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Get corporate sponsors for arts events

Greg Salustro and other members of Evanston's Arts Council proposed at the budget workshop Jan. 6 that the city should hire a full-time employee to seek corporate sponsorships for arts events in Evanston.

Greg Salustro and other members of Evanston's Arts Council proposed at the budget workshop Jan. 6 that the city should hire a full-time employee to seek corporate sponsorships for arts events in Evanston.

Mr. Salustro of 1120 Austin St. said that as vice president for development at WBEZ Radio he has experience with corporate underwriting work and that he's confident the city would attract much more revenue from sponsorships than hiring the employee would cost.

"Our arts programs reach a large, diverse and desirable demographic, and businesses are making commitments to the communities they serve," he said, "This would let the Arts Council's activites grow while becoming less dependent on city funds."

He said that budgeting a $30,000 base salary for the position, plus benefits and a 10 percent commission on sponsorships generated would let the city attract a qualified person for the position.

Leah Callaghan of the Arts Council said Naperville and Ann Arbor, Mich., have both shown "a proven track record of success" for their arts programs using this approach.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, welcomed the idea: "Any time a unit in the city tells me they can create a position that's going to generate money and result in their becoming less dependent on taxpayer dollars, I want to hear more about that."

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