State grants $300,000 to area arts groups

State Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D-67) and representatives from the Illinois Arts Council presented 12 local arts groups and community organizations a ceremonial check Dec. 10 during a press conference at Rockford’s Riverfront Museum Campus.

Funds awarded by the state to the Illinois Arts Council peaked at almost $18 million for the 2003 fiscal year, and nearly $300,000 of that was awarded to groups in the Rock River valley region.

Area groups receiving grants are the following: Bach Chamber Choir, Discovery Center Museum, New American Theater, Rockford Arts Museum, Rockford Park District, Singing Boys of Rockford, Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts, Mendelssohn Club, Rockford Area Arts Council, Rockford Dance Company, Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Without Shoes Modern Dance Company.

Throughout the spring, Jefferson worked with the Illinois Arts Council to ensure community groups in the district would receive the funding they deserve. Despite numerous state cutbacks and budget trims, these grants will be able to continue supporting several arts groups and clubs throughout the Rockford area.

“I am proud to bring the funding back to our community that defines Rockford as a culturally diverse artistic area,” Jefferson said. “Many of the arts organizations that make up Rockford are centrally located downtown and this event is my tribute to spur growth in the arts community and continue to develop downtown.”

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