Press Release

Coverage of Culture in Illinois Towns, A Toolkit to Help Public Libraries Collaborate with Local Cultural Groups, and a Network of Teen Poets Across the Region, among the 8 projects that received funding from Illinois Humanities.

Illinois Humanities has awarded a total of $46,316 to eight nonprofit organizations across Illinois for initiatives that help enrich the cultural offerings in their communities and throughout the region. This cycle, the first since Illinois Humanities canceled a grants cycle due to the state’s budgetary impasse, generated an unprecedented 163 letters of inquiry. Of the eight projects that Illinois Humanities approved for funding, three are in Chicago and five are either local elsewhere or statewide.

The grantees are:

  • Albany Park Theatre Project, City Scene (Chicago) – $4,000
  • Free Street Theater, Papelitos Guardados (Chicago) – $4,100
  • Teen Writers and Artists Project, “Virtual” Wordplay (Chicago’s western suburbs) – $4,100
  • 60 Inches from Center, 60 Regional (Statewide) – $10,400
  • Mother Jones Heritage Project, Stories from the Coalfields (DeKalb) – $4,100
  • Illinois Library Association, Connecting to Who We Are Through Your Library (Statewide) – $10,000
  • Evergreen Park Public Library, 125 Years in the Park (Evergreen Park) – $3,950
  • Cuentos Foundation, Pilsen Family Encounters (Chicago) – $5,666

Any nonprofit group or institution is eligible for financial support from Illinois Humanities. Illinois Humanities funds public projects in the arts, humanities, and civic dialogue, including documentary films, local and community history projects, literary symposia, oral history projects and others. Community (VAM) grants are for Vision projects (covering planning and evaluation), Action projects (that aim to engage audience in innovative ways), and Multiplier projects (that are ambitious, collaborative and regional in scope).

Upcoming Deadlines for Illinois Humanities Funding:

  • April 20, 2018: Envisioning Justice grants deadline. This is the first round of grants for programs using the arts, humanities and civic dialogue with incarcerated populations; doing storytelling in order to explain misunderstood aspects of the criminal justice system; and for Illinois Speaks “Justice” dialogues. Check our grants page on March 1, 2018 for an application form and more information.
  • May 15, 2018: Community (VAM) grants deadline. In 2018, Illinois Humanities is adding an addition category of grants, called “Forgotten Illinois,” to celebrate the state’s Bicentennial. Funding categories include research, artistic interpretation of history, and classroom-based activities.
  • June 15, 2018: “Illinois Speaks” micro-grant deadline. In this program, Illinois Humanities helps organizations across the state hold public dialogues on topics of their choosing, by providing a micro-grant, providing a training in facilitation, and working with an outside entity to evaluate the program.

For more on the grants programs, visit

About Illinois Humanities

Illinois Humanities strengthens the social, political, and economic fabric of Illinois through constructive conversation and community engagement.

Founded in 1974 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Illinois Humanities is the only statewide proponent of the public humanities in Illinois. Through public programs, education and training, and grantmaking, we connect Illinoisans who might not otherwise encounter one another.