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Study: most Illinois Arts workers have inadequate retirement resources.

A new study by the Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation raises troubling questions about the adequacy of arts workers' retirement benefits.

"Fewer than half of full-time arts organization employees have access to a retirement fund," the IAAF said in a press release. "Of those, only 22 percent of organizations contribute to their employees' retirement plans."

Put another way, only 10 percent of Illinois arts leaders receive employer retirement contributions to their retirement savings, IAFF stated in the release.

IAAF, a statewide nonprofit arts and advocacy group, commissioned the study, funded by the Chicago Community Trust. Diane Grams, associate director of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago, conducted the study.

"This research is very important for the arts in Illinois," Grams said in a written statement. "It is also relevant nationally and can be applied to other nonprofit fields."

The study focused on executive directors at arts organizations in Illinois.

Lisa May Simpson, program director at IAAE said the study examined responses from 153 arts organizations. It was a representative sample of arts organizations in Illinois, she said.

The latest report resulted from a 2002 IAAF study that showed 70 percent of arts leaders plan to leave their posts within the next five years.

Alene Valkanas, executive director of IAAE stated: "Benefits like retirement plans are what makes it possible for talented leaders to stay in the field. When we don't care for our leaders, those leaders are often forced to leave the nonprofit arts entirely. This is a leadership succession issue as much as it is a financial issue."
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Title Annotation:Special Report
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:261
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