News - Kane County

St. Charles City Council approves funding for cultural arts organizations

Ten local nonprofit organizations will be able to continue to provide programs that promote the arts and cultural events within the city, thanks to funding from the St. Charles City Council.

At its meeting June 20, the City Council voted to award $90,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations. They are Fine Line Creative Arts Center, Fox Valley Concert Band, Preservation Partners, St. Charles Art Council, Steel Beam Theater, Norris Cultural Arts Center, Sculpture in the Park, St. Charles Singers, Kane Repertory Theatre and Marquee Youth Stage.

Each group is receiving between $8,000 and $10,000. The $90,000 comes from a portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax revenue. The Visitors Cultural Commission reviews requests for funding and makes recommendations for the distribution of funds collected from the hotel/motel tax.

Members of the commission on May 4 heard presentations from the organizations that requested funding. The commission met May 11 to discuss the funding requests and decide on the funding allocations.

In reviewing the requests, commission members looked at a number of factors, including the organization’s economic impact and how it enhances the culture of the community as well as the city’s reputation. The benefit it provides to residents also is considered.

“We have a variety of arts that are fulfilling the needs, I think, of our community and the people within our community,” Visitors Cultural Commission chair Anne Becker told alderpersons.

She talked about the St. Charles Singers’ multi-season Mozart Journey project. The St. Charles Singers launched its comprehensive Mozart Journey initiative with the Metropolis Orchestra in January 2010 as a long-range, multiyear celebration of the choir’s 25th anniversary concert season.

“The Mozart Journey has brought in over 4,000 people to the city of St. Charles to hear this particular journey that they have been taking,” Becker said. “They did surveys during this particular time and 60% of the people who attended either went to dinner before or after or had a cocktail or something. They brought revenue to our city.”

The project, which features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s rarely heard religious choral works, is set for completion by the end of August.

“Once finished, we hope the legacy of this genre will be memorialized in a complete recording,” founder and music director Jeffrey Hunt told alderpersons. “We will be the first American choir to have done this, so we’re very proud that we did it.”