Monday, August 31, 2009

Jazz @ Sunset

Although it feels like summer in Seattle some 400 people came out to Jazz @ Sunset on Saturday night and they got a real treat. Intrepid Bobby Lewis played a closing set with temps in the low sixties and he and Alejo Poveda lit a fire under everyone. Sabertooth was sharp with their Hammond B3 infused funky sax sound. The crowd loved Goran Ivanovic and Andreas Kapsalis. These guys walked in two minutes before their set, plugged in their guitars, no introduction, and blew away the audience. They sold every CD they brought. We promised a sunset and provided a chilly one. Beautiful night - beautiful music.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Illinois Arts Council Funding

The McAninch Arts Center has received valued support in past years from the Illinois Arts Council as a Partner in Excellence. Annually State Rep Sandra Pihos has proudly presented us with a check from the IAC to support the arts programming we bring to our community. In the last two years under the Blagojevich administration we have lost approximately 30% of our funding and now with the recent state budget crisis we look to lose an additional 50% of state grant money. In good times monies we received made up 2.5% of our operation, but in addition to the finances the grant was a validation of our commitment to the arts in our community. Our annual grant application is peer reviewed by artists, curators and arts administrators from across the state and the stamp of approval we receive along with the funds helps us meet our mission.

My real concern is for small arts groups. At the MAC we will tighten our belts, perhaps alter programming, scale back a community outreach program, but we will still be here. The MAC has the broad trunk of the College to support us during this storm. However, it is those small groups without deep root systems that are two bad months away from folding. Terry Scrogum, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Council sagely likened the situation to turning off a spigot. Without water often things wither and sometimes die. Later it is hard to get the spigot turned on again and it might be to late for some organizations. Let your voice be heard contact your state representative and get in touch with the Arts Alliance Illinois , the statewide arts advocacy organization. Donate to arts groups when you can, demand arts education in your schools, and let artists know that you believe they are a vital part of your community. Keep the spigots flowing.

be well

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tickets on Sale!!

It is always an exciting time when single tickets go on sale. For better than a month now subscription ticket sales have been steady (subscribers are those folks who buy three or more events each year). Tomorrow, August 18, we open the doors to those art lovers who want to see fewer than three events at the MAC. Those Peterik, Brickman or Hornsby fans who have been patiently waiting for single ticket day - their wait will end at 10:00 AM Tuesday morning. A little inside information: the best sellers to date are The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Paula Poundstone, Bruce Hornsby, and Great Big Sea, but there are still plenty of tickets left for all of the 48 MAC Artist events next year. There is no waiting online or you can call in and receive the personal touch and talk to our friendly staff. I'll be answering phones too so maybe we'll chat.

be well