Sunday, March 15, 2015

Protect Illinois Arts Council Agency Funding

Thank you for your input regarding the importance of funding for the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Many constituents have expressed the need to protect this funding.

It is going to be a difficult budget process this year, but hearing from constituents about the importance of specific programs -- such as the IACA -- allows me to better represent our district in Springfield.

We look forward to hearing from you again on matters that are important to you.

Kindest regards,
Office of State Representative Christian Mitchell
26th District
449 E. 35th Street
Chicago, IL  60616

773-924-1755 (office)
773-924-1775 (fax)

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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.


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