December 01, 2005

Grants support arts programs at SIUC

by Tim Crosby


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Arts programs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will receive more than $80,000 in grants from the state, two area lawmakers announced today (Dec. 1).

State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, and state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, handed out the money during a morning news conference at the University Museum. All together, the lawmakers announced arts grants totaling more than $120,000, with the balance going to various arts groups in Carbondale and Southern Illinois.

SIUC officials targeted their share of the money for various music, film and literary efforts.

"The state is struggling, and these are the kinds of things people say you should cut if you're having problems," Luechtefeld said. "But it is important to keep these sorts of things going."

The state earmarked the largest chunk of money – $37,800 – for entertainment events at Shryock Auditorium. Robert Cerchio, Shryock director, said the funds come through its membership in Partners in Excellence, a statewide group of 42 regional arts leaders.

"The money will go exclusively into events at Shryock, such as the Celebrity Series," Cerchio said.

Lawmakers aimed another $15,750 at the SIUC School of Music's education outreach program.

"The money pays for us getting out to the schools in the region and getting the schools into us," said Robert L. Weiss, director of the school, who was on hand to accept the check.

SIUC programs also receiving funds include:

• Crab Orchard Review, $7,500.

• Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, $7,050.

• Altgeld Performing Artists program, $4,030.

• SIUC Chamber Music Society, $4,170.

• Big Muddy Film Festival, $4,290.

Community groups receiving money included:

• Carbondale Community Arts Inc., Community Arts Access program, $20,000.

• Carbondale Community Arts Inc., general support, $12,000.

• Southern Illinois Irish Festival, $3,470.

• Madrigal Society of Southern Illinois, $500.

• Millstadt Sister Cities Organization, $900.

• City of Sparta, Blues Fest, $4,320.

Enhancing cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University if following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

(Caption: Arts support — Robert L. Weiss (center), director of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Music, accepts a symbolic check from state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (second from left) and state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro (right) Thursday morning as Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole looks on. The two state lawmakers handed out more than $120,000 in state grants for various Southern Illinois arts organizations, including more than $80,000 to SIUC arts programs.)

Russell Bailey photo