Voices of a Creative State 2015

On May 20, 2015, nearly 500 of Illinois' cultural, civic, and corporate leaders gathered at Arts Alliance Illinois' 3rd annual benefit luncheon to celebrate the arts, participating in an engaging dialogue on policy and the role of the arts and creativity in the civic life of Illinois.

2015 luncheon photos

The centerpiece of the luncheon was a presentation by University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer on the essential role of the arts in education and civic engagement. President Zimmer was introduced by renowned artist and UChicago Arts + Public Life Director Theaster Gates.

We also honored Martha Lavey and David Hawkanson with our “Citizen Advocate” award for their extraordinary contributions to the arts locally and nationally. Ben Cameron of New York’s Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (and formerly of the Theatre Communications Group) came to Chicago to introduce and celebrate Martha and David.

See more event photos on our facebook page and watch our featured video (below).



Premier Sponsors
Allstate logo Grosvenor logo
Benefit Sponsors
BMO Harris Bank logo Columbia College Chicago logo
Joyce Chelberg
Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.) and Daniel Levin
Helen Zell


Patron Sponsors
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Chicago Dancemakers Forum

Choose Chicago
Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies
Susan and Richard Kiphart
Bruce Sagan and Bette Cerf Hill
John Shea
Southwest Airlines
The Sun Times Foundation / The Chicago Community Trust
University of Chicago

Partner Sponsors
Greg Cameron and Greg Thompson
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo
Gabriella & Paul Rosenbaum Foundation
Goodman Theatre
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Irving Harris Foundation
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Sylvia Neil and Dan Fischel
Northern Trust
The Reva & David Logan Foundation
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Larry Suffredin

Media Sponsors
New City


Honorary Co-Chairs
Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

Benefit Co-Chairs
Greg Cameron and Greg Thompson
Cheryl Cooke
Nora Daley and Sean Conroy

Benefit Committee
Bill Brown
Joyce Chelberg
Melissa Cherry
Victoria Dinges
Ginger Farley
Joel Farran
Jackie and Michael Ferro
Patty Greene
Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.) and Daniel Levin
Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim
Susan and Richard Kiphart
Bruce Sagan and Bette Cerf Hill
Paul Sznewajs
Diane Whatton
Helen Zell

Event Planning Committee Co-Chairs
Brooke Flanagan
Julie Schmidt

Event Planning Committee
Greg Cameron
Janet Carl Smith
Kassie Davis
Peter Handler
Rena Henderson Mason
Jason Palmquist