Illinois legislators will be making decisions about how to spend over $5 BILLION in remaining American Rescue Plan dollars.
We are asking for $300 million for arts and culture!
Contact your legislators here: https://p2a.co/gX6I6NG You can also get involved by joining your local arts advocacy team below.
On February 2, 2022, Governor Pritzker gave his Fiscal Year 2023 budget address to the Illinois General Assembly and announced that Illinois is in a strong financial position and has a budget surplus.
Illinois’ creative sector and our thousands of creative sector workers, however, continue to struggle due to COVID.
Nonprofit arts organizations and creative businesses in Illinois lost 31% of their revenue on average to COVID in 2021 and are on pace for similar losses during the first 6 months of 2022. In addition, they expect COVID-related expenses to be nearly 10% of total budget during the same 6-month period. The pandemic is not over for the arts.
We urge the state to create a dedicated fund as part of the spending plan for the remaining $5.6 billion of Illinois’ American Relief Plan funding.
Please contact your state legislators now and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.
This investment must prioritize Black, Indigenous, people of color, rural and other disproportionately impacted communities. It should include the following:
- Independent Venues — $75 million
- Performing Arts Organizations — $75 million
- Museums, Visual Arts, & Cultural Heritage — $50 million
- Workforce Development — $50 million
- Arts Education — $50 million
Why $300 million? Why now?
- Illinois must be competitive: Other states are going big: New York just passed a one-year budget that gives their arts sector over $200 million in dedicated funds, plus access to $800 million in recovery grants, California legislators are championing a $1 billion package for the arts.
- The creative sector is a jobs generator: It contributes $30 billion to Illinois’ economy annually and employs nearly a quarter million workers. [US BEA]
- The arts have been hit particularly hard by COVID: Arts venues were the first to close and are likely last to reopen. Unemployment insurance claims in the creative industries have grown by more than 300% (Jan. 2020-2021), twice the rate across all industries in Illinois. [US DOL]
- The proposed funding prioritizes equity: The 2020 unemployment rate (66%) among BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists in Illinois was higher than the rate (52%) among white artists. [AFTA]
- In-demand fields need creative workers: The healthcare, marketing, IT, and other fields need digital video editors, graphic designers, writers, and communications specialists, to name a few. Over 70% of companies rate creativity as a primary concern when hiring. [CB/AASA]
- Our students need the arts now more than ever: Arts education contributes to social & emotional learning (SEL), vital to students’ ability to recover from the COVID crisis. Arts learning helps produce perseverance, foster self-awareness, and strengthen student engagement. [Varner]
- When the arts thrive, everybody wins: In addition to being an economic powerhouse, the arts bolster neighborhood vitality, address long-standing inequities, and help heal and rebuild our spirit in this time of crisis.
Leadership Coalition Partners
This proposal is strongly supported by a diverse, statewide coalition. Coalition partners include: