured in Spark! – including seven small towns in Illinois – have enhanced their vitality through innovations in fields such as technology, agriculture, economic development, education, and the arts. Explore the diversity, ingenuity, and tenacity of rural Americans in Spark! Places on Innovation.

Spark! will visit seven towns in Illinois from June 17, 2023, to March 29, 2024.

Plan Your Visit!

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