From Shirley Madigan, Chairman of the Illinois Arts Council
You have received communications from me in the last few months about the state of the Illinois Arts Council’s budget. As many of you may know, this has been a very difficult budget process, the worst we have experienced in over a quarter century. The budget approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor allocated less than $8.6 million in state dollars for FY2010.
You have felt the negative effects of the past two years’ reductions but they were small compared to what is likely happening this year. We have received notice from the Governor’s Office that an additional 5% reserve will be placed on our budget. Therefore the Council’s budget will be slightly more than $8.0 million. In comparison, the FY2007 IAC budget was $19.4 million in state dollars. The Illinois Arts Council’s budget has plummeted more than 58% in three years.
I have been privileged to be a member of the Illinois Arts Council for many years and I have never seen our situation so dire. Without additional state revenues, we may well have further cuts in the months ahead, and next year will be worse.
We have tried to keep you updated about what is happening, but we were hoping for better news to give. In this time of economic downturn and worry about the future, the arts are even more important. History has shown what a positive and powerful force they can be in times of crisis.
We cannot thank you enough for all you do and we want to assure you we will continue to fight for the arts in Illinois and for the support needed for the arts and the people they serve from border to border.
We will keep you apprised of future developments.
Shirley R. Madigan, Chairman