Sunday, March 15, 2015

Protect Illinois Arts Council Agency Funding

"Art is Business" Curator


Please forward this letter to your State Representative, and whom ever your person is who can make a difference. They will respond, if they don't try again. I have been awarded projects annually as an artist teaching in schools, and for my individual creative projects. The projects are funded in part and made possible by funding from the Illinois Arts Council.

As a resident and voter in Illinois, I urge you to protect funding for the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA).

The arts in Illinois – our theaters, museums, dance companies, symphonies, art galleries, and cultural centers – are a source of pride and a driving economic force for our state. The nonprofit arts sector alone is a $2.75 billion industry in Illinois that supports more than 78,000 full-time-equivalent jobs and delivers $324 million in local and state revenue annually.

The state's investment in IACA is crucial to the success of artists and arts organizations throughout Illinois. Since its creation in 1965, the agency has been working to bring the economic, educational, and civic benefits of the arts to communities – large and small – across Illinois.

While shared sacrifice is necessary to solve the state’s fiscal crisis, the IACA's budget has already been slashed by nearly 55 percent, from $22.2 million in FY2007 to $10.1 million in FY2015. Illinois’ current per-capita spending on the arts is just $0.79 per year, ranking us 20th nationally and $0.25 below the national average.

Illinois’ continued investment in the IACA is vital to sharpening our state’s competitive edge, creating jobs, and retaining and attracting successful businesses and talented people. I urge you to ensure that funding for the Illinois Arts Council Agency is preserved in the FY2016 budget at an amount no less than its FY2015 funding level of $10.1 million.

Sincerely,

Alpha Bruton
440 E 47th St, Rm 205
Chicago, IL 60653