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Emergency Grants for Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Organizations

Two new funds have been established to provide emergency grants for arts / humanities / cultural organizations; one of the funds will also distribute grants for artists, artisans, and employees of arts/cultural institutions. Both programs' applications are open now.

1. Arts for Illinois Relief Fund: The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. This includes all artists and artisans, including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers, and large to small arts organizations in all disciplines. Individuals are encouraged to apply for one-time grants of $1,500, which are awarded expediently and based on a lottery system. Arts organizations grants are likewise based on a combination of need and lost revenue from the crisis. Because of the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate more requests for funding than there are funds to distribute. Although there is no explicit deadline, it may be necessary to close the applications when the funds are expended. Should additional funding become available, the applications will reopen. Applicants who have applied before closure, but have not yet been considered, will not need to reapply should the applications reopen.

2. Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants: Illinois Humanities will provide $2,500 general operating grants to Illinois-based humanities and cultural nonprofits with annual budgets of $300,000 or less located outside the City of Chicago. Applications open April 3rd and staff will review requests on a rolling basis until this special $60,000 grant pool is fully committed.


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