To the editors:

MoMing Dance & Arts Center has an impact far beyond the Lakeview neighborhood, although Peter Tumbelston modestly did not bring this up in the neighborhood news (or the reporter did not report it) [August 31].

MoMing is a presenting rather than producing organization. That is, they bring in existing outside ensembles to present programs, rather than maintaining their own resident ensemble. This helps to create audiences for dance, music, and visual arts citywide. When The Oriana Singers presented a single piece for each of two programs there in 1988, nearly 200 new patrons heard us. Of these, at least a dozen have been identified who began coming to our concerts in other parts of the city. The ensemble also received two invitations to perform for other series, and developed a unique and ongoing relationship with the dance community. Our audience increased by several hundred people as a direct result of that one song. Multiply that by the dozens of programs MoMing presents annually and you begin to have some idea of their importance. People trust MoMing’s imprimatur. A gig at MoMing is a valuable public relations tool for any artist.

As an artist, a consumer, an arts manager, and a voter (listen up, City Hall) I am appalled that the City of Chicago cannot come up at a minimum with $50,000 to save MoMing. Your article contained not a whisper about what, if anything, City Hall thought about MoMing’s difficulties. It is time for the city government to wake up to the importance of the arts and put some cash on the line to support it.

Alexandra Nelson

Executive Director

The Oriana Singers