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|Orpheum's State Grant Funding Slashed
|The Orpheum Theatre announced Friday it has received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council for general operating support. The Orpheum Theatre has received an IAC grant each year since 2007, though this grant is significantly reduced from previous years.
"The Orpheum Theatre is deeply grateful for the continued work of the Illinois Arts Council to support the performing and visual arts in the wake of Illinois' difficult budget situation," said Orpheum president Kate Francis. Ms. Francis indicated that this year's grant would total $4,980 which is down from $8,260 in 2008 and $8,920 in 2007.
"The Illinois Arts Council leaders informed applicants that funding would likely be cut by at least fifty percent - if not more," continued Ms. Francis. "This year there were forty-six applicants competing for funds through the Presenters Program and the IAC cut many other grant programs in their entirety when the state budget was announced. The fact that the Orpheum Theatre received any grant at all speaks volumes about the quality of the institution, its Red Carpet Series programming, tenant programming efforts, education programs as well as the cultural and economic role the Orpheum plays in our rural community."
Asked what the Illinois Arts Council grant would support, Ms. Francis said that the grant is designated for general operating support though the grant has historically been used to underwrite a portion of Red Carpet Series artists' fees. Ms. Francis indicated that the Orpheum Theatre board is still evaluating the return of the Red Carpet Series in 2010 and that this grant award certainly would help in making that decision; however, she was certain that if the Red Carpet Series was reinstated, the number of events would not return to 2008 levels.
"The Red Carpet Series was expanded to ten shows in 2008 from seven in 2007. Contracts for the 2008 season were signed long before our community had any idea of the economic downfall that was yet to come," Ms. Francis said. "But as it has for the past twenty years since it re-opened as a performing arts facility, the Orpheum Theatre will continue to bring quality entertainment, civic and cultural opportunities to more than 20,000 people a year - thousands of whom come from outside the 61401 zip code. The Illinois Arts Council grant will help the Orpheum to sustain its programming efforts and continue to grow its attendance and economic impact into 2010."
(Submitted by Orpheum Theatre)
|09 11 09 by Newsroom
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