Public Accountability ReportPublic Accountability Report

Illinois Arts Council
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
  FY 2022 FY 2021
Reporting Programs Expenditures Headcount Expenditures Headcount
Creative Sector $ 5,387.9 2.5 $ 5,302.4 1.0
Arts Education $ 1,719.8 1.0 $ 1,722.0 1.0
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security $ 1,511.1 1.0 $ 525.8 1.0
Underserved Populations $ 1,412.0 1.0 $ 1,412.0 1.0
Arts and Cultural $ 1,005.2 1.0 $ 1,021.1 1.0
Arts and Foreign Language $ 825.0 1.0 $ 825.0 1.0
Non-Reporting Programs
Personnel and Technical Resources  $ 1,764.5 8.0 $ 1,813.0 8.0
Public Radio and Television (PRTV)  $ 1,507.1 N/A $ 1,507.1 N/A
Humanities  $ 417.0 N/A $ 417.0 N/A
Totals $ 15,549.6 15.5 $ 14,545.4 14.0

Totals may not add due to rounding.

Agency Narrative

The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) is a business that builds economic vitality and advances the quality of life in Illinois by promoting an encouraging atmosphere for creative artists to live and work, and by providing catalytic support to build strong communities. Through investments in small businesses, cultural organizations, schools, and individual artists, the IACA supports economic development throughout the state.


A strong arts sector is an economic asset that stimulates business activity, attracts tourism, and expands the state’s work force and tax base. Cultural places and events are magnetic, attracting not only artists but also families, travelers, and businesses. The arts revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, stimulate commercial traffic, and positively impact local economies and quality of life.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production account for $29.7 billion of the Illinois economy. The arts support more than 216,700 jobs in Illinois. Illinois arts nonprofits alone deliver over $478 million in state and local government revenue each year.



Most grant funds from the Council are distributed through the General Operating Support program (unrestricted funds that enable an organization to carry out its mission). Successful applicants demonstrate strong operations, stable management, ongoing assessment and evaluation, and a strong commitment to making artistic programs accessible and relevant to a diverse range of participants.

The IACA priorities geographical diversity in this program with many of the awardees being emerging small businesses in rural communities. Nearly a fourth of the funds distributed are $3,000 or less.

            Number of GOS Grants Funded in 2022                                             740                                                         

            Total Dollar Amount of GOS Grants Awarded in 2022                       $7,846,150

            Total Overall Grants Awarded                                                            $13,790,250


In addition, grant funds from the Council assist with the advancement of Arts Education. The Council recognizes arts education as a major contributor to social and emotional learning which is vital to students’ ability to recover from the COVID crisis. Nearly $2.5 million in total arts education is distributed to support programs such as Poetry Out Loud and Arts and Foreign Language.


The IACA has aligned itself with the Governor’s vision of statewide economic and social initiatives through an inclusivity and equity lens. We are already beginning the process with in-depth research by the National Association of State Arts Agencies into our largest granting opportunity. This work will permeate through all policy and programming. 

In fiscal year 2022, the agency prioritized accessibility by investing more funds into the ongoing partnership with the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium. This allowed the Illinois Arts Council Agency to increase the impact of the Illinois Cultural Accessibility Network or ICAN in our rural communities. ICAN is a state-wide volunteer network connecting arts and cultural organizations, to become more accessible to people with disabilities and older adults.

The agency also prioritized participation on a national level by having the Executive Director and the 504 Coordinator attend the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) hosted by the Kennedy Center. This program advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities in arts and culture.

This work will continue with a Board created subcommittee who’s focus will be on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. This will allow the agency the opportunity to evaluate the impact of programming and correct potential systematic barriers that have long been excluding communities and potential applicants.


  • Grant funds from the Council supported the Family Services of Champaign County’s Creativity on Wheels initiative. Creativity on Wheels designs and delivers meaningful engagement activities specifically for older adults. Each activity box is designed around a theme and includes art supplies, art instruction exercises designed by local artists, an introspective craft, thought-provoking questions, and inspirational quote or affirmation cards. Boxes may also include music, movement instructions, and/or fun movement aides. The boxes are thoughtfully designed to inspire hope, self-reflection, resilience, and emotional intelligence.


  • Grant funds from the Council supported the Garfield Park Conservatory's Music Under Glass series which focused on amplifying the work of black, brown and indigenous artists, particularly from Garfield Park and other West Side Chicago neighborhoods. Music Under Glass included three summer concerts and strived to create an inclusive and accessible venue to engage underrepresented artists and audiences and to lift up the community through diverse performances.


  • Another great project the Council funded this year was a quilt-making community art program with the Haitian Museum where artists, families, students and community members worked collectively to create a visual representation of the Haitian Flag. Participants were given small fabric rectangular pieces and red and blue paints to decorate. After learning about the history behind the flag, the Haitian Revolution, and its cultural significance, participants were asked to paint a visual representation of their response on their fabric piece in any way they choose.


  • The Macoupin Art Collective (MAC) was funded in the refurbishing an old school bus into a mobile art studio which allowed them to take community artreach on the road. Working with local libraries, park districts, schools, and youth organizations, the MAC serves a 40-mile radius from Staunton to provide art to 91 different rural towns. This art bus provides much needed tools and instructional support to educators with limited resources through weekly rental options. The Art Bus is fully stocked with equipment and materials for classes in pottery, sewing, stained glass, drawing, painting, felting, jewelry making, and much more.


Looking for more information?

© 2023 Illinois Comptroller's Office All rights reserved