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Supporting the Illinois Arts Sector for 60 Years

Welcome to the New Illinois Arts Council!

The Illinois Arts Council (IAC) is pleased to announce bold new changes to enhance equal access to public arts funding throughout the state. The IAC will better align public resources to communities across Illinois by restructuring and revamping all IAC grant opportunities as well as updates to our policies and procedures.

  • The IAC divided the state into six distinct regions allowing Program Directors to oversee entire communities as opposed to artistic disciplines. This establishes a more direct relationship with rural and under-resourced communities and strengthens re-granting partnerships. The newly created six regions will allow for more equitable funding across Illinois’ communities. The Chicago Metro Region will also be further divided into subregions to better serve distinct communities within our largest urban setting.
  • In FY25, the General Operating Support grant, which serves organizations and communities, will become a 3-year grant cycle. This multi-year simplified application and final report will only include information necessary to determine feasibility and organizational health. The new guidelines and application will be announced shortly.
  • A cash match will no longer be required for applicants to ease the burden on small and emerging organizations.
  • The IAC funding formula will be updated ensuring an equitable regional distribution of funds, as well as priority given to historically under-resourced communities.
  • An updated Youth Employment in the Arts grant will fund organizations beyond the current summer internship for individuals from ages 14-22. The application for this grant will be integrated into the FY25 GOS application.
  • In FY25, the IAC will also launch a new grant for individual artists called the Creative Accelerator Fund. Rather than restrict resources to the production of a specific project, this grant will provide holistic support to Illinois artists. A primary goal of the grant is to bolster a creative workforce that composes a significant portion of Illinois’ creative and economic activity.
  • IAC established a communication department in the agency with a focus on a refreshed brand, website, and strategy to reach artists, organizations, and community stakeholders, expanding virtual and statewide in-person grant writing workshops and informational sessions.
  • IAC began partnering with other state and federal agencies to provide access to additional granting opportunities and resources for the creative sector. The Illinois Creative Collaborative will continue to expand its work with state and federal agencies in the years ahead.
  • The IAC held a series of webinars in February outlining all the upcoming improvements. Follow this LINK for recording of the webinar.  

Read the full press release HERE.

We Listened.

We Learned.

Arts Impact in Illinois


of our state's gross domestic product was contributed by arts and culture in 2022 - Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Dept of Commerce


Illinois jobs were in arts and culture (2022)
Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce


grants totaling $825,000 were directed to Illinois school districts in developing arts and foreign language curricula in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (FY2023)


in revenues to state and local government are delivered by Illinois arts nonprofits in 2022 - Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6)


local arts councils partnered with IAC through its Local Arts Network to support statewide arts programming (FY2024)


of all legislative districts throughout Illinois receive free access to local and regional news, public affairs and arts programming through IAC support for Illinois Public Radio and Television (FY2023)

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