The Illinois Arts Council (IAC), in cooperation with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), is pleased to announce that it has awarded grants to 22 school districts across the state for arts and foreign language education. A joint project of the IAC and ISBE, the Arts and Foreign Language Education Grant Program (AFL) is designed to assist school districts and other eligible applicants with the development, maintenance, or enhancement of curricular programs in the arts or foreign languages.

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AFL was established in 2006 by section 2-3.65 of the school code (105 ILSC 5/2-3.65). It enables the Illinois Arts Council and the Illinois State Board of Education to provide grants for the purpose of supporting arts and foreign language education in schools to eligible applicants, with an emphasis on ensuring that these areas become part of the school’s core curriculum. Funding is available in each discipline for up to four years, with one year of planning and three years of implementation.

“Art and foreign language education enable students to think outside of their current perspectives, build new connections, and foster curiosity and engagement with the broader world—all key qualities for Illinois students,” said Governor JB Pritzker.” IAC and ISBE’s work in awarding these grants is an important investment in our young people, and I’m grateful for their hard work and dedication.”

“The IAC’s support for educators in expanding their curriculums offers new opportunities for our young people. Through this initiative, students will be exposed to a wide range of arts, including music, visual arts, performing arts, and more, tailored to the needs and desires of schools and local communities. This exposure and expression of creativity will positively impact both the students and their communities, fostering a richer, more vibrant cultural environment.” said IAC Board Chair, Nora Daley.

Says IAC Executive Director, Joshua Davis-Ruperto, “Arts and foreign language in our schools have been shown to boost academic performance, problem solving and social-emotional well-being - among so many other benefits. The AFL program is particularly essential to our rural and underserved communities where additional funding can make the most difference.”

IAC 2024 Planning Grant Awards

The one-year planning grant is to develop district-based plans for initiating, strengthening, or expanding instruction in the arts or foreign language. Funding recommendations were made by a panel of practitioners familiar with arts and foreign language programming from across the state and region. Fifteen districts are receiving planning grants totaling $367,480 (A= Arts, FL= Foreign Language).

Medinah School District #11, Roselle, A, $7,195

Rantoul City SD 137. Rantoul, FL, $13,355

Bensenville School District 2, Bensenville, FL, $38,400

District 215, Lansing, FL, $33,920

Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233, Flossmoor, FL, $36,000

Olympia CUSD 16, Stanford, A, $21,915

Eldorado CUSD 4, Eldorado, A, $40,000

Carlinville CUSD #1, Carlinville, FL, $13,280

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Evanston Township High School District 202, Evanston, A, $40,000

Herrin CUSD No. 4, Herrin, A, $40,000

Illini Bluffs CUSD #327, Glasford, A, $18,630

Valley View CUSD 365U, Romeoville, A, $40,000

CUSD 308, Oswego, FL, $3,500

Pennoyer School District 79, Norridge, FL, $11,285

Waterloo High School, Waterloo, A, $10,000

IAC Implementation Grant Awards

The three-year implementation grant is to introduce, strengthen, or expand instruction in the arts or foreign language and to develop means of perpetuating the funded program with local resources after the conclusion of the grant period. Seven districts are receiving $495,375 for their 2nd year of implementation.

Cobden School District 17, Cobden, A, $80,000

District 348, Mount Carmel, A, $80,000

Du Quoin CUSD 300, Du Quoin, A, $80,000

Elmwood Park CUSD 401, Elmwood Park, A, $80,000

Keeneyville School District 20, Hanover Park, FL, $23,375

North Lawndale College Prep, Chicago, A, $75,000

Vienna High School 13-3, Vienna, A, $77,000

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