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 http://www.artsalliance.org/ , 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

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