WBEZ | Illinois Arts Council http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-arts-council Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rahm to mingle with fellow dancers http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/rahm-mingle-fellow-dancers-89107 <p><p>Maybe he’ll show off his <em>rond de jambe</em>. Tonight Mayor Rahm Emanuel circulates a bit, then delivers a few remarks at the opening reception of the <a href="http://www.danceusa.org/">Dance USA 2011 Annual Conference</a>, being held in Chicago. Expect reassuring talk; let’s hope he walks the walk. The event, happening at the Harris Theater, is open only to conference registrants… but there’s still time! The conference runs through Saturday, July 16.</p><p>In peripherally related news: <a href="http://audiencearchitects.com/">Audience Architects</a>—the Chicago nonprofit acting as conference administrator (and, full disclosure, paying me a few times a month to review dance for <a href="http://seechicagodance.com/">SeeChicagoDance</a>)—just announced a $225,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation and a $10,000 grant from the Illinois Arts Council to support the creation and implementation of a three-year strategic plan.</p></p> Wed, 13 Jul 2011 19:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/rahm-mingle-fellow-dancers-89107 NEA sends $2 million-plus to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-28/nea-sends-2-million-plus-chicago-88480 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-20/56592092.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-20/56592092.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 277px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="A National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Induction (Getty/Paul Hawthorne)">Even as Congress and the White House tussle over a Fiscal 2012 budget, the National Endowment for the Arts has spent the last of its Fiscal 2011 cash in a series of grants announced last month in which a number of Chicago organizations picked up federal bucks.</p><p>Chicago theater industry recipients are (in alphabetical order): Barrel of Monkeys Productions ($8,000), Chicago Children's Theatre ($20,000), Chicago Shakespeare Theater ($75,000), Child's Play Touring Theatre ($20,000), Goodman Theatre ($100,000), Emerald City Theatre Company ($10,000), League of Chicago Theatres Foundation ($10,000), Light Opera Works ($20,000), Redmoon Theatre ($50,000), Storycatchers Theatre ($7,000) and Trap Door Productions ($5,000).</p><p>In addition, another 33 NEA grants went to institutions supporting music, dance, traditional arts, presenting and arts education ranging from the American Library Association ($20,000) to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ($20,000) to the Jazz Institute of Chicago ($20,000) to the River North Dance Company ($10,000) and Sones de Mexico Ensemble ($35,000). Even the City of Chicago got some NEA cash, with a grant of $75,000 to the Chicago Cultural Center Foundation, a last legacy of the old Department of Cultural Affairs and its former Commissioner, Lois Weisberg.</p><p>In all, Illinois organizations received 43 grants totaling $2,280,400.</p><p>Meanwhile, the annual battle over the Federal budget is just heating up with the Federal government staying in business on a continuing resolution as Congress and the Prez go down to the wire on a budget deal that will raise the debt ceiling and cut spending. Already, however, Arts in Education has been axed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. On May 26, the House Education and Workforce Committee approved a resolution to cut 43 programs from the Department of Education, with Arts in Education among them. Collectively, these programs were part of the so-called "No Child Left Behind" Act, and funding for them could be restored--and that's a big "could"--when the full House and Senate take up re-authorizing "No Child Left Behind."</p><p>In better news, the House rejected Republican-sponsored resolutions to zero-fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and heard prepared testimony May DATE from Rocco Landesman, chairman of the NEA, in support of President Obama's request for $146.25 million for the NEA in Fiscal 2012 (which officially begins July 1). That figure represents a 13% cut in the 2011 budget, or the same funding as in 2008. The NEA is prepared to live with that and tighten its belt, in part by consolidating administrative functions with the NEH wherever possible.</p><p>The proposed 2012 Obama budget wasn't all bad news for arts and culture: the request for the National Gallery of Art was $119 million, up from $111 million, and the request for the Smithsonian Institution was $636 million for operations plus $225 million for capital projects, some of which will flow to art museums such as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City.</p><p>In its May round of grants, the NEA announced $914,400 for the Illinois Arts Council, the highest-ever level of NEA support. As mandated by Congress, the NEA must pass along a substantial part of its annual budget in the form of direct support for state arts agencies.</p><p>The Fiscal 2012 proposal for the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) itself is $11.4 million, up from $9.3 million last year. Of course, given the ocean of red ink the State faces, it's anyone's guess if that level of support will hold up in the final Illinois budget.</p><p>Alas, the arts always make an attractive and easy target for budget-cutters who fail to comprehend the economic impact of the arts collectively as an industry. Just days ago, Kansas Republican governor Sam Brownback vetoed funding for the Kansas Arts Council, killing the 45-year old agency. The cash savings to Kansas tax payers? $689,000 representing .005% of the state's budget. The cash loss to Kansas tax payers? The NEA pass-through which would have been $778,200 plus another $437,800 in matching funds from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. That $1.2 million now will go to other states.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jun 2011 22:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-28/nea-sends-2-million-plus-chicago-88480 National Endowment sails stormy seas http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-19/national-endowment-sails-stormy-seas-85416 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-20/56592092.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-20/56592092.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 347px;" title="(Getty/Paul Hawthorne)"></p><p>The unexpectedly chilly winds of April weren't enough to blow down the National Endowment for the Arts, even though some members of Congress wanted to pour cold Tea Party on it. Much to the surprise of many arts advocates, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) emerged from the harrowing House of Representatives budget process with $155 million for Fiscal Year 2011. This is considerably more than pro-NEA partisans could have imagined just a few months ago, when the Republican-controlled House entertained various proposals for the NEA ranging from deep cuts to zero funding (a Congressional euphemism for murdering an agency). The zero funding option immediately was rejected even by the GOP majority as too extreme. The NEA funding was part of the very tough negotiating process between President Obama and House and Senate leaders over the total 2011 budget. The Senate quickly approved the House-passed appropriations package.</p><p>The $155 million budget represents a cut of $12.5 million (7.5%) over FY2010 funding of $167.5 million. Just months earlier, the House had settled on only $124.4 million for the NEA. The House also had stripped all funding for Arts in Education programs from the proposed appropriation for the federal Department of Education; however the final 2011 budget measure restored a modest $25.5 million for Arts in Education.</p><p>I have a colleague (well, a cousin, actually) who happens to be the chief political officer for a highly-visible federal agency, and he explained it to me in a recent conversation: "President Obama told the House Republicans, 'Look, we can talk about some of the big budget cuts you want, but keep your hands off the little programs. You're not going to save significant money by nickel-and-diming the small stuff.'" My cousin's agency, still considered small at under $1 billion, also survived with most of its funding intact. It probably doesn't hurt, either, that by Federal mandate the NEA must pass along 50% of its funding to state arts agencies and councils (such as the Illinois Arts Council), and House Republicans are aware of how badly the states are hurting.</p><p>Of course, we already are half-way through Fiscal 2011 and the even tougher budget battle over Fiscal 2012 has begun.</p><p>FYI: the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) generally receives a block grant in the vicinity of $500,000 each year from the NEA. That half-million bucks has loomed much larger in recent years with the draconian slashes in state funding for the IAC, which fell from $19.4 million in Fiscal 2007, to $14.2 million is Fiscal 2008 (when the economic collapse began), to flat funding in Fiscal 2009 and then down to an operating budget of just $7.5 million in Fiscal 2010. For Fiscal 2011, the IAC budget was finalized at $8.5 million (NOTE: on paper the budget is $9.3 million, which includes various pass-throughs, but the operating budget is $8.5 million). For Fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, Gov. Patrick Quinn has proposed a $2.1 million increase for the IAC to $11.4 million (including those pass-throughs), but the actual appropriations legislation may be another story. As is usually the case, the final budget won't materialize until months after Fiscal 2012 begins. With a $1.5 billion state budget gap (and that's conservative), every budget proposal is on the chopping block.</p></p> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 02:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-19/national-endowment-sails-stormy-seas-85416