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Illinois Arts Community To Offer Statewide Socially- Distant Performances At The Polls

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Musicians seek to share joy and thank voters despite months of hardship.

This election cycle, more than 25 different Illinois musicians from a wide range of genres will provide socially-distant outdoor performances for voters at polling places across the state, with two performance "previews" on Friday October 30 at early voting locations and 15 different election day performances on November 3 across Chicago,

Rockford, Springfield, Evanston, and Carbondale. Performers include both individual artists and cultural organizations ranging from the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center to the Southern Illinois Music Festival to Lyric Opera of Chicago. While Illinois artists and arts organizations are struggling with the financial crisis and closures brought on by COVID-19, they are more determined than ever to be civically engaged this election season, thank voters for their participation, and encourage everyone to make their voices heard.

The effort was organized by Arts Alliance Illinois, a statewide arts advocacy organization that believes creatives have a key role to play in civic engagement work. "This initiative brings the joy of music to the election process, employs some artists at a time of true devastation for our sector, and keeps everyone safe through outdoor distant performance. We wanted to remind Illinoisans that the arts community is still here for them and supports our democracy, in spite of closed venues and the ongoing need for relief for our sector," says Executive Director, Claire Rice. "We're hoping this inspires other artists in their communities to come out on election day and lift every spirit and every vote!" Partnering organizations include the Chicago Independent Venues League, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, Porchlight Music Theatre, Rockford Symphony, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, the South Side Jazz Coalition, the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

Participating independent artist Ivan Resendiz notes, "Artists can support the civic process in a unique way, with our creative gifts. If my music inspires voters, that would be a great honor, especially as I am an immigrant who cannot vote in this country. I value the opportunity to vote all the more for others and hope no one sacrifices that right."

Performances will kick off on Friday October 30th at noon outside the Chicago Loop Super Site by tenor Martin Luther Clark, a 2020/21 Ensemble member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and at 1 pm a jazz trio in Bronzeville featuring long-time Chicago jazz artists Margaret Murphy Webb, Curtis Robinson, and Josh Ramos. Election Day performances will take place at 8 am and noon in Carbondale, Chicago, Evanston, and Rockford. If you're an artist who wants to add a performance at your own polling place, visit artsalliance.org website for best practices and social media assets to join in offering your talents. The public can follow along with these polling performances by searching the hashtags #SpreadCivicLove and #LiftEveryVote on election day.


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