Press Release, September 15th, 2022
ComEd, League of Chicago Theatres Award $160,000 in Grant Funding to 18 Arts Organizations Across Northern Illinois
Fifth annual Powering the Arts Grant Program expands access to arts and culture
CHICAGO (September15, 2022) — After two years of disruptions due to the pandemic, in-person performances and theaters are back in northern Illinois. To increase access to the arts in northern Illinois, ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres today announced that they have awarded $160,000 in funding to local community arts organizations across the region. Through ComEd’s annual Powering the Arts Program, individual grants ranging from $10,000-$25,000 will go to 18 nonprofit organizations, including local theatres, arts programs, cultural organizations, and youth centers.
Since 2018, this competitive grant program has disbursed $580,000 in funding for initiatives and workshops across the communities ComEd serves to boost public awareness, community programming, engagement, and enjoyment of the arts.
“Creativity drives innovation, and there’s no better way to inspire creativity than by supporting the arts in our communities,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “Through this program and our partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres, we are able to promote the arts and celebrate diverse cultural programming in communities across northern Illinois.”
This is the fifth year ComEd has partnered with the League of Chicago Theatres, an alliance of more than 200 Chicago theatres. Each year, ComEd funds the program, and the League of Chicago Theatres reviews applications and administers the program to grant recipients. This year’s recipients include art programs that preserve cultural tradition, tell diverse stories and support access to the arts for youth.
“Since 2018, the League of Chicago Theatres has been proud to join ComEd in their efforts to support arts and culture institutions across Illinois through the Powering the Arts Grant Program,” said Jamie Abelson, League of Chicago Theatres’ director of programs. “As organizations welcome audience members and students back into their theatres and classrooms, there is a tremendous opportunity to reach communities in innovative ways. This program supports institutions pursuing new avenues for expanding access to the arts and we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s group of recipients.”
Additional information on the ComEd Powering the Arts Program can be found here.
The 18 ComEd Powering the Arts Program grant recipients for 2022 are:
- Albany Park Theater Project (Chicago – Albany Park) – Albany Park Theater Project creates transformative experiences that forge an inclusive community of youth, adult artists, and audiences to build a more just, equitable, and joyful world. This grant will support Albany Park’s production of “Port of Entry,” a new, immersive, site-specific production inspired by the lives of immigrants in the Albany Park neighborhood over the last 100 years. The scale of this new production will greatly increase the company’s capacity to engage and employ young people in the creation process.
- Auditorium Theatre (Chicago – Downtown) – The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University is committed to presenting the finest international, cultural, community, and educational programming to Chicago and to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre. This grant will support the Auditorium’s “Admit One” program that helps remove all barriers facing partner groups hoping to attend performances, including free admission, transportation support, accessibility accommodations, and audience engagement programming.
- Englewood Arts Collective (Chicago – Englewood) – The ultimate goal of the Englewood Arts Collective is to reflect the beauty of, enrich the community within, and help produce events and interactions that reflect the Englewood Chicago community in a positive way. This grant will support outreach efforts and creative programming for Englewood Arts Collective’s “art village” within the 2nd Annual Englewood Music Fest. This free community event is presented as an affirming celebration of joy, love, and family, brimming with the promise of what can be for this neighborhood.
- Honey Pot Performance (Chicago – Garfield Park) – Honey Pot Performance creates multiform performance projects, participatory public humanities programming, and acts as an incubator for the development of new works by artists of color. This grant will support outreach efforts and community workshops related to their performances of “Ladies Ring Shout 2.0” a Black feminist community-based project that amplifies the experiences of Black women in Chicago’s West side through performance and creative practice.
- Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago – Hyde Park) – The Hyde Park Art Center is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. This grant will support the expansion of the center’s “Pathways” program into additional classrooms and schools. The Pathways program creates opportunities for South Side students to engage in visual arts learning throughout their education.
- Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (Chicago – Loop) – Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre’s mission is to use multiple artistic forms (primarily dance and music) and the combined talents of their diverse company to convey intense personal narratives. They are proudly and visibly multicultural, exploring the intersection of heritage, culture, and identity through high quality art. This grant will support Cerqua Rivera’s presentation of a concert in partnership with the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center as part of their 2023 Spring Concert Series: “America / Americans.”
- Porchlight Music Theatre (Chicago – Near North Side) – Porchlight is Chicago’s home for music theater, illuminating the past, present and future of this American art form through live performance, youth education, and outreach programs that positively impact and connect with the community. This grant will assist with the expansion of Porchlight’s summer program, “Broadway in Your Backyard!” – a free touring performance of professional music theater performers that brings crowd pleasing favorites to neighborhood parks around Chicago.
- Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts (Chicago – Near South Side) – Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts presents India’s artistic diversity through performing arts that preserve traditional South Asian art forms, and that build bridges between the performing arts and our contemporary lives. This grant will support “Arts for the Ages,” a program that will share the power and colorful vibrancy of South Asian dance, music and ideas with low-income senior citizens and bring those seniors together in fellowship for outings to South Asian cultural events across the city.
- Ballet Folklorico de Chicago (Chicago – Portage Park) – Ballet Folklorico de Chicago is a non-profit Mexican folkloric dance organization that provides cultural and dance instruction in the Chicagoland area. They provide cultural knowledge and help to preserve traditions for future generations while increasing their communities’ involvement in the arts. This grant will support outreach efforts and free attendance for low-income students participating in Ballet Folklorico’s upcoming anniversary celebration and their ongoing “‘Conserving’ our Traditions” program.
- International Latino Cultural Center (Chicago – River North) – The International Latino Cultural Center is an organization enriching Chicago’s cultural scene by promoting positive images of Latinos, breaking stereotypes, and bringing everyone together to experience all Latino cultures. This grant will support outreach and expansion efforts surrounding the organization’s various programs, such as the “Chicago Latino Film Festival,” “Reel Film Club,” “The Chicago Latino Music Series,” and “Film in the Parks.”
- SkyART (Chicago – South Chicago) – SkyART is a free and openly accessible art center in the city of Chicago. They offer a broad range of visual art programs to young people ages 5-24 at their SkyART studios in South Chicago, in their growing network of partnering schools, and with various partners in and around Chicago Southside. This grant will support the expansion of SkyART’s “Project Impact,” which provides free art therapy sessions for vulnerable youth in communities on the South and West sides of Chicago.
- Congo Square Theatre (Chicago – South and West Sides) – Congo Square Theatre Company is an ensemble dedicated to producing transformative work rooted in the African Diaspora. They are a haven for artists of color to challenge and redefine the theatrical canon by amplifying and creating stories that reflect the reach and complexities of Black Culture. This grant will support the numerous residencies, after-school, summer, and internship programs that Congo Square provides for youth in predominantly Black, South, and West side Chicago communities.
- Freeport Art Museum (Freeport, Ill.) – The Freeport Art Museum creates experiences that spark the imagination and engagement in the arts for all people by presenting exhibitions and cultural events, advancing arts education, and excelling in collection stewardship. This grant will support outreach efforts and accessibility services related to the museum’s presentation of “World Fest,” an event that brings together international performers and Midwestern communities to enjoy music and culture from other regions inside and outside of the United States.
- Special Gifts Theatre (Northbrook, Ill.) – The mission of Special Gifts Theatre is to foster self-confidence, social, speech and language skills in individuals with disabilities, using educational and therapeutic techniques with the stage as the platform, integrating creativity and fun. This grant will support scholarships, adapted costumes, and accessibility services related to Special Gift’s “Musical Theatre Program.” This program works with students with disabilities throughout the year to rehearse and perform full-length musical theatre productions.
- Momenta Dance Company (Oak Park, Ill.) – Momenta cultivates and presents repertory and contemporary dance works that strive to educate, innovate, and amplify the artistry of students and professionals, inclusive of artists with disabilities. This grant will support “Counter Balance,” Momenta’s annual performance that showcases the authentic voice of disabled dance artists. Funding will help support the live production, a virtual showing, and Momenta’s outreach and development efforts related to the event.
- Boys and Girls Club of Livingston County (Pontiac, Ill.) – The Boys and Girls Club of Livingston County offers after-school programs for children and teens ages 6-18 that strive to enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. This grant will support a partnership with a local acting company to provide the “Drama Matters” program to club members. The Drama Matters program is designed to build self-confidence, spark creativity, and boost academic achievement.
- West Side Show Room (Rockford, Ill.) – The West Side Show Room makes room for everyone to participate in the performing arts, envisioning a future where experiencing the arts can inspire everyone in their community towards greatness. This grant will support audience outreach and free performances of their upcoming Rockford and Midwest premiere production of “The Wind And The Breeze” by Nathan Alan Davis, an award-winning African-American playwright originally from Rockford, Illinois.
- Northlight Theatre (Skokie, Ill.) – Northlight Theatre aspires to promote change of perspective and encourage compassion by exploring the depth of our humanity across a bold spectrum of theatrical experiences. This grant will support the expansion of two of Northlight’s programs, the “High Lights” program that provides dramatic writing workshops for partnering senior centers, and the “Arts for Everyone” program which provides free tickets and accessibility services to seniors and other clientele of its community partners attending Northlight’s mainstage productions.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.