Blog Article

2022: A Year in Grantee Stories

2022 was another great year for grant-making at Illinois Humanities. Through our grant opportunities, we have had the gift of working with cultural workers and nonprofits large and small across the state who are making the arts and humanities accessible to all Illinoisans. In our monthly grantee spotlights we have also had the pleasure of sharing their stories with you, and hearing what makes their missions, and the communities they serve, so special. Here are a few highlights from this year’s grantee spotlights.


January: Jacoby Arts Center (Alton, Illinois)

Over the course of 2021, the Jacoby Arts Center partnered with other local cultural, community, and economic development entities to expand their “Untold Black Stories” project, which was since awarded the Lieutenant Governor Award for Excellence in Revitalization by Illinois Main Street.

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March: The HUB Arts and Cultural Center (Rushville, Illinois)

The HUB Arts and Cultural Center invited high school students from Schuyler County to write and produce a storytelling performance piece, “Losing Normal,” about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it affected their lives.

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May: Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (Evanston, Illinois)

The Mitchell Museum started an Indigenous Medicine Garden in the summer of 2022 on its outdoor grounds. Throughout the project, Mitchell aims to provide all Native and non-Native participants with a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of food sovereignty, traditional wisdom, environment, and physical and behavioral wellness through traditional gardening.

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June: Architreasures (Chicago, Illinois)

Architreasures’ work through the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project highlights the area’s significance in the history of the Underground Railroad by creating site-specific artwork and sharing local stories of resistance and civil disobedience that helped sustain the nation’s freedom movement.

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July: Joseph Dole

Envisioning Justice grantee partner Joseph Dole is creating “Illustrating a Better Way,” to help people better understand the impact of tough-on-crime policies and mobilize broad public support for policy-changes that shift resources from policing and punitive punishment to community welfare.

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July: Chicago Cultural Alliance (Chicago, Illinois)

In this spotlight, the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s executive director Monica Felix shares the organization’s mission to connect and support centers of cultural heritage to create a more inclusive Chicago, and the support that makes their work possible.

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September: Leanne Trapedo Sims (Galesburg, Illinois)

Knox College faculty member Leanne Trapedo Sims’ “Issues of Mass Incarceration” project produced film screenings and large-scale performance presentations for the college and Galesburg communities about the impacts of mass incarceration and the community’s relationship to nearby carceral facilities.

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November: Strategy for Access (Chicago, Illinois)

Strategy for Access creates docu-series and other media celebrating people with disabilities and advocating for disability justice. Their funded initiative, “Disrupting Marginalization: Children’s Stories that Heal,” produces accessible video adaptations of children’s books.

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Illinois Humanities grants are made possible thanks to our community of supporters and funders. Consider making your end of year gift to Illinois Humanities today to support the work of our grantee partners.

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