Supporting the arts in DuPage

I’m constantly amazed by the sheer number of incredibly talented people in our communities. Our local artists and arts organizations make our villages more vibrant and more fun, and they also make a major contribution to our local economies.

So I was very pleased to invite Danielle Heal, Program Director for the Illinois Arts Council’s Northern Region, to come to our district and talk with local artists, non-profit arts organizations, community leaders, and village officials about upcoming grant opportunities from the State of Illinois.

The event, which I co-hosted with State Sen. Laura Ellman and State Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, was held at the Spring Avenue Recreation Center in Glen Ellyn yesterday afternoon. Ms. Heal gave an overview of the Illinois Arts Council’s wide range of grant opportunities, as well as their newly streamlined and simplified application process.

Earlier this year, the Council made sweeping changes in the ways it provides funding to support the arts in Illinois. These changes include:

  • Adoption of a regional model for grantmaking, to enable more equitable funding across the state’s communities.
  • Establishing a three-year grant cycle for the General Operating Support grant, which serves organizations and communities.
  • Ending the cash match requirement for applicants, to ease the burden on small and emerging organizations.
  • Updating the Youth Employment in the Arts program, which will fund organizations looking to provide paid internship opportunities for individuals from ages 14-22.

The Illinois Arts Council also is launching a new grant program for individual artists, called the Creative Accelerator Fund, to provide holistic support to Illinois artists and help to bolster the state’s creating workforce.

If you were unable to attend this session, you can find a list of online, drop-in, and in-person informational sessions on the IAC’s Workshops and Webinars page.

Please let me know if you need help in filling out a grant application for yourself or your organization. When our artists thrive, our communities thrive.

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