A few years ago, the notion of turning the Old Illmo part of Scott city into a historic arts district would have seemed ridiculous. Then along came Paul Schock. Since moving to Scott City from Arizona in 2001 to become an art professor at Southeast Missouri State University, Schock has begun infusing Old Illmo with new vigor.
With vision and sweat, he turned a long-vacant building into the Schock Community Arts Center where gallery openings are held and arts classes are taught. Schock has bought and renovated other old buildings. Now Schock has convinced the Scott City Council to apply for a National Register of Historic Places designation as a historic arts district.
Old Illmo needs revitalizing, and Schock sees potential in the arts. Schock imagines creating an atmosphere that will attract artists from all over the country and the world to Scott City. If that's still hard for most people to imagine, maybe it's because we aren't artists.