ACRE Awarded $80k Chicago Arts Recovery Program Grant

Update / 5.9.23

Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE Announce $10M in Grant Support to 77 Nonprofit Arts Organizations Through the “Chicago Arts Recovery Program”

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and Local Leaders Celebrate Mayor Lightfoot’s Unprecedented $16.5M Investment in Arts Nonprofits in 2023

CHICAGO, IL, May 9, 2023 — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced 77 “Chicago Arts Recovery Program” grantees, providing $10 million in project grant funding to aid local arts organizations still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This new program, combined with DCASE’s annual “CityArts Program” providing $6.5 million in general operating support (with new grantees to be announced in July), totals $16.5 million in direct support to Chicago arts nonprofits in 2023 — the largest in DCASE’s history.

“Nonprofit arts organizations are essential to the fabric of our city,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The 2023 Cultural Grants program supports the nonprofits that empower artists and creative workers and ensure their continued recovery from the pandemic. This latest program builds upon our ongoing commitment to revitalize and strengthen the city’s diverse arts community.”

The new “Chicago Arts Recovery Program” supports marketing and audience development, facilities, technology, planning, and workforce development for nonprofit arts organizations. Supported by federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, this program provides arts organizations with resources to examine and address ongoing challenges brought on or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants awarded range from $50,000 – $235,000 and include participation in learning cohorts. The list of grantees is available at

“Under Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership, we’ve made unprecedented investments in arts and culture,” said DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey. “In 2022, a transformational $10 million boost to our Cultural Grants budget means we’ll no longer rely solely on the hotel occupancy tax to fund the arts — and in 2023, we’re making the largest investment in arts nonprofits in DCASE’s history. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive strategy to ensure that Chicago remains an innovative and thriving cultural hub.”

“These latest investments further signify the City of Chicago’s commitment to the incredible arts and cultural organizations and artists found in all 77 neighborhoods,” said Claire Rice, Executive Director at Arts Alliance Illinois, a “Chicago Arts Recovery Program” grantee. “We thank the Mayor and First Lady for recognizing the civic, social, and economic impact of our $3.2 billion industry, representing over 85,000 jobs, as we continue to emerge from the pandemic."

Read the full press release here


Chicago Recovery Plan
The Chicago Recovery Plan is the City’s plan to amplify once-in-a-generation federal funding to create an equity-based investment strategy to catalyze a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding under the Chicago Recovery Plan, which includes funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) and over $600 million in local bond funds, is allocated alongside all other available resources in the City budget to maximize this opportunity over the next 3- to 5-year funding period. The initiatives and strategic priorities that make up the Chicago Recovery Plan were a result of several stages of community engagement and input during the 2022 budget development process. View the City’s complete Chicago Recovery Plan.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city — serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago.