Arts & Museums

Jackson County is a friendly and supportive arts community. In recognition for the support of the arts, Carbondale received the Illinois Arts Council Presidents' Arts Friendly Community Award in 2006.

Carbondale Community Arts is a not-for-profit arts organization that has encouraged the creative culture of Southern Illinois since 1987. 

The Stage Company is a community theater founded in 1982 and has provided the Jackson County community continuous theatrical seasons. It is located in the Varsity Center for the Arts.

Varsity Center for the Arts is located in the former Varsity Theater in Downtown Carbondale and provides a venue for performances and exhibits. 

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale provides various venues for performing arts including Shryock Auditorium that hosts world and national entertainers and McLeod Theater that presents the annual McLeod Summer Playhouse

The School of Art and Design (SoAD) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers programs leading to BA, BFA, and MFA degrees in a variety of areas, including ArtEducation, Art History, Ceramics, Communication Design, Drawing, Glass, Industrial Design, Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

The SIU University Museum has been a repository of artifacts since 1871. The American Association of Museums has accredited the University Museum since 1977. The Museum's 130th Anniversary Year was in 2004.

The General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro uses the life and accomplishments of General John A. Logan and his family to educate the general public about the lives of Southern Illinois residents as they accommodated the sociological, political, economic, and technological changes of the nineteenth century. The museum is developed in association with the Murphysboro Park District.

The Jackson County Historical Society in Murphysboro has expanded its museum exhibits, adding about 1,000 square feet to its headquarters building for more exhibit area. Included in its displays is a pump organ, a collection of early cameras, a display of Daniel Grocery Store items, and many textile items, military uniforms and county courthouse records.   

The Mississippi River Museum and Interpretive Center in Grand Tower is a city rich in history that is inseparable from the history of the mighty Mississippi River itself. The museum preserves the history and culture of life on the water, dating back to the heyday of steamboats, by housing artifacts from this bygone era.  

The Science Center in Carbondale is designed for children 3-13. The science museum features several interactive hands-on exhibits dealing with a variety of basic concepts of science which entice the user to ask questions about the world around them in a fun and exciting way. Also features a variety of special exhibits and activities.  

The African American Museum works to preserve and promote the culture of African Americans. Currently housed in the University Mall, a capital campaign is underway to renovate the Attucks School building as the future home of the museum. 

A list of southern Illinois galleries, artists websites and artist groups is available on HeartlandArts.Net, as well as a Calendar with local art events..