QUINCY -- Arts Quincy is one of only two downstate recipients of the 2020 National Endowment for the Arts "Challenge America" award.
Arts Quincy will be using its $10,000 matching award to create and distribute a community arts directory in partnership with The Herald-Whig. The publication is scheduled for production in August.
"These national grants are quite competitive, and to be on a list of recipients featuring major Illinois arts organizations like the Art Institute, Lyric Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is quite humbling," said Laura Sievert, executive director of Arts Quincy. "We are excited to put this award to use creating access to music, art, theatre and humanities for Quincy and our wider rural area."
"The purpose of the piece is to make sure every member of the community knows the arts resources available to them. We'll be shining a light on free and low-cost family events, scholarship opportunities for classes, and how to be involved in arts organizations as volunteers, audience members or participants." says Sievert.
The full-color publication will reach all households in the county and will be displayed at local businesses, schools, tourism kiosks and will be available digitally at artsquincy.org.
"We hope this piece is received like an invitation to the community," Sievert said. "Everyone is welcome in the arts, we'll help you find your perfect creative outlet. We have 55 amazing arts and education nonprofits to showcase."
Businesses interested in advertising within the directory can email email@example.com for more information.
The National Endowment for the Arts issued 52 awards to Illinois organizations, totaling $1.28 million. Arts Quincy was joined by an organization in Galesburg as the two downstate recipients of funding.
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, lauded both Quincy and the Arts Quincy organization.
"Quincy has a renowned cultural and fine arts community, and I applaud the National Endowment for the Arts for recognizing the great work being done by (Arts Quincy)," LaHood said. "The funding granted will support award-winning fine art programs in under-served communities throughout Adams County."
Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics or disability. Each grant is for a fixed amount of $10,000 and requires a minimum $10,000 cost share/match.
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency whose funding and support provides Americans the opportunity "to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities."
Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in all U.S. communities.