clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chicago’s Siskel Film Center, 47 others awarded local NEA grants

The Gene Siskel Film Center 164 N. State Street. | COURTESY OF THE GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER

Christmas Day came early for the School of the Art Institute’s Gene Siskel Film Center, and many other arts-related organizations/institutions/programs in the greater Chicago area.

The National Endowment for the Arts today approved more than $30 million in grants as part of the organization’s first major funding announcement for 2017, including its Art Works initiative, under which the Siskel Center was awarded a $10,000 grant to support its annual Black Harvest Film Festival.

“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Gene Siskel Film Center, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu, in the announcement. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

“We are delighted that the NEA has approved the Gene Siskel Film Center for a grant in the amount of $10,000 for the Black Harvest Film Festival. We are very grateful for their support and the endorsement of our work. We look forward to presenting the 23rd Annual Black Harvest Film Festival, a program that showcases emerging and established filmmakers from the African diaspora and attracts audiences from throughout the Midwest,” said Jean de St. Aubin, the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Executive Director, in a prepared statement.

The Black Harvest Film Festival is Midwest’s largest and longest-running Black film festival. It is an annual showcase for more than 50 feature films, documentaries, shorts, panel discussions, artists’ talks and other forums addressing experiences from the African diaspora. Next year’s festival will run Aug. 4-31 at the theater, 164 N. State. For festival information, visit

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra , with Riccardo Muti, Conductor. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2014
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra , with Riccardo Muti, Conductor. | © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2014

In all 48 Chicago-area arts-related organizations/schools received NEA grants, totaling $1,432,500.

Some of the grant recipients include: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ($75,000); the Joffrey Ballet ($20,000); the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Inc. ($70,000); Chicago Filmmakers ($25,000); Chicago Human Rhythm Project ($20,000); the Chicago International Film Festival ($45,000); Collaboraction Theatre, ($10,000); Facets Multimedia ($65,000); Hyde Park Art Center ($25,000); Instituto Cervantes of Chicago ($20,000); Lookingglass Theatre Company ($20,000); Lyric Opera of Chicago ($65,000); Sones de Mexico Ensemble ($30,000); Third Coast Percussion ($10,000); Urban Gateways($90,000); Elmhurst Art Museum ($40,000); Midwest Young Artists ($10,000); Northlight Theatre ($20,000), among others.

For the complete list, click here.