Smile Politely

Champaign County Alliance art at Cafe Kopi

The Champaign County Alliance for the Promotion of Acceptance, Inclusion, and Respect is a collaborative campaign to challenge discrimination and promote inclusive communities. We love the arts! The Alliance initially hosted free screenings of “anti-stigma” films shown at the close of Ebertfest. Annually, the group sponsors the festival itself, supporting an “anti-stigma” film selected by the Eberts.  These films have provided the focus for concurrent, family-friendly activities and celebrations, such as musical performances and educational demonstrations, art shows and sales, youth art/poetry competition, topical booklets, and panel discussions.

The network was formed in 2008 by the Champaign County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Boards, the Pavilion Behavioral Health System, Crosspoint Human Services, Family Service of Champaign County, Community Elements, Developmental Services Center, Prairie Center Health Services, and the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness. Newer Alliance organizational partners include ACCESS Initiative, the Champaign Community Coalition, Parkland College, Cunningham Children’s Home, and the UIUC School of Social Work. 

Thanks to the increased participation of organizational partners, community business partners, advocates and entrepreneurs, the Alliance also connects artists who have personal experience with disabilities to venues such as Cafe Kopi, where original works are on display throughout the year; Crossroads Corner Consignment store, where select pieces are available seasonally; and the Annual dis-Ability Resource Expo. Through the holidays and January, Kopi is hosting paintings by Daniel Lindstrom (shown). 

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