Evanston Arts Council announces 2021 Cultural Fund Grant recipients


An Evanston Arts Council meeting in 2014. The council awarded funding to 22 groups on Monday.

Jacob Fulton, Summer Editor

Twenty-two community organizations will receive funding from the Evanston Arts Council as part of the council’s 2021 Cultural Fund Grant, the city announced Monday. 

Each year, the grant distributes money to local organizations to support artists in Evanston. This year’s total budget of $30,000 was distributed to organizations like the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Piven Theater Workshop and Curt’s Cafe. 

The application process has prioritized inclusivity in the program over the past two application cycles, resulting in significant jumps in the size of the applicant pool. In the 2021 cycle, 50 percent of applicants were new to the grant, applying for their first time. 

Similarly, the judging panel was primarily composed of people of color, and selection criteria gave priority to organizations led by and serving residents with underrepresented identities. 

As a result, 86 percent of this year’s awardees were organizations led by or serving non-White residents, a jump from 71 percent in 2020 and 25 percent in 2019. This distribution reflects the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Evanston’s Black and brown communities, the city said. 

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