3Arts Illinois Artists Relief Fund

The City of Chicago and State of Illinois’ creative community impacted by the coronavirus are now being urged to apply for financial assistance through a new $4 million fund.

The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund was announced today by Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker to provide financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.

One-time emergency grants for artists of $1,500 are available for individuals – and this includes “stage and production members and part-time cultural workers” – impacted by the lockdown Coronavirus or COVID-19. The categories include composers, conductors, instrumentalists and/or vocalists in any musical genre. Eligible individuals must be able to affirm each of the following statements:

  • Illinois is my home base and geographic focus.
  • I am legally eligible for employment in the U.S. (e.g. citizen, green card holder, and/or permanent resident who can provide a W9 and Social Security number).
  • I am a practicing artist capable of providing examples of creative work made within the last two years.
  • I am at least 18 years of age.
  • I am not currently enrolled in a degree program (e.g. Bachelor’s or Master’s; if pursuing a Ph.D., coursework must be completed).
  • I am experiencing financial loss and/or hardship due to the COVID–19 pandemic.
  • Working in one of the these disciplines

In addition, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations can apply for relief from the Arts Work Fund, which awards grants from $6,000 to $30,000 based on needs.

Artists, artisans and cultural organizations can apply now through artsforillinois.org.

$4 million has been committed to the Relief Fund from public and private sources, which will seed an “upcoming statewide campaign that will provide additional funding to meet the growing and critical needs of the state’s creative sector.” The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events contributed $1 million to the effort. The Walder Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation contributed leadership gifts. The Illinois Relief Fund is managed by Arts Alliance Illinois and implemented by partnering organizations 3Arts and Arts Work Fund.