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Since April 1st, the Arts Work Fund has distributed $2,898,000 to 233 arts organizations to help stabilize the sector negatively impacted by COVID-19. To learn more about the grants and grant recipients, see our funding report. All funds raised for emergency relief have been spent. The Arts Work Fund will be shifting its funding back to its core focus: arts and cultural organizations located in Chicago or Cook County with operating budgets under $800,000. We will be announcing the next funding opportunity shortly. Please join our mailing list to ensure you get notification.

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Arts Work Fund Emergency Relief Fund Community Foundation Partnership Grants:

The Arts Work Fund, Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, and several community foundations around the state are partnering to provide unrestricted general operating support to arts and cultural organizations that are struggling with immediate lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses due to COVID-19 emergency relief funding to arts organizations. Funding is restricted to specific areas of the state, aligned with the community foundation partner service areas. The community foundation partners are:

  • Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln
  • Community Foundation of Northern Illinois*
  • Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri
  • DeKalb County Community Foundation
  • Galesburg Community Foundation*
  • Illinois Prairie Community Foundation
  • Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation*
  • Starved Rock Country Community Foundation*

* New applications for funding are only being accepted from arts and cultural organizations in the following counties in Illinois: Adams, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Hancock, Henderson, Jasper, Knox, LaSalle, Marion, Ogle, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Shelby, Stephenson, Warren, and Winnebago

This initiative is in partnership with the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund.

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  • All funding will be unrestricted.
  • New applications are being accepted from arts organizations operating in and serving the counties listed; we will also be considering existing applications from arts organizations from the listed community foundation partner service area.
  • Organizations must hold 501c3 nonprofit status from the IRS.
  • Grant size will be determined by available funding and based on the organizational budget and the extent of lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses incurred due to COVID-19.
  • Organizations that have previously received a grant from the Arts for Illinois relief fund are not eligible.
  • The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 13, 2020.

A short application will require the following information:

  • Completion of the Chicago Community Trust's organizational profile. Please review these instructions for completing the organization profile before you begin.
  • A description of the impact COVID-19 has had on immediate lost revenue or non-recoverable expenses to your organization.
  • Any additional information you would like to provide about your organization's current situation.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • To apply for funding, please log in to GrantCentral and navigate to the Funding Opportunities tab.
  • Grant application portal opens Grant application portal opens June 24, 2020
Apply for Funding


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