Senate Cuts Arts from stimulus bill… :-(

Americans for the Arts sent out this news, which is even more disappointing considering the list of senators who voted to cut arts funding (I have bolded those names):

Yesterday afternoon the U.S. Senate, during their consideration of the economic recovery bill, approved an egregious amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that stated “None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.”  Unfortunately, the amendment passed by a wide vote margin of 73-24, and surprisingly included support from many high profile Senators including Chuck Schumer of New York, Dianne Feinstein of California, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and several other Democratic and Republican Senators.

If the Coburn amendment language is included in the final conference version of this legislation, many arts groups – including some in Chicago –  will be prevented from receiving economic recovery funds from any portion of this specific stimulus bill.  It is clear that there is still much work to be done in the Senate and in the media about the role that nonprofit arts organizations and artists play in the nation’s economy and workforce.

Americans for the Arts has offered a few plans of action:

  1. Easily contact your senator, telling them of your opposition to the Coburn Amendment, using this customized message .
  2. Click here to customize an opinion editorial to your local media, which supplies you with easy-to-use talking points.

To my readers – I strongly recommend that you join the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and simple.

Theater tidbits….Freud, Reinventing Seattle, and an Evening of Holiday Mime

Village Players of Oak Park will present the new musical Far From Freud, by Phil Riegle and directed by Christopher Pazdernik.  Running for 2 weekends, January 17th – January 25th, Far From Freud will feature Stephanie Foster, James Gavin, Sydney Genco, Michael Jeija, Jennifer Noble, Laura MacGregor, Erin Marie O’She, Andrew Toniolo, and Joe Zordan.  Production team includes Dominic Clemente and pianist Kimberly Widmer.   More info here.


Reflect. Reinvent. React. Reconnect:  Join more than 1600 arts professionals to learn and reflect in 50 educational sessions, reinvent with eight Innovators, react to one of 17 ARTventures, and reconnect with colleagues across the country for three days in Seattle, all part of Americans for the Arts 2009 Annual Convention.  All info can be found here.





The Mime Company is extending their A Holiday Evening of Mimeat the Raven Theatre studio space.  Receiving glowing reviews, the show will now continue through December 28th.  More info here.

Congressional Arts Report Card – Illinois

Amercans for the Arts Logo Americans for the Arts Action Fund has released this year’s Congressional Arts report card.  I have posted the Illinois delegation below.   I’m very proud to say that my representative, Jan Schakowsky, possesses the top report card score of A-plus.  It’s great to be represented by such an amazing friend-of-the-arts. Way to go Jan!


District Representative (Party) Score Grade
    8 Melissa Bean (D)     80     B+
   13 Judy Biggert (R)     86     A
   12 Jerry Costello (D)     86     A
    7 Danny Davis (D)     98     A
    5 Rahm Emanuel     80     B+
    4 Luis Gutierrez (D)     74     B+
   17 Phil Hare (D)     86     A
    2 Jesse Jackson Jr. (D)     94     A
   15 Timothy Johnson (R)     88     A
   10 Mark Kirk (R)     86     A
   18 Ray LaHood (R)     80     B+
    3 Daniel Lipinski (D)     88     A
   16 Donald Manzullo (R)      6     F
     6 Peter Roskam (R)     20     D
     1 Bobby Rush (D)     90     A
    9 Janice Schakowsky (D)    100     A+
   19 John Shimkus (R)     80     B+
   11 Jerry Weller (R)     40     C

Note: Rep. Bill Foster (D), of the 14th District, is not listed as he did not take office until 3/11/08.

You can see the entire Congressional Arts Report Card, including tabulation methods, here.

More info on the status of arts in our nation can be found at

Think Fast….

Karin_McKie Karin McKie of Tree Falls Productions has written an informative article in CAR ( regarding the best ways for a theatre company to get the word out about their production.  You can read it here.



October is National Arts & Humanities MonthGet involved!