SCHAUMBURG, IL — The people behind the Al Larson Prairie Center For The Arts, known for promoting local theater, art, youth programs and outdoor summer programs, recently received some good news. The non-profit is one of 12 local arts organizations to receive a grant from ComEd for "supporting the arts and encouraging creativity in these unprecedented times."
According to a release from ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres, the grant will expand access to the arts through sensory- friendly performances at the Prairie Center, 201 Schaumburg Court, that are welcoming and accommodating for adults and children on the autism spectrum and those with other developmental or cognitive disabilities or sensory sensitivities.
In partnership with the Northwest Special Recreation Association, the PCAF will present two performances by Catapult Entertainment that are full shadow-illusion concerts, featuring movement and music, which are ideal for audiences with sensory sensitivities.
“COVID-19 has posed significant challenges to the arts community. Many artistic venues have closed and traditional performances with live audiences are unable to safely proceed. Despite these challenges, the artistic community across northern Illinois continues to find new ways to safely create and share their talent,” said Melissa Washington, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd. “We are proud to work with the League of Chicago Theatres to support local arts programs, theatres and cultural institutions, and provide more equitable access to the arts in communities we serve.”
ComEd and the League, an alliance of more than 200 Chicago theatres, have worked together since 2018 through the Powering the Arts Program. ComEd funds the program, providing more than $100,000 to grantees this year, and the League serves as program administrator to grant recipients.
Earlier this spring, non-profit organizations submitted grant applications for Powering the Arts. An advisory committee composed of members of the region's non-profit arts and culture community reviewed the applications.
“I am truly proud of the partnership we have built with ComEd through this program, which provides exposure to the arts,” said Deb Clapp, executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres. “I have seen the tremendous impact of our work together, specifically among underserved communities whose exposure to the arts is otherwise limited. These grants bring vibrancy and joy to communities – even more important this year as we all feel the effects of COVID-19.”
Additional information on the ComEd Powering the Arts Program can be found at: https://leagueofchicagotheatres.org/comedpoweringthearts/.