Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Governor JB Pritzker to announce the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, providing financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund is a partnership between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community. Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts Work Fund.
Grant applications for all Illinois artists, artisans and cultural organizations open today. Individual artists and artisans - including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers - experiencing an urgent need will be able to apply for one-time grants of $1,500 distributed by 3Arts. Grants will be awarded through a lottery system and will be disseminated quickly. Additionally, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations of any size will be able to apply for relief through the Arts Work Fund. Based on their demonstrated financial need, organizations will be awarded grants from $6,000 - $30,000. Artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19 are urged to apply for grants through
To date, more than $4M has been committed from public and private sources to seed an upcoming statewide campaign that will provide additional funding to meet the growing and critical needs of the state's creative sector. Fundraising activities will be co-chaired by First Lady MK Pritzker and First Lady Amy Eshleman, with support from other civic leaders. Individuals, corporations and charitable foundations are encouraged to donate to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund by visiting
Arts for Illinois also launched an online platform that features talented artists - performers, singers, poets, painters, writers and other creatives from across Illinois - who have generously made their works available for the public's enjoyment while at home during these challenging times. Visit
to explore a wide-range of art experiences, as well as learn more about the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. Share your art using #ArtsforIllinois.
The Illinois Arts Council Agency understands the connectivity of community, art, culture and health in our cities and towns big and small. We are also acutely aware that the current health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) present unique challenges that impact the arts and cultural sector. Please know that the IACA board and staff are committed in supporting and staying connected to all of you and our Illinois communities.
The agency continues to work on federal and state levels and with new partnerships such as the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. The passage of the new COVID-19 economic rescue bill secured $75 million in relief funding to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts. It also expands assistance to small businesses (including nonprofits) and temporarily extends federal unemployment benefits to part-time, self-employed and "gig economy" workers, all of which will be helpful to the arts industry. As additional details emerge, including information related to the Endowment funds, we will be sure to share them with you.
We are inspired by the work that you are doing to sustain the arts in your communities. Thank you for the inspiration, solace and resiliency you provide!
The IACA acknowledges ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Arts.