CHICAGO — On June 30, 2012, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a state budget that includes a 9.4% cut to funding for the Illinois Arts Council. This was less than feared, but it will undoubtedly have negative implications for cultural organizations, underserved communities, and individuals and organizations applying for humanities grants. The one ray of light is the increase in funding to arts education, though the 63% increase only translates to an extra $250,000.
Illinois is by some estimates the most indebted state in the entire nation, with its current deficit standing at over $43 billion — yes, even worse than legendarily dysfunctional California. With assistance to the poorest members of the community getting slashed, and state group homes under threat of closure, it may be the case that few tears will be shed if a summer festival is cancelled next year or the Lyric Opera of Chicago has to fire some chorus members.
But these arts cuts in Illinois come at a time when in fact a majority of states are due to increase their funding of state agencies in the next fiscal year by an average of 8%. Some of those increases, like New York‘s 10%, are for a single new program rather than across the board. Several states that border Illinois, however, are making real increases in arts funding: 21.4% in Iowa, 3.1% in Wisconsin and a whopping 366% in Michigan.
Illinois spends an average of 63 cents per person on the arts, which puts it in the middle of the pack for the country as a whole at number 29. This is way ahead of dead-last Arizona (0.00 per capita) but way behind first placed Minnesota, which spends $5.77 per capita on the arts. These are indeed tough times, but I wonder if this alters the landscape for the ongoing Chicago Cultural Plan, due to deliver its recommendations in the fall of 2012.
Increasingly, it looks like Chicago is arranging the deckchairs while the ship of state is slowly sinking.
I won’t bother you with talk about how obscenely decadent and out of touch the Frieze art fair is. And yet…
Curators Tahnee Ahtone, La Tanya S. Autry, Frederica Simmons, Dan Cameron, and Jeremy Dennis offered the public a window into their curatorial processes through the work they produced during their fellowships.
Who says tragedy has to be tragic? Co-presented with National Black Theatre, this fresh, Pulitzer-winning take on a classic centers Black joy and liberation.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Jeremy Dennis presents an exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Dan Cameron presents an email exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Frederica Simmons presents an email exhibition to offer insight into their curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, La Tanya S. Autry presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Tahnee Ahtone presents an email exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This week: Why does the internet hate Amber Heard? Will Congress recognize the Palestinian Nakba? And other urgent questions.
Artist Dan Jian makes the point that landscapes and memory are one and the same.