URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A University of Illinois student group lost half their yearly budget dedicated to putting on musicals. Now they’re asking for the community’s help to make up for what they lost, so they can keep doing what they love.
“Obviously, we just want to put on the best show for our members and we just, you know, would love and need the support,” said Aidan Gardner, Illini Student Musicals Vice President.
Each year the Illini Student Musical group relies on $10,000 given by the school to put on two shows. But this year, they’re expected to give theatre-level performances with half the money.
“Everything is completely done by students, so we have to find resources to get to build the sets, to costume all of the actors,” said Michael Szczepaniak, Community Outreach Coordinator. “Those are all things that require money to be spent, unfortunately.”
Gardner said it’s because there’s less Student Organization Resource Fee, or SORF, funding to go around. Now, there are more student organizations needing money as well.
“It goes towards, obviously, rights for our shows. It goes towards rental equipment for our shows, costumes, scenic, anything like that, just to make our shows the best it can be,” Szczepaniak said.
Szczepaniak said help from the student body and audience is one way to get around it, like with virtual bingo cards where people can fill in squares with digital donations.
“That was super helpful. Everyone was so willing to come together and just help us make back some of that money that we lost,” Szczepaniak said.
They said it will take about double what they’re allotted for the year to put on just one show. They hope people coming to see the show can show a little extra support.
“Come see The Prom at Lincoln Hall Theater from Nov. 2 through 4,” Szczepaniak said. “All of that money from the tickets also goes right back into the organization for our next show. So, any of that is also super helpful for us.”