Chicago Symphony Orchestra Judson and Joyce Green, Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma to present at Arts Alliance Illinois’ Inaugural Benefit Luncheon Friday, May 17


Luncheon also honors former Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin as “Citizen Advocate”


CHICAGO, IL  – Arts Alliance Illinois will host its inaugural benefit luncheon, “Voices of a Creative State,” Friday, May 17, 2013 at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. The luncheon will feature a presentation and performance by world-renowned cellist and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Yo-Yo Ma about the powerful role that the arts can and should play in the civic life of Illinois.
The event will also feature the presentation of Arts Alliance Illinois’ first “Citizen Advocate” Award, in recognition of an individual whose vision and civic leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts. Arts Alliance Illinois, the state’s leading arts advocacy organization, is proud to honor Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (ret.) with this award at its first annual luncheon.
“Voices of a Creative State” will gather Illinois’ creative, corporate, and civic leaders to celebrate the strength and diversity of our state’s cultural sector at what will become Arts Alliance Illinois’ signature fundraising event. The luncheon, for which Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Joan W. Harris will serve as honorary chairs with Pamela Crutchfield and Kassie Davis serving as event co-chairs, will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a brief networking reception followed by the luncheon at noon.
“Arts Alliance Illinois is a wonderful organization and an important part of Chicago’s thriving arts sector,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Their work continues to be integral in creating opportunities and visibility for arts organizations and new initiatives, and it is a driver of our Cultural Plan’s goal to firmly establish Chicago as an unparalleled global destination for creativity and excellence in the arts.”
He is a strong advocate for educational programs that not only bring young audiences in contact with music but also allow them to participate in its creation. Yo-Yo Ma delivered this year’s Nancy Hanks Lecture on the Arts and Public Policy as part of National Arts Advocacy Day on April 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“How exciting to have Yo-Yo Ma, one of the great classical musicians of our generation and one of the most active and articulate arts advocates in our country, as the keynote speaker at this special event celebrating the strength and diversity of the arts in Illiniois,” said David Hawkanson, Arts Alliance Illinois board chair and executive director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

An avid advocate for the arts and arts education, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will speak about the responsibility of artists and arts organizations to connect with their communities and engage as active citizens in our democracy.

Voices of a Creative State will become the signature fundraising event of Arts Alliance Illinois. Proceeds from the event will help Arts Alliance Illinois promote widespread support for the arts throughout the state. Some of the programs that will benefit from the luncheon include advocacy campaigns such as “Make Art Work,” which promotes the impact of the arts on jobs, the economy and community vitality in Illinois as well as arts education initiatives such as the “Arts & Education Exchange,” which is a free, online service that connects educators with arts providers to give students an opportunity for expression and self-discovery through creative outlets. 
About Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma was appointed the Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in December 2009, and his consultancy was renewed through the end of the 2014-15 season in January 2012. Ma is currently fulfilling his second term in this role by providing musical leadership and guidance for the CSOA’s Institute for Learning, Access and Training and the CSO’s Citizen Musician initiative, which encourages musicians and music lovers to sustain and expand the role of music in civic and cultural life by creating and enhancing communities through music.
In 1998, he established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route. In the 2006-07 season, partnering with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the City of Chicago, the Project presented Silk Road Chicago, a citywide exploration of the artistic legacy of the Silk Road. In 2009-10, the Silk Road Project introduced, Silk Road Connect, a multidisciplinary educational initiative for New York City middle-school students.

About Fay Hartog- Levin

Fay Hartog-Levin, an accomplished attorney and the 65th United States Ambassador to the Netherlands, will receive Arts Alliance Illinois’ first “Citizen Advocate” Award for her demonstrated dedication to the vital place for the arts in civic life and policy. A strong advocate for the arts, Hartog-Levin served on Arts Alliance Illinois’ Board of Directors 1997-2009, and as its Chairman 2006-2008. In addition to her term as Ambassador and many other appointments, Hartog-Levin’s commitment to culture and community is evident in her current role as Senior Advisor to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Ticket, Table and Sponsorship Information
Sponsorship packages for tables of 10 guests begin at the $3,500 level. Individual tickets are $350 and $150. Reservations are strictly limited.  For information or to purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, visit or call 312.855.3105 x12.

About Arts Alliance Illinois

Arts Alliance Illinois is the state’s leading voice for the arts and arts education, uniquely combining advocacy, service, and information to advance a creative and culturally vibrant state.