Arts Council boosts artists with COVID grant from Community Foundation


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By Michelle Dybal

Contributing Reporter

Some much-needed good news came to 30 area arts organizations last week when Oak Park Area Arts Council (OPAAC) distributed funds from a $20,000 grant awarded through the Rapid Response and Recovery Fund set up by the Community Foundation of Oak Park and River Forest. The funds were distributed based on parameters predetermined by the OPAAC Board Grant Review Panel.


Camille Wilson White, executive director of the Arts Council, said the receiving organizations were not expecting these funds and were surprised and happy. These organizations also receive grant money from the Village of Oak Park and the Illinois Arts Council, distributed through OPAAC.


The local arts community has been hit hard during quarantine due to COVID-19. Art galleries and local museums are closed, and performance venues are shuttered. Several arts-focused classes and a handful of events have gone virtual, and some fundraising efforts have too, but the income from these does not match what it had been prior to shut down.


"It really is an honor to receive the Rapid Response Recovery funds and to be able to help the arts community during this crisis," said Wilson White.


The organizations which received Rapid Recovery Relief Funds grant money are Choreospace, Church of Beethoven, Chicago West Community Music Center, Chicago a cappella, Dominican University Performing Arts Center, Ernest Hemingway Foundation, Expressions Graphics, Forest Park Arts Alliance, Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, Habakkuk Theater, Handel Week, Heritage Chorale, Historical Society of Oak Park River Forest, Illinois Storytelling Inc., Michael Teolis Singers, MOMENTA, Oak Park Education Foundation, Oak Park Art League, Oak Park Concert Chorale, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Open Door Repertory Company, Oriana Singers, PING!, Pleasant Home, Pro Musica, Speculative Literature Foundation, The Symphony of Oak Park River Forest, Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, Winifred Haun & Dancers and Wonder Works Children's Museum.


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