Saturday, April 04, 2020

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events >> Arts News (Chicago, IL)


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DCASE News Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
April News
Announcing the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund
DCASE is a proud partner and contributor of $1M to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund - providing financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. The fund is a partnership between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community. The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts Work Fund, long-standing and trusted service organizations and grantmakers.  

Donate or apply at Arts for Illinois also launched an online platform that features talented artists - performers, singers, poets, painters, writers and other creatives from across Illinois - who have generously made their works available for the public's enjoyment while at home during these challenging times.
COVID-19 Arts Community Resources
The COVID-19 outbreak is having an enormous economic impact on our local arts community. For anyone looking for resources, in addition to the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, please also visit DCASE's COVID-19 Arts Community Resources - a partial list of the many local and national efforts to support our artists and arts organizations.
Recognizing that the music industry has moved to #DoStuffAtHome, DCASE is partnering with Do312 to continue celebrating the 2020 Year of Chicago Music. A new listing of virtual events and concerts has just launched at to highlight the local music venues and musicians sharing "Music in the Key of Chicago." Are you hosting a virtual concert or music-related event? Please share the link to your event details and artwork to   
Cultural Grants Program
All of the cultural grants programs managed by DCASE are continuing as planned, with notifications of the Individual Artists Program (IAP) grants taking place this week. Visit for updates.   
Venue Closures and Event Cancellations
As previously announced, following the recommendation from the CDC and the guidance of City and State officials, DCASE will not issue Special Event permits through May 15. Additionally, the Chicago Film Office is not issuing film permits through May 15.  

All DCASE programming is canceled through May 15, including the following:
  • Millennium Park is closed to the public. All events and programs are canceled;  
  • The Chicago Cultural Center is closed to the general public, and all programs and tours are canceled; 
  • The Clarke House Museum is closed, and all tours are canceled; 
  • Expo72 and the City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower, including exhibitions, are closed;
  • Maxwell Street Market is canceled.

Please refer to the Chicago Department of Public Health's website, for the latest local updates on the response to COVID-19.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, 78 E. Washington St., 4th Fl., Chicago, IL 60602

Chicago Department of Public Health >> News on obtaining a a small business loan due to Covid-19

Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,

The Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund is now open for applications! This $100 million fund will provide low-interest grants to thousands of Chicago small businesses suffering due to COVID-19.
Due to the high expected demand, the number of Resiliency Fund loans will be limited. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling first-come, first-served basis. We therefore recommend applying as soon as possible. Please visit to start your application and for more information about loan terms, business requirements, application information requirements and required attestations. In the event the website is overwhelmed, we recommend checking back often to submit your application. 
The Resiliency Fund has a team of trusted experts at your service to guide you through the application, underwriting and closing phases of your loan. Questions can be submitted in English and Spanish. Additionally, the City of Chicago has a network of Neighborhood Business Development Centers to provide free remote/virtual assistance to business owners interested in applying for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund.
The City is committed to leveraging every dollar available to business owners from any source in order to provide as much funding as possible to Chicago's small businesses. The Resiliency Fund is structured to complement the new federal Paycheck Protection Program that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched. The City and its partners will seek to provide all Resiliency Fund loan applicants with the best offer available, including from the SBA's new program.  
In the event that you/your business does not qualify for this program, please look at the City’s resource website to find other programs that may meet your needs. Additionally, please visit for resources specific to businesses, consumers and employees.
What's New

  • Guidance for Businesses and Employers - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reminding businesses that remain open during the State's Stay at Home order to comply with social distancing requirements. The most effective measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace remain social distancing, routine environmental cleaning, and good hand hygiene and sending sick employees home. Please follow CDPH's recommendations for preventing transmission in the workplace and help Chicago flatten the curve.

  • Unemployment Benefits - The Illinois Department of Employment Security recently adopted emergency rules, expanding the pool of residents that qualify for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19 so make sure to check frequently for updates at

  • HIV Resource Hub - The AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Center on Halsted can help with emergency financial assistance (rent, utility payments, COVID-19-related support) for people who are living with HIV and who are HIV-negative and taking PrEP. They can also link people living with HIV to medications, case management, medical care, food, mental health, substance abuse treatment and more, or connect people vulnerable to HIV to PrEP, HIV testing, medical care and more. Services are available in Chicago, Cook County and the Collar Counties. Call the HIV Resource Hub at 1-844-HUB-4040 or learn more online.

  • Smart 911 - Residents are encouraged to sign up for Smart 911 and provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 so they can help faster in an emergency. Residents can create a safety profile for themselves and family members with information on their current health conditions as well as information if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are under quarantine, and it will automatically be provided to first responders when calling 9-1-1. To learn more, check out this video:
Join the Fight against COVID-19

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. have issued a call for assistance from the medical community and are seeking to hire healthcare workers immediately to help the City of Chicago in its COVID-19 response efforts.

  • Medical Assistants and Nurses are encouraged to apply for temporary positions. If you have any questions about the positions or the application process, you may email or call 813-261-2706.

  • Chicago Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a network of both medical and non-medical professionals who volunteer their time to assist during public health emergencies such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. Many MRC volunteers are just like you - nurses, doctors, pharmacists, therapists, public health professionals, and other community members who believe in keeping Chicago safe. Register at and be there when Chicago needs you most.

CDPH is coordinating multiple opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) and join the fight against the COVID-19. Go to the links below to:

For more information, visit

Chicago Department of Public Health | 333 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60604

Chicago Humanities Festival News


As I reflect on the past few weeks - a period when so much of the ground underneath us has fallen away - what sustains me is how incredibly quickly people are coming together to support one another, and to ensure people are safe, fed, and cared for. This crisis is being met by a creative outpouring across all sectors of life, especially in the arts and humanities. Even as we tend to immediate critical needs, we are also turning to those things that always sustain us - art, poetry, good books, great music.

That’s the goal of our work at the Festival - to bring people together to share ideas and experiences and to find common purpose, even across our differences. In that spirit, every Friday I’ll share some good news or fun things happening in our communities alongside favorite CHF moments from our staff, volunteers, supporters and partners - in the hopes that we maintain a vibrant connection in a time of physical distance.


As all of us seek relief in the work of artists we must remember they too need our support. The recently announced Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides immediate assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations.

This is a truly remarkable collaboration between the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and members of our philanthropic community. You can apply for relief or help support this initiative. This is also a space to discover and find solace in the amazing work of our creative community - be sure to share the Arts for Illinois website with everyone in need of the comfort the humanities provide.


CHF has always been proud to provide a platform for diverse artists in Chicago and this week's selection features a long-time friend of the Festival: Damon Locks and his inspiring project Black Monument Ensemble. This performance took place in 2019 as part of an evening of programming at the South Shore Cultural Center.
Best wishes,
Alison Cuddy
Marilynn Thoma Artistic Director





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