Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Stand Up for Arts and Culture in Illinois

We have important information that affects you directly to share from our colleagues at Arts Alliance Illinois.

Voter turnout and civic engagement are essential to a thriving democracy.

On April 7th, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" Garcia will face-off in Chicago's first ever run-off election for mayor.

Both as organizations and individuals, we need to be active this election season in order to promote arts-friendly public policies and actions. Arts Alliance Illinois has called upon both Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Garcia to share their views on arts policy issues. This information will be shared in the coming weeks.

In the lead-up to the April 7th runoff, we will keep you posted on nonpartisan ways that you can help place culture and the arts center stage this election season. In addition - as a citizen and voter - there are a number of ways that you can get involved with the mayoral campaign of your choice. If you work for a nonprofit, be sure to stay within permissible guidelines for political activity. A good resource can be found in Independent Sector's Election-Related Activities for 501c3 Organizations. Or check with your organization's counsel or tax accountant.

To learn more about the candidates, we encourage you to visit:
Chicago for Rahm -
Chuy for Chicago -

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed $6 billion in cuts to state programs and services, including significant cuts to child care, public transit, higher education, youth services, and much more. The Governor's recent actions would also slash the state's investment in culture and the arts by drastically cutting the Illinois Arts Council Agency's budget.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) is facing a freeze and a proposed draconian cut -- a spending freeze for the current fiscal year (FY2015) and a proposed 20% reduction to the agency's budget for next fiscal year (FY2016).

Arts Alliance Illinois and its many partners are educating lawmakers about the benefits of culture and the arts. They recently sent a letter sent to Governor Rauner outlining how the proposed budget cuts are counterproductive and do nothing to stimulate economic growth. (CLICK TO VIEW LETTER) The Alliance also continues to forge partnerships with policy makers and public agencies, raise awareness of the benefits of arts and culture, and empower advocates throughout Illinois.

The budget process is not over. It's time to stand up for arts and culture in Illinois. Send an email now to Governor Rauner and your state lawmakers urging them to protect the small but essential state investment in IACA.

No comments: