Grants & Programs

Illinois Arts Council Agency Grants

The intent of the Artist Fellowship Program is to enrich and strengthen the state of Illinois by supporting accomplished Illinois artists who are the foundation of Illinois' creative environment. The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career by providing awards to support continued artistic growth. 

A joint project of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant (AFL) is a multi-year program designed to assist school districts and other eligible applicants with the planning and implementation of new or enhanced curricular programs in the Arts or Foreign Language.

Arts Midwest’s Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund provides financial support to arts organizations for rebuilding and re-imagining creative engagement in their communities amidst the challenging uncertainty affecting all corners of the creative sector. Whether your organization is recovering, starting anew, or doing your best to hold steady, this flexible support opportunity will help you grow by investing in your capacity to gather your community to experience the power of creative expression together. Funds are intended for organizations to build their capacity by having multiple points of access to support presenting performing and visual artists of high artistic merit, virtually or in-person.

Artstour & Live Music provides support to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations seeking to present Illinois performing artists, companies, or groups for performances, collaborations, or short residencies held in conjunction with performances.  This program cannot be used to support events that are part of a regular series by organizations already receiving Program Grants in the discipline of Presenters.

(Regranting): The Community Arts Access program provides the opportunity for local arts agencies to distribute state funds in their own service areas according to their assessment of local needs.

The Ethnic and Folk Arts Master/Apprentice Program (MAP) acknowledges the role of the master artist and apprentice relationship in the preservation of the state’s cultural heritage. The practices, customs, stories, and skills that are passed from one generation to the next influence how we live, what we value, and our personal and collective identities. 

General Operating Support Grants are available for Illinois non-profit organizations that provide arts programming of high artistic merit in arts-education, dance, ethnic and folk arts, literature, media, multi-disciplinary, music, theater and visual arts. 

Grants to Arts Service Organizations (ASO) are available to not-for-profit arts service organizations in Illinois for quality programming that provides services to members of the arts community. Grants are available for general operating support.

The Individual Artist Support (IAS) program assists Illinois artists to realize a career goal, take advantage of a professional opportunity, or to produce and present an artistic project.

Literary Awards recognize Illinois writers and promote greater awareness of non-commercial publishing in the state. The award encourages Illinois not-for-profit literary magazines to publish and disseminate new work by living Illinois writers and poets. Awards are given to both the selected writers and to the magazines (print or web-based) that published their work.

Recognizing that Illinois is the home of creative arts institutions of regional and national significance; the Illinois Arts Council has implemented the Partners in Excellence Program (PIE).  The PIE Program provides general operating support to designated organizations of scale and significance in all regions of the state.

The Illinois Arts Council Agency’s (IACA) Rebuild Illinois Capital Grants are cultural capital funds included in the Illinois House Bill of 2019. IACA was granted spending authority for the funds in 2022.  37 predetermined cultural not-for-profit entities were specified by the Governor’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois to be funded. The funds are predetermined, line-item awards specified in House Bill 0900, Article 161 for permanent capital improvements.

The STARTS Program provides support of up to $4,500 to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations, schools, and school districts for short term residencies focused on hands-on learning experiences conducted by Illinois artists, companies, or ensembles.

Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYEA) program provides funds to eligible Illinois not-for-profit arts organizations to support summer employment opportunities for high school students.


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