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NEA donates more than $1.6 million to arts projects in Illinois

On Wednesday, the National Endowment for the Arts announced grants nationwide for arts projects, including nearly $1.6 million in grants to 66 projects in Illinois.

Grants include art projects, research awards, literary fellowships, and Challenge America grants aimed at reaching historically underserved communities.

“NEA is pleased to announce these grants, all of which strengthen our nation’s arts sector in different ways,” said NEA President Maria Rosario Jackson. “Whether it is the creation of new art, opportunities for the public to participate and engage with the arts, or working to better understand the impact of the arts, these grants contribute to the well-being of individuals and communities and help meet arts challenges. We will build a future where all people can live artistic lives and reach their full potential.”

The 66 Illinois NEA grants are:

Aurora University: $10,000 to support multimedia exhibition. (Aurora)

City of Aurora: $20,000 to support a public art installation along the Fox River Trail. (Aurora)

Gabriel Gudding: $20,000 to support the Norwegian translation of Gunnar Wærness’s multi-genre collection “To Write Is To Ask Too Much.” (Bloomington)

3Arts Inc.: $20,000 to support accommodations and related events for artists with disabilities. (Chicago)

About Face Theater Collective: $10,000 to support Roger Q Mason’s production of “Lavender Men.” (Chicago)

American Blues Theatre: $10,000 to support Audrey Cefaly’s production of “The Last Wide Open.” (Chicago)

Association of Architectural Organizations: $20,000 to support a series of Design Matters Conferences. (Chicago)

Black Ensemble Theatre: $15,000 to support the Black Playwrights Festival. (Chicago)

Blair Thomas & Company (aka Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival): $30,000 to support Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival staff salaries and artist fees. (Chicago)

Cedille Chicago (aka Cedille Records): $20,000 to support the recording of flute duo Flutronix and the Chicago Sinfonietta. (Chicago)

Cerqua Rivera Arts Experience (aka Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre): $10,000 to support the creation and production of a new work by choreographer Shannon Alvis and composer Joe Cerqua. (Chicago)

Chicago Architecture Foundation (aka Chicago Architecture Center): $30,000 to support the Open House Chicago event. (Chicago)

Chicago Civic Theater Company (aka Joel Hall Dancers and Center): $40,000 to support performances and programs celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Joel Hall Dancers and Center. (Chicago)

Chicago Dancemakers Forum: $30,000 to support choreographic residency program. (Chicago)

Chicago International Film Festival: $35,000 to support the Chicago International Film Festival. (Chicago)

Chicago Mobile Makers: $25,000 to support design workshops for middle school and high school youth. (Chicago)

Chicago Philharmonic Society: $15,000 to support an orchestra concert. (Chicago)

Conductor Mei-Ann Chen bows after performing with members of the Chicago Sinfonietta during the MLK Tribute Concert at Symphony Center in Chicago on January 20, 2020.  Chicago Sinfonietta is a 2024 NEA grant recipient.

Chicago Sinfonietta: $15,000 to support an orchestral concert at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. (Chicago)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: $35,000 to support musician fees for presentation of orchestral works. (Chicago)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra (on behalf of the Chicago Civic Orchestra): $40,000 to support salaries for the Chicago Civic Orchestra’s pre-professional musicians. (Chicago)

Chicago Theater Group (aka Goodman Theatre): $40,000 to support Goodman Theatre’s production of Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad.” (Chicago)

Chicago Underground: $15,000 to support the Chicago Underground Film Festival. (Chicago)

CircEsteem: $30,000 to support circus arts programs for youth. (Chicago)

Classical Music Chicago: $20,000 to support Dame Myra Hess Concerts, Rush Hour Concerts, and Welfare and Rejuvenation Concerts. (Chicago)

Columbia College Chicago: $80,000 to support a pilot study examining whether participating in dance can reduce loneliness in older adults and improve their quality of life. (Chicago)

Columbia College Chicago (on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary Photography): $30,000 to support Regina Agu’s exhibition. (Chicago)

Music Across Boundaries Collective: $15,000 to support a monthly chamber music concert series at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Chicago)

Kevin Dunn: $20,000 to support the translation from Spanish of Cuban author Elaine Vilar Madruga’s novel “The Tyranny of the Flies.” (Chicago)

Eighth Blackbird Performing Arts Association: $15,000 to support the commission and premiere of composer Jonathan Bailey Holland’s new chamber work. (Chicago)

Facets Multimedia Incorporated: $20,000 to support the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and related festival programs. (Chicago)

Free Spirit Media: $35,000 to support media arts training programs and creative workforce development program for youth and emerging artists on Chicago’s West Side. (Chicago)

Full Spectrum Features: $30,000 to support a national touring program called “Our Right to Eye: Black Film Identities” featuring short films by emerging artists. (Chicago)

Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance: $10,000 to support Music Under Glass, a free community performance series for all ages at the Conservatory. (Chicago)

Haymarket Opera Company: $30,000 to support a fully staged period production of Artaserse by composer Leonardo Vinci and librettist Pietro Metastasio. (Chicago)

Hyde Park Arts Center: $25,000 to support exhibitions, residencies, and professional development opportunities for Chicago artists. (Chicago)

Hyde Park Jazz Festival: $20,000 to support the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. (Chicago)

Ingenuity Incorporated Chicago: $50,000 to support ongoing collective impact initiative in Chicago Public Schools. (Chicago)

Joffrey Ballet: $20,000 to support commissioning of new works by emerging choreographers as part of the Winning Works Competition. (Chicago)

Kartemquin Educational Films: $35,000 to support KTQ Collaborative, an artistic and professional development program for independent filmmakers in the Midwest. (Chicago)

Ali Kinsella: $20,000 to support the Ukrainian translation of Halyna Kruk’s poetry collection “Lost in Living.” (Chicago)

Chicago Korean Performing Arts Institute: $18,000 to support the Annual Chicago Drum Festival. (Chicago)

Live the Spirit Residency: $15,000 to support the Annual Englewood Jazz Festival. (Chicago)

Loyola University Chicago: $35,000 to support the commission and planning of composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s new choral work in celebration of Earth Day 2025. (Chicago)

Lyric Opera of Chicago: $25,000 to support artist development programs at the Ryan Opera Center. (Chicago)

Midnight Circus member Samantha Rae Jenkins performs on a strap-on ring at Humboldt Park in Chicago on October 1, 2022.  Midnight Circus is a 2024 NEA grant recipient.

Midnight Circus in the Parks: $20,000 to support the creation and presentation of circus arts. (Chicago)

Pegasus Theater Chicago: $30,000 to support the Young Playwrights Festival. (Chicago)

Rivendell Theater Company: $15,000 to support the development of a play created with community members and written by Tonika Lewis. (Chicago)

Skyart: $25,000 to support free in-person and online studio art-making classes for Chicago youth. (Chicago)

Snow City Arts Foundation: $35,000 to support arts education programs for children and youth in hospitals. (Chicago)

Sones de Mexico Ensemble: $30,000 to support a performance tour featuring traditional Mexican music. (Chicago)

South Asia Institute: $10,000 to support an artist residency program that includes the presentation of Pakistani music. (Chicago)

Steppenwolf Theater Company: $40,000 to support the world premiere production and tour of Matthew Paul Olmos’s “A Home What Howls.” (Chicago)

Storycatchers Theatre: $50,000 to support a post-release performing arts jobs program for court-involved youth. (Chicago)

Teatro Vista: Theater with a View: $15,000 to support the development of a work highlighting Latin American pop art artists. (Chicago)

District: $25,000 to support a design skills training program for Chicago youth. (Chicago)

Third Coast Percussion members David Skidmore and Peter Martin perform with street dance crew Movement Art at the Harris Theater in Chicago on May 2, 2023.  Third Coast Percussion is a 2024 NEA grantee.

Third Coast Percussion: $23,000 to support Currents, a performance project. (Chicago)

TimeLine Theater Company: $30,000 to support the world premiere production of Dolores Díaz’s “Black Sunday.” (Chicago)

Uniting Voices (aka Chicago Children’s Chorus): $35,000 to support conductor and choreographer fees for the Neighborhood Choir Program and Dimension troupe, which provides choral music training to youth. (Chicago)

West Point Scholarship: $20,000 to support the commission and the public performance of the Epic Steel Orchestra, a professional steel drum ensemble. (Chicago)

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City of Evanston: $50,000 to support a grant program for arts organizations in Evanston. (Evanston)

Piven Theater Workshop: $15,000 to support the Piven Empowerment Through Enrichment Program, a theater workshop that challenges artists with developmental disabilities to create process-based theater. (Evanston)

Maywood Fine Arts Association: $10,000 to support the production of the classical ballet “La Fille Mal Gardée.” (Maywood)

Illinois State University (on behalf of Obsidian): $25,000 to support the publication and promotion of the book “Obsidian: Literature and Art in the African Diaspora.” (Normal)

Princeton Theater Group (aka Festival 56): $10,000 to support Festival 56’s Shakespeare in the Park performances in rural communities. (Prenston)

Village of Richmond: $10,000 to support the creation of murals in downtown Richmond. (Richmond)

Chicago Korean Cultural Center: $30,000 to support an exhibition of contemporary Korean ceramics. (Rotation)

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