About the IACA

About the Illinois Arts Council Agency

The Illinois Arts Council Agency  was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon.  The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council Agency are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.


To build a strong, creative, and connected Illinois through the arts.

What We Do

The Illinois Arts Council Agency serves the people of Illinois through a variety of grants and services, primarily geared to: 

  • Support Illinois' Arts Sector: Operating and technical support provided to organizations and programs statewide helps keep Illinois’ arts sector vital, vibrant, and accessible to all.
  • Advance Arts Education: The arts can be a part of the education of every single child in this state through the programs, services, partnerships, and collaborations of the Illinois Arts Council Agency. 
  • Foster Creativity and Working Artists: Resources, opportunities, and direct support for the work of individual artists -- the foundation of Illinois' creative environment.

It is illegal for the Illinois Arts Council Agency or anyone receiving assistance from the Illinois Arts Council Agency to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, non-binary and gender non-conforming employees, sexual harassment, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, beliefs, age, order of protection status, any other non-merit status, marital or parental status, pregnancy, arrest record, military status, veterans status or unfavorable discharge from military service. Any individual who has been subject to such discrimination may file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights at +1 (312) 814-6200 or TTY +1 (312) 263-1570.

Contact Information