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ComEd, League of Chicago Theatres Award Grants to 13 Arts Organizations in Northern Illinois

Annual Powering the Arts Program supports local arts and cultural institutions with more than $100,000 in grant funding

CHICAGO (Aug. 28, 2019) – Recognizing that increased access to the arts enhances the vibrancy of local communities, ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres today announced grants of up to $10,000 each to 13 non-profit arts organizations throughout northern Illinois. From local performing arts troupes to galleries and theatres, each grantee has proposed at least one unique project to support the expansion of arts and cultural offerings for underserved audiences in the communities ComEd serves.

"As an energy company, all of us at ComEd recognize that access to the arts has a tremendous ability to power our communities," said Melissa Washington, vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd. "That's why we are proud to partner with the League to support local arts and cultural institutions in their efforts to enrich the lives of residents who may otherwise have limited exposure to the arts."

This is the second year that ComEd and the League, an alliance of more than 200 Chicago theatres, have partnered to support arts and cultural institutions through the Powering the Arts Program. This year, ComEd provided a total of more than $100,000 to grantees, and the League served as the program administrator to grant recipients.

As the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres celebrate 2019 as the Year of Chicago Theatre, the Powering the Arts Program correspondingly supports a diverse collection of theatres in neighborhoods across Chicago. From Uptown to Bridgeport, the grants provide funding to a number of other arts organizations working to break down the barriers that traditionally inhibit certain audiences from enjoying access to arts and cultural resources.

"The League of Chicago Theatres and ComEd again partner for Powering the Arts, which will enhance the art of theatre in the Chicago area by making theatre more accessible to all. During this Year of Chicago Theatre, this program supports exposure to the arts, a vital element to the health of our communities, and makes the arts available to underserved audiences," said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres.

Non-profit organizations submitted their applications for Powering the Arts grants this spring. An advisory committee composed of members of the region's non-profit arts and culture community then reviewed eligible applications.

Additional information on the ComEd Powering the Arts Program can be found at: https://leagueofchicagotheatres.org/comedpoweringthearts/.

The 13 ComEd Powering the Arts Program grant recipients for 2019 are:

Citadel Theatre (Lake Forest): The grant will partially fund the Citadel Cares program, which makes live theatre and theatre education more accessible to minorities, the military, and low-income families.

Shattered Globe Theatre (Chicago – Lakeview): The grant will support the Space Between Us program, which provides arts programming to adults experiencing homelessness and those, including veterans, dealing with mental illness.

Adventure Stage Chicago (Chicago – West Town): The grant will continue Adventure Stage Chicago's Spanish-language outreach that allows the theatre to offer marketing materials in Spanish as well as English.

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (Chicago – Loop): The grant will offer tickets at a discounted rate to residents of the Hermosa neighborhood for a concert performance of "American Catracho," as well as a free interactive preview and discussion with the artistic director before the concert.

Esperanza Community Services (Chicago – West Town): The grant will help to connect low-income artists with disabilities to materials to create art and the space in which to exhibit. It will also help connect families in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago to contemporary and vital artistic works, as well as artists who face barriers such as poverty and limited communication ability to supporters and patrons.

Repertorio Latino Theater (Chicago – Bridgeport): The grant will support the theater in distributing free performance tickets to the current production of La Cantante Calva by Eugène Ionesco to mostly native Spanish speakers of the Bridgeport community and beyond.

Warehouse Project & Gallery (Summit): The grant will support the traveling performance group Living Out Loud, comprised primarily of youth of color from underserved and under-resourced communities.

Chimera Ensemble (Chicago – Wicker Park): The grant will support the company in making theatre accessible to those with hearing and vision disabilities by providing open captioned and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted performances for each of their productions.

CircEsteem Inc. (Chicago – Uptown): The grant will support the Advanced Performance Troupe's summer performance tour, "CircEsteem around Chicago."

Experimental Station (Chicago – Woodlawn): The grant will help weave together a number of music-focused initiatives that are part of the organization's public events series to reach African American youth and adults in Woodlawn and Chicago's surrounding South Side neighborhoods.

Faubourg Theatre (Hanover Park): The grant will help provide summer programming that integrates the arts and literacy to engage low-income students who typically would not have the opportunity or ability enroll in a summer program.

Elmhurst Choral Union (Elmhurst): The grant will help bring live music performances to seniors living in local retirement communities who are otherwise unable to access music productions.

Side Street Studio Arts (Elgin): The grant will help double the organization's scholarship offerings for students and maintain its highly popular drop-in sessions and Community Moves and Small Wonders programs, which provide visual and performing arts for students and families.

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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