State to give $15 million more to support tourism, festivals

  • Josh McEwen, 12, of Arlington Heights holds a giant prize he won shooting basketballs on the midway at Frontier Days in Arlington Heights. Last year, the festival received a $111,000 grant from the state.

      Josh McEwen, 12, of Arlington Heights holds a giant prize he won shooting basketballs on the midway at Frontier Days in Arlington Heights. Last year, the festival received a $111,000 grant from the state. John Starks | Staff Photographer, July 1

  • "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World" runs through October at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. The state awarded Cantigny a $60,110 tourism grant this year.

    "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World" runs through October at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. The state awarded Cantigny a $60,110 tourism grant this year. Daily Herald file photo, May 26

 
 
Updated 7/29/2022 4:27 PM

Illinois tourism institutions and festivals will receive an additional $15 million in state grants this year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday.

This is the second round of funding for the state's tourism industry through the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program.

 

Last year, the program disbursed $10 million to more than 40 entities, including suburban events such as the Arlington Heights Frontier Days Festival, which received $111,000, and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce's Swedish Days Festival, which received $61,238.

Pritzker said last year's grant program was a success and he was proud to offer it again.

Among suburban institutions receiving grants last year were the Morton Arboretum in Lisle and the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, both of which received $500,000, the maximum allowed through the program.

Additionally, the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie received $42,632 for its special exhibition called "Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II," which runs through the end of the year. Cantigny Park in Wheaton received $60,110 for "Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dream World," an art exhibit celebrating cultural diversity, which runs through October.

Grants are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Of the $15 million to be granted this year, $5 million will be reserved for festivals and $10 million will go toward attractions, museums, and venues.

Applicants have until Sept. 23 to apply for a grant through the program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce. To be eligible, applicants must prove the money will be used to establish and enhance tourism attractions or festivals.

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