Arts community announces support for Rockford Casino Coalition
Online Staff Report
Members of the Rockford arts community are rallying to show their support for the Rockford Casino Coalition, urging Governor Pat Quinn to sign Senate Bill 0744 which would open the door for a casino in Rockford.
Leaders from the Rockford Area Arts Council, Rockford Art Museum, Coronado Performing Arts Center and local artists spoke in support of the bill Wednesday, July 13.
They believe local art organizations and artist would benefit from grants and endowments historically presented by casinos.
The group looks to regions like Dubuque, where over the last 25 years the license holder for the Mystique Casino has given more than $140 million to the city and nonprofit organizations. Among the beneficiaries for 2011 were that areas Art Center, Arts Council, Museum of Art and Symphony Orchestra.
The Grand Victoria Foundation in Elgin distributed $75,000 in grants to their area arts organizations in 2010. While in Shreveport, La., gaming revenue supports the Riverfront Development fund, which provides approximately $640,000 a year for that region’s arts council.
President & CEO of the Rockford Area Arts Council Anne O’Keefe says the connection between gaming and art already exists.
“Revenue generated from Off Track Betting provides $50,000 each year for the Rockford Area Arts Council.” O’Keefe said. “Money from gaming helps us offer arts programs, services, and events to residents and visitors to ensure all facets of our community have access to art,”
The Rockford Casino Coalition was formed in support for the gaming expansion bill (SB 0744) and encourages Governor Pat Quinn to sign the bill.
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