CAB fine arts seeks stable funds

By Tammy Sholer

The Campus Activities Board’s Fine Arts Committee needs to stabilize its funding before it can hire big-name acts and construct a fine arts facility.

“There is a need to improve cultural programming,” said Stan Madeja, dean for Visual and Performing Arts.

Currently, programming of fine arts for the campus is overseen by the Campus Activities Board, which is funded by student activity fees, said Arts Chairman Panda Kroll.

Two years ago the fine arts were under the Artist Series Board, composed of faculty members and students. Both the faculty members and the students voted on which programs to bring to the university. But, because there were more faculty than students, the SA froze the artist series budget.

According to SA bylaws, for SA-funded organizations, 50 percent plus one of the voting positions must be students. Programming ceased after the budget was frozen because there was no money to sponsor events.

In order to get the funds unfrozen, a compromise was reached that the committee would be made up of half students and half faculty, Kroll said. Since the transition from the Artist Series Board to the CAB, the fine arts committee has been composed of two-thirds students and the rest faculty members, she said.

Now that the committee has a budget of $68,000 for 1987-88 allotted from the CAB, they are looking for ways to increase their funds, Kroll said. Madeja said, “There is a great need for stability in funding.” The committee needs to have a larger base of financial support than just student fees, such as general revenue fees, grants or money accumulated from fund raisers, he said.

Also, an NIU president’s study committee was set up to “look at the total scope of cultural programming on campus,” Madeja said. One of the recommendations the president’s committee made was to find a way to give fine arts money that could be allotted in advance. Kroll said the committee needs to know if they will have money because big acts must be booked about two years in advance.

Besides trying to increase their funds, the committee wants to purchase a facility, Kroll said. The facility would be on or near campus and all fine arts programs could be performed there, she said.

owever, constucting a fine arts facility is not a high priority at this time because the university currently is planning on constructing a new engineering building, she said.

There still are two programs scheduled for this semester which students can attend including “A Chorus Line” on March 19 and the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble on April 9. Several programs performed in the fall semester were Wynton Marsalis, Joseph Holmes Dance Theater and the National Theatre for the Deaf.