CHAMPAIGN — The Ebert sculpture project has received another couple of boosts, this time from the Champaign Park District and its foundation.
The foundation gave $5,000 to the campaign to raise money for the bronze sculpture of the late critic and Urbana native Roger Ebert. The park district agreed to take over ownership of the sculpture and its maintenance and insurance.
Altogether, about $32,000 is now needed to complete the financing of the project. The life-sized sculpture of Ebert sitting on one of three theater seats is expected to be installed outside the Virginia Theatre before the 16th edition of Ebert's Film Festival, April 23-27.
Bloomington-Normal artist Rick Harney recently finished the sculpture; it is now being cast into bronze by an Illinois foundry.
The total budget of about $115,000 covers fundraising costs, dedication plaques, donor recognitions, payment to Harney and contingencies.
"So we're getting there but the finish line is fast approaching," said Scott Anderson, chair of fund-raising campaign.
Tax-deductible donations may be made to the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, 307 W. University Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 or online at ebertsculpture.org.