CHICAGO, IL– September 25, 2013— This October is National Arts and Humanities Month, and the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) and many more are partnering in this celebration to encourage Illinoisans to participate in and share the value of arts and humanities activities in their lives and communities across the state.
The 6th annual Illinois Arts and Humanities Month (AH!) is the state’s moniker for National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation to recognize the importance of culture in America. It is designed to encourage all Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of active participation in the arts and humanities.
The two organizations have created an official AH! Month Calendar of arts and humanities 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. Activities in the calendar include musical performances, exhibits, lecture series, film screening and poetry readings throughout the state.
The agencies are also gathering official proclamations from city mayors, village presidents, and town leaders in Illinois to show their community’s support for AH! Month. Promotion partners from throughout the state are also sharing the impact of arts and humanities events in their respective region. Others will be able to join in the festivities on Twitter and Facebook by using hashtag. #ILAH
Originally established in 1978 as Illinois Arts Week, Illinois Arts & Humanities Month has expanded to encompass the state’s immense creative and intellectual facilities, groups, organizations, and institutions.
“Arts education research shows that the arts help to foster discipline, creativity, imagination, self-expression, and problem solving skills while also helping to develop a heightened appreciation of beauty and cross-cultural understanding,” stated Governor Pat Quinn in the official proclamation of AH! Month 2013. He adds, “We use the humanities — history, literature, philosophy — to explore what it means to be human.”
According to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, a study from Arts Alliance Illinois and Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and cultural sector also strengthens our economy by generating $2.75 billion in total economic activity annually and by supporting 78,000 full-time-equivalent jobs.
The official AH! month web page, including the event calendar, proclamation by Governor Pat Quinn, and more can be found at: http://www.arts.illinois.gov/ah-october. Arts and cultural organizations can still include their events on the official Illinois AH! Month Calendar through the IHC website, www.prairie.org/ah.
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 Agency
The Illinois Arts Council Agency 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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