Together, with the support of our donors, the DeKalb County Community Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in DeKalb County. Grants from the Community Foundation come from a variety of grant programs. Each program is unique in how to apply, who it supports, and the impact it creates. So how do these grants impact the community in which we live? Learn more in this grant in action story below!
Thank you to the donors who make grants like these possible!
In March of 2021, the online exhibition “Arts in Action” was launched. The exhibit was a shared venture of the DeKalb County History Center and Ellwood House Museum. The two local nonprofit organizations spent a great deal of time listening to community conversations about racism in DeKalb County. They each wanted to take a closer look at their collections to explore local stories connected to Black and Latino experiences. They found unsettling information showing examples of restrictive cemeteries and housing in neighborhoods, Ku Klux Klan rallies, and unlivable migrant housing. But there were also inspiring stories of hope and perseverance.View the Arts in Action exhibit >
Funding for the online exhibit was made possible by a Healing Illinois grant. “Arts in Action” uses an artistic perspective to provide an opportunity for combining local history with a medium that invites analysis and discussion. The History Center and Ellwood House Museum also secured three additional grants to expand the project.
The Illinois Humanities grant provided support for a website that creates a central location where community conversation can continue. This grant also supports an in-person exhibit, May 22 – July 2, 2022, related programming, and a website. Additionally, four other DeKalb County museums are reviewing their collections to expand the local history narrative to include people of color.
The DeKalb County Mental Health Board grant provided support for a project coordinator and an app connecting the stories of people of color to physical places in DeKalb County. The goals of the “Arts in Action” project are to create greater collaborations, build trust from community members of all races, and increase a sense of belonging for everyone who lives in our community. If you have stories to share or would like additional information, contact the DeKalb County History Center and Ellwood House Museum.
The Community Foundation grant provided general support for a variety of projects such as curriculum development and lesson plans for students. The goals include providing resources to classroom teachers that help them incorporate unrepresented voices to provide different perspectives while exploring local history. Funding for this grant was made possible through ongoing donor generosity to Community Impact Funds at the Foundation.
Learn more about Community Impact Funds >
“The Community Foundation believes in highlighting and elevating the importance of peoples’ stories related to race and racial injustice. We are proud to support this innovative and collaborative approach.” ~ Teri Spartz, Community Engagement Director