Hundreds of artists and administrators met last week to discuss the state of the arts in Illinois.
Politics dominated the discussion, with a focus on ever-shrinking budgets for many arts groups. That includes the Illinois Arts Council Agency, which is the state department that oversees government spending on the arts.
Funding for the council has diminished from about $20 million dollars in 2007 to less than $9 million in 2012.
Ra Joy heads Arts Alliance Illinois, which is the state's largest such advocacy and membership group.