CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois artists and cultural organizations hurt by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for grants under a new relief program organized by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. JB Pritzker, and a number of charitable organizations.
The “Arts for Illinois Relief Fund” has raised $4 million so far from public and private sources to provide funding for the state’s creative community.
Individual artists – including stage production members, and part-time cultural workers – can apply for one-time grants of $1,500. The grants will be distributed on a lottery basis by non-profit cultural organization 3Arts.
Non-profit arts and cultural groups of any size can apply for grants of $3,000 to $60,000, based on their financial need.
“The arts and cultural community is deeply embedded in the fabric of Chicago. Our cultural institutions – from the one-room artist studio to the 1,500-seat theater – employ artists, back office staff, ushers, curators, ticket takers and others. Many artists supplement their work by providing arts education in our schools. All of these individuals contribute to the City’s vibrant arts and cultural sector, which has been temporarily halted,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
Artists and groups seeking grants can apply online at artsforillinois.org, a site which will also feature free content from artists across the state; including performers, singers, poets, painters, writers, dance companies, theater troupes, and museums.
“The arts and cultural community have proven that despite devastation caused by COVID19, we can all come together to support each other and provide Illinoisans this incredible resource to experience so many different forms of art while at home,” said Governor JB Pritzker and First Lady MK Pritzker.
A survey by Arts Alliance Illinois has estimated artistic and cultural organizations will lose more than $84 million in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The closure of all non-essential businesses in Illinois has led to the cancellation of 24,124 individual events or performances, and the loss of 3,563 full-time jobs and 13,144 part-time jobs, the survey found.
Illinois’ first lady, MK Pritzker, will co-chair the fundraising activities for the artistic relief effort.
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has contributed $1 million to the relief fund. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Walder Foundation; Exelon; the State of Illinois; and other individuals, corporations, and charitable groups also have donated to the effort.