Our Voice Through Art, a local program providing art classes for teens and adults with disabilities, will now be offered through MRI.
Our Voice Through Art began when Jarrett Sekosky, who is on the Autism spectrum and has very little verbal communication, discovered he was able to express himself through art. Since then, Jarrett, his family and his supporters have been working hard to share this connection with other individuals with disabilities in the community. Our Voice Through Art offers multiple six-week sessions per year, with the next session starting February 7. Each session is led by Argenta-Orena art teacher Jodi England with her assistant Terri Ellis and varying guest artists. Each week, the class focuses on a different form of art ranging from drawing to sculpting and more!
Follow Our Voice Through Art on Facebook to stay connected with what we’re doing. For more information or to register for the upcoming session call MRI at 217-875-8850 or email MBilbrey@maconresources.org.
House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have sent the governor a budget that contains a nearly $4 billion shortfall. This is the 12th year in a row that the two leaders have passed an unbalanced budget. It is likely that only the most vulnerable of Illinois citizens will suffer in this annual legislative arm wrestling match. MRI has absorbed a 2.25% cut in funding this year and faces further cuts beginning July 1st including loss of all state funding of the Kid’s Connection and respite programs. This will amount to a $250,000 funding cut.
We have written our local Legislators and Governor. Only the Governor’s office has replied. It would seem now is a good time to fix the problems in Illinois government. They could enact severe cuts, raise taxes or do a little bit of both. What we can do is continue to call their offices and pray the General Assembly will come to their senses.
MRI will continue Kid’s Connection and group based respite on a fee basis. There will be no in home respite services. This will begin on July 1, 2015. I received a memo today from the Department of Human Services advising that some agencies would receive contracts for next year and some would not. Either way the funding will stop until our “leaders” come to agreement.
Dreux Lewandowski, MRI Executive Director
(originally published June 23, 2015)