Illinois is trying to cut arts funding by 75% – act now to prevent this from happening!!

Hey gang – I just received this very urgent e-mail:

 

State funding for the Illinois Arts Council will drop to $6.4 million, an unconscionable 75 percent cut from FY2009, unless the General Assembly acts to pass a responsible budget.  Per capita state spending for the arts in Illinois will plummet from approximately $1.17 per person to a near national low of $.49 per capita.
We must act now to send a powerful message to our elected officials and legislative leaders. There is less than a month before the new fiscal year begins and these devastating cuts take effect.  Here’s what we need you to do:

  • Thank legislators who showed leadership by supporting full funding for the arts and encourage them to work with their colleagues to pass a responsible budget
  • Urge other lawmakers to step up and negotiate a comprehensive, responsible budget that protects our investment in the arts

We’ve made it easy for you to take action.  Just enter your address and the appropriate message will appear.  Thoughtful, customized communications are more effective than form emails and petitions.  Please take a moment to personalize your message by sharing what the arts mean to you and your community.
When the legislative session came to a close on May 31, lawmakers failed to pass a responsible budget that addresses Illinois’ multibillion dollar deficit.  Instead they passed a bare bones budget that makes catastrophic cuts to the arts as well as K-12 and higher education, childcare, college scholarships, health care, public safety, transportation, and local government.
This "doomsday" scenario would decimate the arts infrastructure in Illinois and put artists and cultural organizations at extreme risk.
Act now and urge your elected officials to protect the arts by passing a responsible state budget.

Many thanks for all you do,
Ra Joy's Signature
Ra Joy
Executive Director
Illinois Arts Alliance
P.S.  Please forward this action alert to other arts professionals and supporters in Illinois.

2009 Creative Chicago Expo – Saturday at the Cultural Center!

2009 Creative Chicago Expo

 

Info for artists on

Space HousingBusinessCommunity

 

CCE09_postcard_f.jpgSaturday, April 4 10 AM – 4 PM
Chicago Cultural Center

Admission free ~ bring a friend!

20+ Workshops | 100+ Vendors | 40+ Consultants
Services for all Artists, Arts Businesses and Organizations

Dance | Fashion | Media | Music | Theater | Visual Art | Words
Once a year, the Creative Chicago Expo presents Chicago’s top resources, services and expertise specifically for people in the arts. Featuring workshops and vendors for individuals and arts organizations, the Expo is also an important opportunity to network and build community. Join over 3,500 artists who will make their way through the Cultural Center on Saturday April 4. The Expo is brings Chicago’s cultural community together under one roof!

CONSULT-A-THON!

Pick an expert on something you need — career coaching, legal or accounting issues, portfolio or grant review, casting agents, even organizational development and business issues for non-profits.

Schedule a 25 minute appointment for one-on-one consulting for only $10. Over 40 consultants will be available for appointments. Click here for the complete consultant list and to make an appointment. Limited to 3 appointments per person.

WORKSHOPS
Presented by top local and national service providers all day:

• Affordable Housing in Chicago
• Art Festival How-tos
• Benchmarking 101: Outcomes & Measurements
• Building a Board of Directors
• Business Licensing Basics
• Cultivating Individual Donors
• Finding Live/Work Space
• Fiscal Sponsorship
• Forming a Non-Profit
• Health Insurance Advice for Artists
• Marketing For the Cash Strapped and Time Poor
• Meet your Arts Service Agencies
• Obtaining Capital for your Creative Industry
• Reaching New Audiences
• Space Development Starter Kit for Non-profits
• Starting an Arts-Based Business
• Strategic Planning for Non-Profits
• Time Management for Artists
• Tips for “Successful Grant Applications
• Winning Public Art Commissions
• Your Credit Score: Re-Building Your Financial Health
Workshop Presenters include: Arts and Business Council of Chicago, Amdur Productions, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, The Center for What Works, Columbia College Chicago Arts Entrepreneurship Center, Community Media Workshop, Communication Society, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Executive Service Corps, Fractured Atlas, Future of Music Coalition, Illinois Arts Alliance, Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals, Illinois Facility Fund, International Academy of Design and Technology, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Inc., League of Chicago Theatres, Mission Paradox, and others.


Read complete workshop descriptions and schedule here

All 2009 Vendors after the fold.

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News from CAR (Chicago Artist’s Resource) – Theatre Mir, Ra Joy of IAA, and Rasaka Theatre

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»» Opening next week –  The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, presented by Theatre Mir, brings Arab and Israeli voices together in the stories of ordinary people living in a rich yet divided world in Israel and the West Bank.  Based on real-life interviews by playwright Robin Soans and directors Tim Roseman and Rima Brihi, this deeply human play weaves the stories and recipes of more than forty characters who reveal common culture and experiences amidst the daily conflict.  In restaurants, shops, cafes, and homes, everyone has a story to tell and a recipe to cook.  “…Cookbook” runs March 5 – April 5 at the DCA Theatre in the Loop. More info here.
   
 

Ra_Joy

Ra Joy, Executive Director, Illinois Arts Alliance (IAA)

 

»» Ra Joy, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Alliance (as well as artist!), speaks out about the importance of arts advocacy; speaking out and supporting the arts and arts-friendly policies.
   
 

large1_rasaka

  Developed out of CAR’s Incubator program, Rasaka Theatre Company, the Midwest’s first South Asian American ensemble, will present the nation’s first South Asian short play festival on March 30th at 7:30pm, at the downtown DCA Studio Theatre.  All of the short plays were created during Rasaka’s first annual ‘Playwrighting Bootcamp’ held over a weekend in August 2008.  (Buy tix here)
 

 

Workshops for Arts Organizations and Individuals:

CAR

 

Key organizations who provide assistance to artists and arts organizations:

The Actors Fund •   Arts & Business Council of Chicago •  Chicago Artists’ Coalition •  Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs •   Chicago Dance and Music AllianceChicago Filmmakers •  Chicago Music Commission •   Columbia College Chicago eCenter •    Executive Service Corps •  Guild Literary Complex •  Illinois Arts AllianceIllinois Arts Council •  Independent Feature ProjectLawyers for the Creative Arts •  League of Chicago Theatres •  Links Hall •  NARAS – The Recording AcademyReeltime •  UIC Health in the Arts Program   •

Save the Date – IAA annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb 24th

The Illinois Arts Alliance will host its annual Members’ Meeting and Reception on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 3 pm at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

The Members’ Meeting is an opportunity to network with other arts professionals and supporters and discuss issues of importance to the arts community in Illinois.
Ben CameronBen Cameron (pictured to the right), a nationally renowned speaker, former theater professional, and arts activist, will touch on the concepts of change, transition, and renewal and their meaning for the arts in an engaging keynote address.
Currently, Cameron manages a $17 million grant program for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, but he also has experience as an artist and arts administrator. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2006, he served as executive director of Theatre Communications Group from 1998 to 2006 and director of the theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1990 to 1992.

‘Thank or Spank’ your Congressperson

A few weeks back I posted the 2008 Congressional Arts Report Card for Illinois. (see the post here).  Soon after this, Scarlett Swerdlow, of the Illinois Arts Alliance/Foundation, alerted me to their “Thank or Spank” campaign, which allows Illinois residents to voice approval/disappointment to their elected officials.  Via Ms. Swerdlow:

Please take a moment to “thank or spank” your congressperson based on his or her Arts Report Card score. We’ve made it easy for you to take action. If your representative scored a B or higher, our online Action Center will generate a message congratulating and thanking your member. If your representative scored a C, D, or F, our online Action Center will generate a message encouraging them to do more to support the arts and arts education. Simply enter your zip code to get started!

I urge all my readers to “Thank or Spank” their representative(s).  (and for those non-Chicagoland readers of my blog, you can do the same!). 

I just contacted my rep Jan Schakowsky, thanking her for her A+ grade.  You can do the same here.  (on a related note, if you do e-mail your rep to voice your concerns, so in a civil, respectful manner.  You never know – they may come around soon; perhaps their grandson or niece will get involved in the arts, and their eyes will open when they see how the infusion of culture in a person’s life is beneficial to the world at large)

 

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