Arts Alliance Illinois Response to COVID-19 Restrictions

Illinois cultural events over 1,000 people to be suspended due to coronavirus, events over 250 discouraged by Governor Pritzker

For immediate release

Contact: Claire Rice, Executive Director, Arts Alliance Illinois, rice@artsalliance.org, 312-855-3105 ext. 14

March 12, 2020 – Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker, supported by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, announced that all public gatherings over 1,000 people in Illinois must be cancelled for a minimum of 30 days and potentially until May 1, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also issued guidance strongly recommending the cancellation or postponement of any events over 250 people in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus, especially those with large participation from vulnerable populations.

This announcement will have an enormous personal and financial impact on artists and cultural organizations across Illinois. We are currently in the process of assessing the potential direct financial impact of COVID-related closures on our sector. We will continue our advocacy for the critical resources that artists and cultural organizations will need in this environment. Our sincere thanks to government leaders, health officials, and the philanthropic organizations that have been partnering with us thus far.

For arts patrons, please consider donating the price of your ticket(s) to impacted cultural organizations instead of asking for a refund, and do everything possible to support individual artists through purchase of work, short-term hiring, and beyond.

Finally, we want to encourage the creative community to take care of one another in response to this challenge. Many members of the sector have faced racism and xenophobia related to COVID-19. As creatives of every race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, it is critical that we do not tolerate racist comments and stereotypes when we encounter them.

The Alliance is committed to supporting our members and the wider sector during this challenging time. Our artists and creatives are essential to the vitality of our communities across Illinois, and we know they will be a critical part of the response to this public health crisis. We must support them now, more than ever, and into the future.

About Arts Alliance Illinois

Arts Alliance Illinois fights for arts resources and policies that benefit our members and all Illinois residents. With 25,000 active subscribers and hundreds of members, we connect the people and ideas that are shaping the future of the creative sector. As the only multidisciplinary organization concentrated on the strength of arts and culture across the state, the Alliance takes on challenges that no single organization or artist can fight alone. Our work in civic engagement, arts education, and cultural equity positively impacts every community across the state. Visit artsalliance.org to learn more.

# # #