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By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

ART=ILLINOIS: The fourth annual Arts Alliance Illinois Voices of a Creative State benefit luncheon will take place on Friday, June 10, 2016 at The Fairmont Chicago, located at 200 North Columbus Drive in Chicago. The luncheon will feature a discussion highlighting the life-altering impact of the arts as a catalyst for social change, addressing urgent issues. The conversation will feature the award-winning director of the acclaimed documentary “The Homestretch,” Kirsten Kelly and Roque Sanchez, who was featured in the film. The event will also pay tribute to James W. and Kay Mabie, long-time supporters of a multitude of arts organizations and education institutions in Illinois, who will be presented the Citizen Advocate Award.

The annual luncheon raises critically needed funds to support the work of Arts Alliance Illinois, the state’s leading arts advocacy organization. This year, the event is expected to attract 500 of the state’s foremost arts leaders and advocates, providing a forum to discuss the role and importance of the arts in Illinois and celebrate the vitality and diversity of the state’s cultural sector. Proceeds raised from the event will support arts advocacy throughout the state; initiatives to foster and grow arts organizations statewide as a vehicle for economic growth and quality-of-life improvements; advocacy in support of arts-related policy change; and the development and implementation of policies that drive access to quality arts education in every area of Illinois.

 James W. and Kay Mabie
James W. and Kay Mabie

The luncheon will begin with a networking reception and the program will feature a tribute to Jim and Kay Mabie as Citizen Advocates for their continuous dedication and contributions to the arts and arts education. The award is given to individuals whose vision and civic leadership is rooted in benefiting the arts. The Mabies dedicated their lives to bettering arts awareness and education, and supported a multitude of organizations including Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Music Institute of Chicago, Urban Gateways, WBEZ, WFMT and WTTW.

The film Voices of a Creative State begins at 11:15 a.m. with a networking reception at Noon, lunch and the benefit program begins. To purchase tickets, tables and sponsorships, visit or call 312-855-3105 Ext. 13.


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