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Two Edgewater Theaters Awarded Grants Through ComEd Arts Initiative

In an effort to increase access to the arts and strengthen local communities, ComEd recently awarded 17 non-profit arts organizations throughout northern Illinois substantial grants through their Powering the Arts Program. Each recipient will receive up to $10,000 to expand their art and cultural programming to underserved communities.

Among the list of groups who range from theaters to art galleries, local Edgewater organizations About Face Theatre (5252 N. Broadway) and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (5779 N. Ridge) were selected to receive the grant.  About Face Theatre will be using the funds to provide free tickets and transportation to their performances for LGBT seniors who are economically disadvantaged. Rivendell Theatre Ensemble will using the money to support efforts to recruit and engage new audiences of people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities by offering free tickets and transportation through partnerships with local social service agencies.

The League, which consists of 200 Chicago theaters, teamed up with ComEd for what is the inaugural year of the initiative. Focused on increasing exposure to the arts, the program hopes to continue building vibrancy in local communities.

“At the League, we believe exposure to the arts is vitally important to the health of our communities. In partnership with ComEd, we can make that vision a reality for underserved audiences and fulfill our mission of enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area,” said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theaters in a press release.

Non-profit groups that were interested in receiving the Powering the Arts grant were asked to submit their proposals this past Spring. An advisory committed composed of the area’s non-profit art and cultural communities recently made final awardee selections.

The 17 Powering the Arts grant recipients for 2018 are:

About Face Theatre (Chicago) The grant will provide free tickets and transportation to About Face Theatre performances for LGBTQIA seniors who are economically disadvantaged.

Alma Dance Theater (Wheaton) The grant will create a dance training program for children with disabilities and provide funding for their public performances.

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Chicago) The grant will support collaborations between musicians and immigrants to create free performances and share their unique stories.

Emerald City Theatre (Chicago) The grant will provide field trips for students who are economically disadvantaged to see plays at Emerald City Theatre and provide each student with a free book.

Encore! (Mt. Morris) The grant will support free community arts activities and events for people who are economically disadvantaged and have limited access to art.

Free Street Theater (Chicago) The grant will allow Free Street Theater to present a theatrical event in each of Chicago’s 50 wards, created by a multi-racial, multi-generational ensemble.

Maywood Fine Arts (Maywood) The grant will provide classical ballet training for children from economically-challenged communities and will allow people of all ages in these communities to experience classical ballet performances.

Merchant Street Art Gallery (Kankakee) The grant will help provide training, professional experience, and community support to artists with autism.

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (Arlington Heights) The grant will provide workshops for children with disabilities to learn theatre skills and to create their own public performances.

The Miracle Center (Chicago) The grant will support the world premiere theatrical adaption of the Puerto Rican children’s book, “There’s a Coqui in my Shoe!”

My Block, My Hood, My City (Chicago) The grant will provide opportunities for youth who are economically disadvantaged to visit arts and cultural organizations and connect with professionals who have similar backgrounds.

Piven Theatre Workshop (Evanston) The grant will support theatre workshops and performances for female inmates at Cook County Jail.

Remy Bumppo Theatre Company (Chicago) The grant will support “touch tours” and audio-described performances for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

Rockford Area Arts Council (Rockford) The grant will support an arts apprenticeship program for children to work as a team with a professional artist to create and present their work.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (Chicago) The grant will support efforts to recruit and engage new audiences of people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities by offering free tickets and transportation through partnerships with local social service agencies.

Special Gifts Theatre (Northbrook) The grant will support a musical theatre program for children with intellectual disabilities.

Trickster Gallery (Schaumburg) The grant will support an event during Native Heritage Month (November) with cultural activities and performances to introduce Native culture to new audiences.


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