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United Front

Dear Chicago Reader,

I'm perplexed by Deanna Isaacs's March 23 Culture Club column that is critical of United Airlines for underwriting Ravinia Festival's only annual fund-raiser, our Gala Benefit Evening. We feel that United Airlines, along with the other corporate leaders who support nonprofit cultural institutions in an era when that important work has been left largely to the private sector, should be commended for its inspirational understanding of the importance of the arts.

Ravinia Festival relies on corporate and private donations to keep its ticket prices low. The money our patrons pay for a ticket covers a little over half of what that ticket would really cost. In addition to helping make music available to diverse audiences through these low ticket prices, support from United Airlines helps Ravinia Festival's community outreach and educational programs extend far beyond the concert stage, bringing music programs into public schools where budget cutting has left a void.

We are proud of our association with United and feel they should be applauded, not criticized.

Sincerely,

Welz Kauffman

President and CEO

Ravinia Festival

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