Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arts Alliance - Newsletter.

Up to $5 Billion Shortfall Still Exists

Fifteen days into the fiscal year, the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Pat Quinn approved a budget for FY10.

The budget slashes the State's allocation to the Illinois Arts Council to $8.5 million--a 46 percent cut from FY09. The Council is the state agency that provides financial and technical assistance to artists and arts organizations. - (Including Quincy Community Theatre)-dc

The Illinois Arts Council is taking a bigger hit than many arts agencies in other states. In a recently released report, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies estimates that while 30 states will scale back funding for the arts in FY10, the average decrease is 20 percent--compared to Illinois' 46 percent cut.

On the cuts, many members of the General Assembly and the governor himself have touted the budget as funding human and social services at 87 percent of FY09 levels. 87 percent, though, is an average--meaning some state agencies, like the Illinois Arts Council, will sustain much steeper cuts.

Impact on the Illinois Arts Council

The Council is expected to suspend some of its programs.
The Arts Council must also address how the humanities and public broadcasting will fare in FY10.
Impact on Arts Education Funding

Next Steps for Arts Advocates

Because the budget includes a shortfall of up to $5 billion, the governor and General Assembly will have to return to the table later in 2009 to continue the conversation.

Over the next few weeks, the Arts Alliance will continue to meet with legislative leaders and advance new tools and information to help make the case about the impact, assets, and needs of the arts sector in Illinois.

While legislators are on recess and in their districts, the Arts Alliance encourages you to:
Schedule a meeting with your state representative and state senator in your district to discuss the on-the-ground impact of these cuts
Tell your story to local media outlets
Keep the Arts Alliance informed of how state budget cuts and other factors are affecting your community
To identify your elected officials, visit the Arts Alliance's action center. The Arts Alliance has also developed resources to assist you in your advocacy efforts, including:
Key talking points about the arts and arts education
A guide for meetings with legislators
A guide for writing letters to the editor
A summary of findings from our survey assessing the impact of the draconian FY08 cuts to the Illinois Arts Council

Illinois Arts Council Stimulus Grants

The Illinois Arts Council is expected to announce its stimulus grants on August 18 and 19, 2009.

Of the $361,600 that the NEA awarded to the Arts Council, the Council will distribute $335,000 to Illinois arts groups in the form of $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000 grants.

At this point, 133 applicants are under consideration for a stimulus grant. According to the Arts Council, the total dollar amount requested by these applicants is $2,160,000--far beyond the $335,000 available. "All told, this means the funds going out will add up to less than 20 percent of what is needed," Terry Scrogum told the Arts Alliance.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"The Producers" is open and the reviews are in!

This morning I arrived at the theatre with more notes and messages than I have ever received following an opening night. I have decided to post them here for everyone to read. I have left names off to protect the innocent. If you have a comment about, “The Producers” please feel free to leave a comment on this entry. If you want to you may select anonymous and your name will not be revealed.

Here are three of the comments I walked into this morning.


I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know how much my husband and I enjoyed the performance last evening. We have seen many great shows, but last night's show was one of the best ever. If it is possible to pull a muscle from laughing or get bruised hands from applauding, we may have last night. Well done!
Keep up the great work.


Unbelievable show!! Fantastic!! Perfection and hysterical! Everyone in the show is exceptional. How proud you should be!!


To the great cast, directors and everyone who was involved......

We have not quit talking (and laughing) about the outrageously funny opening night of "The Producers"...simply an outstanding performance!!!! We all agree this was THE best production ever!!!

On behalf of everyone who attended last night and those who will be attending..."BRAVO times a million!" Thank you is not sufficient - Quincy is forever thankful and happy to have such dedicated citizens to give such a performance - we are without words!!! This was BIG stage worthy talent and entertainment!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"The Producers" TV spot.

Here is "The Producers" TV spot. Thank you to Frank Cann and Media Development. Enjoy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Breathing life into "The Producers"

We are now approaching the time in “The Producers” rehearsal schedule called tech, short for technical rehearsal. This is where everything Technical becomes embedded into the fiber of the show. These elements include but are not limited to; crew, lights, costumes, sound, orchestra, flies and special effects. Unlike the other elements in the show such as choreography, blocking and music, which have nearly two months to become solidified, the technical elements have four days, four very long days to reach perfection. Tech rehearsals will be about 10 hours in length and will consist of continual stopping and starting until each cue is absolutely perfect and ready for an audience to see. With “The Producers” these tech days will be significantly longer than the typical show due to the amount of cues the stage manager must call in this production. “The Producers” has over 200 light cues, 17 scene changes and over 50 fly cues.

How does this compare to the average show?
This is more than double the amount of cues in a typical show.

I told you this was a big show. Still don’t believe me? You’ll just have to come witness the magical spectacle that is, “The Producers”.

July 23-26 & July 29-August 2

Monday, July 13, 2009

"The Second City" will be at QCT shortly.

This year is a special year for "The Second City"; it is their 50th birthday. In celebration of this we are lucky to be bringing their 50th anniversary show to our stage on August 22nd. Enjoy the commercial below. More information on "The Second City" will be posted shortly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mel Brooks, creator of "The Producers", has imbedded many Jewish references into "The Producers".  Being Jewish himself he has written about why he believes it is important for everyone to laugh at "The Producers."

" I may be angry at God or at the world, and I'm sure that a lot of my
comedy is based on anger and hostility...It comes from a feeling that
as a Jew and as a person, I don't fit into the mainstream of American

Feeling different, feeling alienated, feeling cuted, feeling that
the only way you can deal with the world is to laugh - because if you
don't laugh you're going to cry and never stop crying - that's probably
what's responsible for the Jews having developed such a great sense of
humor. The people who had the greatest reason to weep, learned more
than anyone else how to laugh."

-Mel Brooks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I received this email today!

Dear Quincy Community Theatre,


Today marks the start of the new fiscal year in Illinois.  Unfortunately, this is the third year in a row that the State begins the fiscal year without a solid operating budget in place. 

 In this special update, we explore where things stand with the budget negotiations in Springfield.

While the outcome of the state budget is uncertain, the need for continued arts advocacy is clear.  As activists across the state step up their efforts, we must continue to make our voices heard too.

Please act now and urge your elected officials to stand up for the arts by passing a responsible state budget.

Without further action on the budget, state funding for the arts will be drastically reduced.

To protect the arts infrastructure in Illinois, it's going to take all of us working together.  

As things stand, state funding for the arts and arts education is in limbo.

In a message to Illinois Arts Council grantees on June 12, Shirley Madigan and Terry Scrogum, Chairman and Executive Director of the Arts Council respectively, highlighted how a bare-bones budget would impact the Council: "Due to the General Assembly's failure to approve the revenue plan proposed by Governor Quinn, the State of Illinois will no longer be able to provide grants for ArtsTour, Youth Employment, Literary Awards, Master/Apprentice, Open Deadline, and the Public Radio and Television stations operating grants."  All remaining granting programs could expect funding cuts of 75%.

We must continue to make our voices heard too.  The arts are a proven investment in our economy and workforce-creating jobs, stimulating the economy, and attracting tourists and new investments.

Since May-when we first alerted you to the catastrophic cuts facing the arts and arts education-arts advocates from across the state have generated more than 6,200 emails, letters, and calls to legislators.

In addition, the Arts Alliance:
  • Alerted the media to the devastating effect of a "doomsday" budget on the arts and arts education
LegislatorsRespondingLegislators Responding to Arts Advocates

As a result of your efforts, lawmakers across the state are reaffirming their support for the arts and arts education. Your efforts are making a difference.

Here's what state legislators are saying:

From Senator Heather Steans (D-7-Chicago), who received 222 messages from arts advocates since May and voted for a sensible budget solution: "Arts funding offers jobs, after school programs, free public programs, and educational programs that benefit our community.  I am worried that cuts to these programs will worsen our economic situation by cutting jobs and lessen community safety by removing some of the few programs that provide youth in my district with something positive to do after school.  I will be fighting to keep these programs funded."

From Representative Naomi D. Jakobsson (D-103- Champaign), who received 55 messages from arts advocates since May and also supported a responsible budget solution: "The arts play an important role in educating our children, adding to our local economy, and enhancing our communities.  I am proud to represent an arts rich district in Champaign County and I will be fighting to ensure that funds for the arts are not cut."

"As budget negotiations continue, it's important that elected officials hear from the people they represent," Representative Jakobsson continued.  "There's no better way for us to understand community views and opinions than to hear directly from the people of the district."

The General Assembly is expected to return to Springfield on July 14.  As news on the state budget becomes available, the Arts Alliance will keep you informed.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact either Ra Joy or 312-855-3105 x14 or Scarlett Swerdlow at or 312-855-3105 x13.

Many thanks for all you do,

Ra Joy

Executive Director

Illinois Arts Alliance

312-855-3105 x14