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General Operating Support and Youth Employment in the Arts

General Information

General Operating Support (GOS) Grants are offered to established not-for-profit organizations that provide arts programming to their defined communities in a manner that supports the mission of the organization. Successful applicants demonstrate ongoing arts programs, strong operations, stable management, and a strong commitment to making artistic programs accessible and relevant to a diverse range of participants.

The Youth Employment in the Arts (YEA) Grants provide up to $4,500 to General Operating Support recipients to support youth employment opportunities in their organization through the year. Youth Employees may be between the ages of 14 to 22. Organizations may request funds for up to 4 Youth Employees. Duties may be administrative or artistic in nature, or a combination of both.

A single application process is utilized for both GOS and YEA and applicants will indicate if they wish to be considered for YEA. Full GOS applications are submitted every three years. Interim years will require an abbreviated continuing application. Full application years are determined by region. New applicants may apply any year once they meet eligibility requirements.  

Sign up here to be notified when this grant application opens. 

Eligibility Requirements

The Illinois Arts Council provides public funding to not-for-profit, tax exempt (501c3) organizations, units of government, and institutions of higher education. Applicants must include proof of eligibility at the time of application. 

Organizational applicants must serve as one the following:

  • A registered Not-For-Profit Organization in good standing with the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
  • Branch of Government (e.g., Municipal, County, Libraries, Park Districts, etc.)
  • Charitable Trust 
  • Institutions of higher education and Religious Organizations  
  • PTOs, PTAs and other School Affiliate Organizations

Organizational applicants must:

  • Have a valid FEIN and UEI number
  • Be pre-qualified in the state’s GATA system
  • Apply utilizing a Salesforce account registered to the organizational applicant.


How do I request a specific grant amount?

GOS: Applicants do not request a specific grant amount. Awards are determined by a funding formula.

YEA: Complete the budget form included with the YEA application questions to request up to $4,500. 

When can I get my money?

IAC does not issue checks directly. IAC vouchers payment authorizations through the state comptroller’s office. Grantees may check the state comptroller’s website for updates on their grant payments. Additionally, if an applicant has received a payment from the state within the past 12 months, they may call the state comptroller at (217) 557-0930 to request direct deposit. 

I did not submit my application on time, can I still apply?

IAC is unable to accept late application submissions. 

How much should the organization pay the Youth Employees?

At minimum the stipend offered must meet Illinois minimum wage and grant recipients must comply with Illinois state employment laws.