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I was happy to read of the planned expansion of the I Hotel; it’s a pleasure to see our businesses thriving in Champaign-Urbana.

To the investors, developers, architects and designers working on all of these building projects, I’d like to make a suggestion: Take a page from the “LODGIC” playbook.

Determined from the outset to fulfill their mission of integral benefit to their new community, their designers reached out immediately to local artists through our fantastic organization 40 North.

Chosen artists, including myself, were invited to create site-specific works, not only to hang on walls, but to become wallpaper murals, centerpieces, even the actual textiles used to curtain their windows.

We were treated as the professionals we are, with clear contracts, positive planning discussions and prompt, real money.

We were not an afterthought, rather, we enjoyed a line item right next to sinks and carpeting in their budget.

Please put real financial support behind the artists working to make your Friday nights “live” and your every days more vibrant.

Without support, we disappear into different jobs and to different cities. It’s good business to hire artists. When you invest in us, we, our families our friends and colleagues invest in you.