“Story Week” Receives Three New Grants in Support of its 2014 Annual Festival of Writers

More than $25,000 from Chicago Community Trust, Illinois Humanities Council and the Illinois Arts Council combined with existing $27,000 Richard H. Driehaus Grant

CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2013)—Columbia College Chicago’s Story Week Festival of Writers has received $25,850 of combined new grants from three foundations for its 18th annual city-wide literary event. The new grants are supported by The Chicago Community Trust at $15,000, the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) at $5,850 and the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) at $5,000. These are in addition to a $27,000 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation grant through the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture, awarded last year, and disbursed over three years.

Story Week is one of Chicago’s premier literary events rooted in the inimitable tradition of breaking literary boundaries and providing vital, up-close access to today’s top authors and storytellers. Held in multiple venues and neighborhoods across Chicago, Story Week is also uniquely embedded in the dynamic, vibrant spaces where people live and perform. The 18th annual Story Week Festival will be held from March 16-21, 2014, and will have a strong Latino and Caribbean literature and translation component.

“Drawing from the rich diversity of the city, Story Week stands apart in both showcasing Chicago’s distinct literary voices and traditions, and attracting national and international literary greats,” said Randall Albers, the festival’s founder and chair emeritus of the fiction program at Columbia College. “Thanks to support from these foundations, we’re able to continue this vital tradition of bringing stories off the pages and into clubs, stages and other venues where they can be celebrated.”

With support from The Chicago Community Trust, Story Week 2014 will partner with the Guild Complex to showcase the vibrancy of Chicago’s Latino literary arts. The Richard H. Driehaus grant continues its overall support for Story Week, now in its second year, and returning partners include the IAC and IHC.

“The Illinois Humanities Council is proud to support not-for-profit organizations that promote the importance of the humanities in private and public life. Through their efforts, Illinoisans have greater access to lifelong learning opportunities,” said IHC Executive Director Kirstina A. Valaitis. “These champions of the humanities make their communities and our whole state more vibrant.”

In past years, luminaries such as Salman Rushdie, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Oates, Aleksandar Hemon, Irvine Welsh, Anchee Min, Sherman Alexie, Junot Diaz, Gillian Flynn, Studs Terkel, Dorothy Allison, and the late Ray Bradbury, among numerous others, have graced the Story Week stage. Free and open to the public, Story Week’s personable, informal settings often make connections between literary legends and first-time festival attendees. More information can be found at www.colum.edu/storyweek or on Twitter @StoryWeek.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than 10,000 students in 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit www.colum.edu.

For 98 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 20121, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more the $130 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, form building health centers to protecting the safety net for those hardest hit by the recessios, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.ccit.org.

The Illinois Humanities Council [IHC] is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency], as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. The IHC’s Community Grants program is its oldest. Since 1974, the IHC has welcomed grant proposals from not-for-profit groups that have a story to tell about the state, or who have a way to use the humanities to enrich community life. Not-for-profit organizations may apply for Mini Grants up to $2,000 and Major Grants up to $10,000. For more information about the Illinois Humanities Council, please contact the IHC offices at 312.422.5580 or visit their website at www.prairie.org.

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Media Contacts: 

Cara Birch, cbirch@colum.edu, 312.369.8695

Steve Kauffman, skauffman@colum.edu, 312.369.7383