Springfield Area Arts Council


The SAAC mission is to enrich the community through the arts. We work to increase access to the arts through all segments of our community including arts experiences and arts education for young and old alike. Because exposure to the arts has real, measurable impact. Research from the U.S. Department of Justice demonstrates students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, show increased academic performance. Data from The College Board shows students who take 4 years of arts and music classes while in high school score 98 points better on their SATs than students who took only a half year or less. The National Institute on Aging reports that “research on music, theater, dance, creative writing, and other participatory arts shows promise for improving older adults’ quality of life and well-being, from better cognitive function, memory, and self-esteem to reduced stress and increased social interaction.”

These results show that the arts are far from expendable. 

But as economic anxieties rise, the funding of arts experiences and education is threatened. What can you do to help? It’s simple. The resources below will help you make a real impact in keeping the arts alive and accessible throughout Illinois.

Email your representative asking them to support The Creative Economy Task Force Bill (HB4959)!

This bill, if passed, will create a task force in charge of developing a strategic plan for the creative economy to ensure the state reaches its economic, social justice, and business development goals. Read Arts Alliance Illinois’ summary of the bill here.

It takes less than a minute to ask for your representative’s support.

We’re also asking for them to support Governor Pritzker’s budget recommendation of $25.58M for the Illinois Arts Council.

Contact your legislators now.  ->


On November 2, 2023, two attempts to eliminate federal funding for the arts and humanities in the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior Appropriations were both soundly defeated!

Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA-10) sponsored two floor amendments:

  • Amendment #60 to eliminate all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was defeated by a vote of 292-129
  • Amendment #61 to eliminate all funding to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) was defeated by a vote of 292 to 132.
  • 100% of Democrats voted against both amendments and were joined by a strong 39% of Republicans to make it a bipartisan declaration that Congress supports the arts and culture. You can now see your House member voted on the NEA vote and the NEH vote.

This victory is due, in no small part, to the hard work of arts advocates across the country. While more work needs to be done to match the Senate number for FY2024, this victory demonstrates the influence arts advocates have when united to support important federal arts programs.

 This House bill will now move to the Senate, where a difference in funding levels will be reconciled. The House level sets both agencies at $186 million each while the Senate recommends $207 million each. Americans for the Arts will be lobbying for the higher level.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP)

Enacted in March 2021, ARP provides federal COVID recovery aid to state and local governments. Illinois local governments are receiving a combined $5.5 billion in assistance, known as Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF). Half the funding is currently on its way to localities, and the remainder will arrive in approximately one year.

Local governments have until December 31, 2024 to spend the federal aid, but since they are receiving some of it now, many are already under way with their process of deciding how to allocate the funds. Because localities have considerable flexibility in how to use the dollars, LFRF provides a unique opportunity for artists, arts organizations, and creative businesses to secure local government support – but you must act quickly and strategically.

Arts Alliance Illinois has constructed a toolkit on advocating for funds for the arts and culture at the local level. 

Get the Arts Alliance Illinois Advocacy Toolkit Here ->