State of Illinois launches emergency fund for out-of-work artists

Posted on: April 3, 2020

“In an attempt to boost the battered arts and cultural communities in the Land of Lincoln, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago will join with philanthropies to create a new emergency fund,” writes Chris Jones in Tuesday’s (3/31) Chicago Tribune. “Dubbed Arts for Illinois, the fast-tracked initiative will be seeded with at least $4.5 million in unrestricted support for artists and artisans, many of whom now find themselves out of work. It will also support nonprofit cultural organizations across the state…. Gov. J.B. Pritzker [has] extended his stay-at-home order through April 30…. Arts for Illinois will, in essence, have two administrators. The Illinois Arts Alliance, a statewide advocacy group, will manage the funds for nonprofit organizations … with the Chicago-based 3Arts group administering funds for individual artists.… ‘The intent,’ Pritzker said, ‘is to help artists who are sole proprietors of their own businesses and often forgotten in terms of other benefits.’ … The city and state jointly created a new one-stop website, [with] free rotating cultural content from multiple Illinois providers…. The intent is to create a high-profile fund that will attract significant additional donations from other entities.”