Issue 15 / April 15, 2024

In this issue:

• IAC Congratulates POL Winners Coffee and Conversation in Springfield

IAC Program Staff Feature NEA Challenge America Illinois Artist Spotlight Additional Opportunities

IAC Congratulates Illinois Poetry Out Loud Winners

Kate Roth and Yohanna Endashaw

The IAC congratulates Illinois Poetry Out Loud champion, Yohanna Endashaw of Niles West High School, Skokie and runner-up, Kate Roth of Central High School, Champaign. In Illinois this year, 44 high schools, 205 teachers and over 7,000 students participated in Poetry Out Loud. On March 11, sixteen students representing Illinois’s eight regions competed for the state championship in front of a panel of recitation and accuracy judges at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield.

The Poetry Out Loud National Finals will be held in Washington, D.C. from April 30 to May 2, 2024, at Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University. Johanna Endashaw will compete in the second round of semi-finals on May 1. Both the Semifinals and National Finals can be viewed via a one-time-only live webcast at Read the IAC's official Press Release for more details.

Join the Illinois Arts Council and Arts Alliance Illinois for a morning of connection and resource sharing with fellow Springfield artists and creative organizations! Hear from the Illinois Arts Council and learn firsthand about what their recent grant program changes may mean for your arts practice or programming. Connect with the Arts Alliance Help Desk staff to find resources for supporting your creative business or nonprofit. Details can be found in this IAC Announcement.

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 10:00am-12 noon

Location: Venue 1929, 711 South 5th Street Springfield, IL 62703


Please Register Here

IAC Program Staff Feature

John Gawlik, Program Representative

Salesforce and Technical Support across the State

A new major shift of the IAC this year was to divide the state into six distinct regions allowing Program Directors to oversee entire communities as opposed to artistic disciplines. The Muse has featured its Program Directors over the last few months so you may better get to know who will be working within your community. If you have yet to do so, please refer to the Region Map and the Regional Program Director Finder page on IAC's website to determine your respective Program Director. Should you experience difficulties finding your Regional Program Director, please contact Program Representative, John Gawlik. John is also available to assist grant applicants needing technical support with the IAC's grants management system, Salesforce.

John Gawlik joined the Illinois Arts Council in 2023. He was born in Texas and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is a graduate of Marquette University. John has worked as an actor, director, and arts administrator. TV/Film roles include The Chi, Empire, Chicago Fire, PD, and Med, and Trial of the Chicago Seven. Gawlik has portrayed an officer of the law in over 25 roles on stage, film, and television. He has his Irish American mother and Polish American father to thank for a Chicago mug straight out of a Carl Sandburg poem.

Some things to know about John:

  • Eagle Scout and volunteer with his son’s cub scout pack
  • A member of the State Champion Swedish Fish Masters Swim Team in Lincoln Square
  • An Ensemble Member of The Gift Theatre
  • Award-Winning Director

NEA Challenge America Deadline is April 30

Challenge America offers support primarily to small organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved groups/communities. Challenge America features an abbreviated application, a robust structure of technical assistance, and grants for a set amount of $10,000. Grants require a cost share/match of $10,000 consisting of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Total project costs must be at least $20,000 or greater. The deadline is April 30th.

Follow the LINK for more information.

Illinois Artist Spotlight

Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman - New Performance Forms Fellowship Recipients

Photo credit: Billy Keniston

Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman are originating composing and performing theatre artists known for applying complex formal structures to the narratives of daily life in order to raise radically effective questions that require deep social critique. The results, ranging from humorous and disarming to mesmerizing and disorienting, arise as metaphors for social processes. Most comfortable in an experimental laboratory setting, they work as independent artists performing, composing, and teaching locally, nationally and internationally - for over 40 years. 


Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman have several projects in the works for the upcoming 2024-2025 season. Most notable are a collaboration with Theater Grottesco in Santa Fe to develop an evening length work and a collaborative project with Stefan Brün, of Prop Thtr. in Chicago.


Lisa Fay and Jeff Glassman are continually engaged in a creative residency at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. They reside in Urbana, Illinois. Follow the link to LEARN MORE about the artists.

Other Opportunities You May Have Missed

Independent Film Exhibition Conference - Chicago June 25-28 - Registration Now Available

The Art-in-Architecture Program of the Capital Development Board Announces Request for Qualifications from Illinois Artists - Deadline, May 22

Trailblazers or Trouble Makers? Decoding Gen Z's Impact in the Workplace - Illinois Council of Orchestras Webinar on April 26 @ 12pm

Doris Duke Foundation - Performing Arts Technologies Lab - Deadline, May 6

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) grant - Deadline, April 30

McLean County Arts Center, Call for Artists - Historic Rte 66, Juried Art Exhibition - Deadline June 1

The Muse, The Illinois Arts Council Newsletter, is published bi-weekly. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission of the IAC is strictly prohibited. The Muse is distributed free of charge. Contributions from our readers are welcome. The IAC reserves the right to edit or reject any material.

Masthead photo courtesy of courtesy of Monisha Stacy.