Our Town

Rockford Area Arts Council

Rockford, Illinois

$75,000

2014

The NEA grant will support the expansion of a pilot public housing creative entrepreneurship program citywide. Artists will engage in mentoring as well as skills and creative business acumen training via a local open-source educational platform for adult learners. The project will survey and interview artists and align program resources appropriately to the participant's skill level. E-commerce platforms and festivals hosted in unique and untapped locations will allow artists to market their talent to the public and engage and connect with fellow community members. Partners in this effort include the Rockford Housing Authority, the City of Rockford, and the Rockford Public Schools. Rockford has a population of 153,000, 34% of whom live below the poverty level.