Burton E. Dikelsky Memorial Access to Arts Fund


The Burt Dikelsky Access to the Arts Fund expands arts access to students and families in the Chicago Southland by overcoming informational, transportation, social and economic barriers. Including funding for summer camp scholarships.

Burt's career reflected his passion for theater and the performing arts. After teaching speech and drama at Naperville Central and Naperville North High Schools from 1968 to 1979, Burt worked as a theater administrator for the Albuquerque Little Theater, Barn Dinner Theater (Albuquerque), Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association (now Musical Theater Southwest), Paramount Arts Center/Aurora Civic Center Authority Theater Complex (Aurora, IL) and the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (GSU), where he served as executive director from 1997 until he retired in 2011.

Burt tirelessly promoted arts in education, ensuring that local schoolchildren had access to programs that were relevant to their lives and supportive of their learning and development. At GSU and post-retirement, at Rialto Square Theatre (Joliet), he enjoyed welcoming students from the Chicago Southland to attend live performances. Ever a teacher, Burt was also a generous mentor and supportive colleague to many professionals in the arts community.

Burt was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. As a teenager, he worked as a concessions vendor at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. He enjoyed traveling and was a model train enthusiast. Burt's one-of-a-kind perspectives and enduring warmth and wisdom were blessings to those who knew him.

Help keep Burt's passion for the Arts alive and help us share the joy of live performances with youth who might not otherwise get the chance to discover it.

Vision of the Dikelsky Access to Arts Fund

The vision of the Burton E. Dikelsky Memorial Access to Arts Fund is to expand arts access to students and their families in the Chicago Southland by helping them overcome informational, transportation, social, and economic barriers, among others through: 

  • Accessibility support for student audiences and those with varied abilities, including sign language interpreters for student programming and transportation subsidies for schools and groups.   
  • Summer Camp Scholarships and ticket subsidies to help remove/reduce financial barriers for students to engage with the arts.    
  • Programming: (artist fees support) designed to bring diverse artists and companies to our community who bring relevant and powerful information to educate youth and activate compassion/cultivate an informed empathy with suffering of all human beings. 
  • Artistic Literacy: FREE engagement activities for educators, students, and their families to help them create personal, meaningful and authentic arts encounters. 

Priority will be given to programs that increase arts engagement and access among diverse student audiences (Pre-K to 12 grade), especially for underserved and/or economically disadvantaged participants. 

To send a contribution via mail, please make checks payable to GSU Foundation – CPA Dikelsky Fund and address to:  

Governors State University
Center for Performing Arts C/O GSU Foundation
1 University Parkway
University Park, IL 60484 

To support the Center for Performing Arts via sponsorship, estate giving, or recurring donations contact lesolato@govst.edu 

Donate to the Burt Dikelsky fund today!

Donation Questions:
Email us at engage@govst.edu or Call us at +1.708.235.7510