For Immediate Release: Dec. 7, 2015


Board of Directors Launches Nationwide Search for Organization’s New

Ra Joy Headshot

CHICAGO –The Board of Directors of Arts Alliance Illinois today announced
that Ra Joy, who has served as the organization’s executive director since 2007,
will step down in January 2016. The Board will undertake a nationwide search
to find a qualified individual to take over leadership of the nonprofit arts
advocacy and service organization.

Joy will become the executive director of CHANGE Illinois (Coalition for Honest
and New Government Ethics), a statewide public policy and political reform

“We are grateful to Ra for the many contributions he has made toward elevating
the arts and arts education in Illinois,” said Kassie Davis, Chair of the Arts
Alliance Illinois Board of Directors. “His accomplishments leading the Alliance
have been immense, and indeed have laid a strong foundation from which our
organization can become an even more powerful advocate for the arts and
creative expression in our state. While we are sorry to see him depart the
Alliance, we know that we will continue to work with Ra in his new role, as our
mission and the mission of CHANGE Illinois are sympathetic.”

During his tenure as Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois, Joy ushered in a
new era of transformational growth for the state’s most important arts advocacy
coalition. Under his leadership, the Alliance forged new partnerships with public
agencies and officials and launched statewide and citywide initiatives to
strengthen the role of the arts in people’s lives, schools, and communities. Joy’s
advocacy was instrumental in the development of the City of Chicago’s cultural
plan in 2012 and the Illinois State Board of Education’s recent efforts to update
and modernize the Illinois Learning Standards for Fine Arts.

“It has been an incredible privilege for me to work with passionate people who
invest in making Illinois an even better place to live, work and celebrate artistic
expression,” said Joy. “In my new role at CHANGE, I am excited about building
on these relationships and collaborating with artists, cultural leaders, and
creative activists to promote equity in our democracy and make government
more responsive to the people of Illinois.”

Arts Alliance Illinois will conduct a national search for a permanent
successor. An email has been established to accept inquiries about the search,
interest in the position and/or advancing names of individuals who may be


Incorporated in 1982, Arts Alliance Illinois is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts advocacy
and service organization promoting the value of the arts to all residents of
Illinois. With nearly 30,000 advocates and hundreds of member organizations,
the Alliance is the largest statewide arts advocacy network in the country and
the only organization in Illinois that represents artists and cultural organizations
across all disciplines, budget sizes, and geographic areas. Arts Alliance Illinois
works to amplify the collective voice of the arts sector through legislative and
grassroots action, close collaboration with policymakers and public agencies,
and a robust online and social media presence. The Alliance ensures that the
arts are central and indispensable to Illinois by empowering arts and culture
stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to be active
participants in the policymaking process and the civic life of their communities;
by proving data-driven evidence on the impact, assets, and needs of the arts
and creative industries in Illinois; and by connecting and supporting leaders
across multiple sectors around common goals and shared

Media Contact: Nick Harkin/Niki Morrison
Carol Fox and Associates