CHICAGO, IL- September 12, 2012— This October, Governor Pat Quinn and other civic leaders statewide are joining together with President Obama in support of arts and humanities events here in the Land of Lincoln and nationwide.
October is National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America. From arts center open houses to mayoral proclamations to banners and newspaper articles, National Arts and Humanities Month is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. The Illinois Arts Council and the Illinois Humanities Council are teaming up to recognize cultural treasures throughout the State of Illinois, with its own moniker, Arts and Humanities! (AH!) 2012.
The two councils urge Illinoisans to attend an arts and humanities event in October, and have created an official AH! Month Calendar to highlight events taking place in communities across the state. Arts and humanities organizations are encouraged to post their events to the calendar to be part of the statewide celebration. The councils also encourage city mayors, village presidents, and town leaders to show their community’s support for AH! Month 2012 by issuing their own official proclamations.
“Millions of Americans earn a living in the arts and humanities, and the non-profit and for-profit arts industries are important parts of both our cultural heritage and our economy,” mentioned President Obama in his official proclamation for Arts and Humanities Month in 2011. “[The arts and humanities] speak to our condition and affirm our desire for something more and something better. Great works of literature, theater, dance, fine art, and music reach us through a universal language that unites us regardless of background, gender, race, or creed.”
Here in Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn echoed the President’s statements, ““the arts and humanities enhance every aspect of life in Illinois — improving our economy, enriching our civic life, driving tourism, and exerting a profound positive influence on the education of our children.” In the Governor’s official proclamation of AH! Month 2012, he adds that the nonprofit cultural sector generates $2.8 billion in total economic activity annually here in Illinois and supports 78,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Art and humanities-based organizations wishing to have their event included in the official AH! Month interactive calendar can visit the Illinois Humanities Council website: www.prairie.org/ah. The public is also urged to join the conversation on social media through the twitter hashtag #AH!2012. More information about AH! Month, including the proclamation by Governor Pat Quinn, is available at the Illinois Arts Council’s website: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/ah-october.
About the Illinois Humanities Council
The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.
About the Illinois Arts Council
The Illinois Arts Council was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 to survey and assess the needs of the arts throughout the state; identify existing legislation, policies, and program which affect the arts and evaluate their effectiveness; stimulate public understanding of the importance of cultural institutions; promote an encouraging atmosphere for creative artists in Illinois; and encourage the use of local resources to develop and support the arts.
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