A northern Illinois arts organization is now better equipped to help other art institutions.
The Rockford Area Arts Council has received two COVID relief grants. One was an 81Thrive Award from the community impact team, which includes the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, the Kjellstrom Family Foundation, the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence (NICNE), Transform Rockford, United Way of Rock River Valley, and the Workforce Connection. The RAAC also received a grant from the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund.
Mary McNamara Bernsten is the executive director of the Arts Council. She said these grants are vital for the health of the organization.
“It's imperative that we got that because it will not only allow us to then survive in 2021,” she explained, “but we may be able to thrive and be a true resource for the artists’ community.”