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177 IL organizations document COVID-19 stories, support racial equity work
--From a press release

This article shared 921 times since Wed Mar 10, 2021
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CHICAGO — A report detailing the hardships and successes of 177 Illinois-based community organizations underscores the need for more support in protecting our social fabric in a post-COVID world. Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate to the National Endowment for the Humanities, released "On Wisdom and Vision: Humanities Organizations in Illinois during COVID-19," detailing COVID-19's impact on 177 public humanities organizations from across the state.

The organizations featured were awarded COVID-19 relief grants by Illinois Humanities, part of a $710,000 initiative made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities federal CARES Act funding.

"As we look ahead to building the strongest economic recovery for Illinois, this report will provide insights on how to support our humanities organizations. Given the role these organizations play, there is a clear need to celebrate the sector, bring more visibility to their work, and invest in organizations as community anchors," said Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker. "On behalf of the state of Illinois, I want to commend Illinois Humanities on the ways in which the team has so quickly shifted their work, finding ways to advance their mission in an incredibly difficult landscape."

Through grantee reports and interviews, the 177 organizations revealed that even though they faced a collective $10m in lost revenues in 2020 and 1,700,000 fewer visitor engagements than they had anticipated pre-COVID-19, these institutions kept their doors "open," documented the pandemic's impact on their communities, supported work on racial inequity, and responded to their diverse communities in ways that they previously had not.

The report findings include that the majority of the 177 organizations are located in Illinois ZIP codes where a significant portion of households experience poverty and which were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The locations of the 177 organizations and grant details are available through a searchable map.

"Humanities organizations are designed to bring us together. So, it may not be surprising to find that they have had something substantial to offer Illinoisians during the pandemic," said Illinois Humanities executive director, Gabe Lyon. "It has been surprising to realize, however, the profound ways in which — despite being under duress — they have helped communities feel less isolated, documented incredible stories, and transformed the ways they've ensured access, inclusion and creativity — often for the Illinoisians most severely impacted by the effects of COVID-19.

Along with its original data, Illinois Humanities relied on U.S. Census Bureau and Illinois Department of Health data sets to provide a detailed look at the state's network of public humanities organizations. The report makes recommendations for funders, organization leaders, policymakers and researchers.

Through the Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief grants, the Effingham Public Library worked with local photographer Tytia Habing to take portraits of local teachers, administrators and students, with and without their masks ("Effingham: At the Crossroads of Education"). The photographs were combined with interviews that capture the way those photographed pivoted during the pandemic. Johnna Schultz, assistant director of the library, said "On one level the work celebrates collaboration between parents, students, school support staff and teachers as they work to keep each other safe while providing quality education. But on a deeper level, the work acknowledges the tension that the American promise of equal education for all simply isn't possible — and this pandemic has created an education gap that will negatively affect many."

Illinois Humanities 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Recipients

1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House, Edwardsville

6018North, Chicago

826CHI, Chicago

Abe Lincoln Project/Looking for Lincoln in Pike County, Pittsfield

About Face Theatre Collective, Chicago

Adler Arts Center, Libertyville

African American Museum of Southern Illinois, Carbondale

African-American Cultural & Genealogical Society of Illinois, Decatur

Al Raby Foundation, Chicago

American Blues Theater, Chicago

American Farm Heritage, Greenville

Artists Reenvisioning Tomorrow, Peoria

Atlanta Public Library and Museum, Atlanta

Aurora Historical Society, Aurora

Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Aurora

Backbones, Prospect Heights

Ballet Quad Cities, Rock Island

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago

BECOME: Center for Community Engagement and Social Change, Chicago

Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Bishop Hill

Bronzeville Black Chicagoan Historical Society, Chicago

Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Riverwoods

Bureau County Historical Society, Princeton

Canal Corridor Association, LaSalle

Carbondale Community Arts, Carbondale

Cedarville Area Historical Society, Cedarville

Center for Racial Harmony, Belleville

Centralia Area Historical Society, Centralia

Changing Worlds, Chicago

Charnley-Persky House Museum Foundation/Society of Architectural Historians, Chicago

Chicago Blues Museum, Chicago

Chicago Collections Consortium, Chicago

Chicago Cultural Alliance, Chicago

Chicago for Chicagoans, Chicago

Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), Chicago

Chicago Poetry Center, Chicago

Chicago Public Art Group, Chicago

Chicago Youth Shakespeare, Chicago

Children's Theatre of Elgin, Elgin

CivicLab, Chicago

Collaboraction Theatre Company, Chicago

Colonel Davenport Historical Foundation, Rock Island

ConTextos, Chicago

contratiempo, Chicago

Crossing Borders Music, Chicago

Crossroads Blues Society, Byron

Cumberland County Historical & Genealogical Society, Greenup

David Davis Mansion Foundation, Bloomington

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Chicago

Definition Theatre Company, Chicago

DeKalb County History Center, Sycamore

Design Museum of Chicago, Chicago

Discovery Depot Children's Museum, Galesburg

Easley Pioneer Museum Foundation, Ipava

East Bluff Community Center, Peoria

Eastlight Theatre, East Peoria

Effingham Public Library, Effingham

Elgin History Museum, Elgin

eta Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago

Ethnic Heritage Museum, Rockford

Fifth House Ensemble, Chicago

Firebrand Theatre, Chicago

Free Write Arts & Literacy, Chicago

Full Spectrum Features, Chicago

Galena Center for the Arts, Galena

Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg

Gallatin County Historical Society, Shawneetown

General John A. Logan Museum, Murphysboro

Genesius Theatre Foundation, Rock Island

Glessner House, Chicago

Glidden Homestead and Historical Center, DeKalb

Global Girls, Chicago

Greater Livingston County Arts Council, Pontiac

Guild Literary Complex, Chicago

Hairpin Arts Center/Logan Square Chamber of Arts, Chicago

Hamilton Wings, Elgin

Hegeler-Carus Foundation, La Salle

Heterodyne Broadcasting/WDBX Radio, Carbondale

Hinckley Historical Society, Hinckley

Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, Quincy

History Center Lake Forest Lake Bluff, Lake Forest

Honey Pot Performance, Chicago

Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield

Illinois Route 66 Heritage Project, Springfield

Illinois Rural Heritage Museum, Inc., Pinckneyville

Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield

Illinois State Museum Society, Springfield

Imagine Hillsboro Theater Group, Hillsboro

In My Brother's Shoes, Chicago

International Children's Media Center, Chicago

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago

Iroquois County Historical Society, Watseka

Jacksonville Main Street, Jacksonville

Jefferson County Historical Society, Mount Vernon

Joliet Area Historical Museum, Joliet

Kartemquin Educational Films, Chicago

Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities, East Saint Louis

Korean Cultural Center of Chicago, Wheeling

Kuumba Lynx, Chicago

La Grange Area Historical Society, La Grange

LaSalle County Historical Society, Utica

Lawrence County Historical Society, Lawrenceville

Lincoln Heritage Museum, Lincoln

Lincoln Highway Interpretive Center, Franklin Grove

Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation, Lerna

Lithuanian Archives Project, Chicago

Livingston County Historical Society, Pontiac

Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, Springfield

Macoupin County Historical Society, Carlinville

Madison County Historical Society, Edwardsville

Magnolia Township Preservation Association, Magnolia

McHenry County Historical Society & Museum, Union

McLean County Museum of History, Bloomington

Media Burn Archive, Chicago

Mexican Cultural Center, West Chicago

Midway Village Museum, Rockford

Midwest Writing Center, Rock Island

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston

Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mahomet

Musical Arts Institute, Chicago

Muslim American Leadership Alliance, Chicago

MWAH! Performing Arts Troupe, Elmhurst

NAJWA Dance Corps, Chicago

National Public Housing Museum, Chicago

NON-OP, INC (NON:op Open Opera Works), Chicago

Old School Museum, Winchester

OPEN Center for the Arts, Chicago

P.A.S.T. of Union County, Jonesboro

Peoria Historical Society, Peoria

Pilot Light, Chicago

PlayMakers Laboratory, Chicago

Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County, Champaign

Preservation of Egyptian Theatre, DeKalb

Public Media Institute, Chicago

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Chicago

Quad Cities Jazz Festival, East Moline

Que4 Radio, Chicago

Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, Waukegan

Red Mask Players, Danville

Reddick Mansion Association, Ottawa

Repertorio Latino Theater Company, Chicago

Robbins Historical Society Museum, Robbins

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon

Savanna Museum & Cultural Center, Savanna

Shabbona-Lee-Rollo Historical Museum, Shabbona

Silent Theatre Company, Chicago

Silk Road Rising, Chicago

Sixty Inches From Center, Chicago

South Side Community Art Center, Chicago

South Side Weekly, Chicago

Springfield Theatre Centre, Springfield

St. Charles History Museum, St. Charles

St. Clair County Historical Society, Belleville

Stark County Historical Society, Toulon

Stephenson County Historical Society, Freeport

Still Point Theatre Collective, Chicago

Strategy for Access Foundation, Chicago

Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society, Pekin

The Corn Stock Theatre, West Peoria

The Haitian American Museum, Chicago

The Hub-Arts and Cultural Center, Rushville

The Paper Machete Group, Chicago

The Raupp Museum, Buffalo Grove

The Rebuild Foundation, Chicago

The Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago

The Vegan Museum, Chicago

The Voices and Faces Project, Chicago

Thebes Historical Society, Marion

Third Coast, Chicago

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, Urbana

Wabash Roots'n'Que Festival, Mt. Carmel

Washington County Historical Society, Nashville

Western Illinois Museum, Macomb

Wheels O' Time Museum, Dunlap

Williamson County Historical Society, Marion

Y'all Rock Carbondale (Libre), Carbondale

Young Chicago Authors, Chicago

Media Kit: .

Entire Report: .

Searchable Grants Map: .

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