State of the arts
States sing own praises
State arts agencies received appropriations totaling $269.9 million in fiscal year 1990, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the previous year. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies noted that the total was more than 50 percent higher than the $171 million appropriated by the U.S. Congress for the National Endowment for the Arts. On average, states are devoting just under one-tenth of 1 percent of their general funds to supporting the arts.
Source: Governing, March 1990.
Illinois paints a positive picture
Illinois was one of 12 states that had appropriations increases of more than 30 percent compared to fiscal year 1989, but Illinois' per capita appropriations ranked 21st. Below, ranked by per capita arts appropriations, are each state's total 1990 arts appropriations.
Illinois artist awards
1,257 creative artists applied for the Artists Fellowship Awards given by the Illinois Arts Council in 1989. Grants in the amounts of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 are awarded annually as fellowships to Illinois artists who have made outstanding contributions in their field to enable them to pursue their artistic goals. A lesser award of $500 goes to outstanding finalists.
A total of $380,000 was awarded this year: 70 artists received fellowships totalling $360,000, and the other $20,000 was awarded to 40 finalists.
Categories are choreography, crafts, ethnic/folk arts, interdisciplinary/performance art, literature, media arts, music composition, photography, playwriting/screenwriting and visual arts. Jurors from all over the United States reviewed the applications and made the final decisions.
Source: Illinois Arts Council.
Artistic demographics (by area code)
Illinois boasts over 1,600 arts organizations. Illinois is also home to the second largest number of individual artists in the nation. Where do they live? Here is a breakdown of the Illinois Arts Council artist-applicants for fiscal year 1990 by telephone area code.
Chicago premieres a relic with blinking eyes and a bow tie
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus premiered a 35-minute children's fable on March 4 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. "Polly and the Dinosaurs" was developed by C. Geraldine Freund, a veteran supporter of the city's arts, with the help of Soviet composer Yuri Falik. The musical fairy tale featured singing, narration and a large, green, mechanical dinosaur with blinking eyes and a bow tie, on loan from the Chicago Academy of Sciences.
Source: Chicago Tribune, March 4, 1990.
Club focuses on midwestern art
Throughout its 110-year history, the Union League Club of Chicago has assembled an extensive collection of art. Great emphasis has been placed on support of the American artist and particularly artists of the Midwest. Today, this private club maintains one of the largest and most representative collections of midwestern art available anywhere in the country. In celebration of its centennial in 1980, the club with the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation organized a traveling exhibit of selected paintings for display in museums throughout Illinois and Iowa. Today these works may be seen by special arrangement.
Source: The Union League Club of Chicago.
Cedarhurst draws in southern Illinoisans
Downstate in Mount Vernon the 80-acre estate of John and Eleanor Mitchell opened in 1973 as the Mitchell Art Museum to serve the cultural interests and needs of the people of southern Illinois. Called "Cedarhurst," the museum displays a collection of late 18th and 19th century paintings, watercolors and other art objects. Artists represented include John Singer Sargent, Frederic Remington, Robert Henri, as well as Pablo Picasso and Andrew Wyeth. The Mitchell Art Museum also regularly exhibits the work of some of our most creative contemporary artists.
Source: Cedarhurst Masterplan.
General funds: low on calories
The general funds balance at the end of February was $145.387 million. The average daily available balance was $212.689 million
Source: Office of the Comptroller.
State jobless rate falls below 6%
The nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady in February at 5.3 percent, but Illinois dropped to 5.9 percent from January's 6.3 percent. It is the first time the state's unemployment rate has fallen below percent since July 1989.
There were 6.029 million people in the state's civilian work force in February — a drop of 35,000 from January; 5.674 million people had jobs — a gain of 10,000 from January; and 355,000 people were unemployed — a decline of 46,000.
As of February nonfarm employment had been 5 million or over for two straight years; manufacturing, gaining for the 35th consecutive month, showed 1,000 more jobs than in January.
Final unemployment rates in the state's major metro areas in December were:
Aurora-Elgin. 6.3 percent.
Source: Department of Employment Security.
Thomas E. Morris
6/ApriI 1990/Illinois Issues