Two Chicago-based marketing and communications agencies led by Columbia College Chicago alumni, Direction Tour Marketing + Promotion and Acacia Consulting Group, are collaborating on a new fundraising initiative, “Support Chicago Arts,” to assist arts organizations in Chicago that are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis. To participate in this campaign, the public can purchase merchandise at supportchicagoarts.com. A portion of each transaction will go to support the arts organizations of the purchaser’s choice.
Direction Tour Marketing + Promotion is led by Columbia College alum Micah Taylor ’01, a graduate of what is now the Columbia College Chicago Business and Entrepreneurship Department‘s BA Program in Music Business. And Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum Maggie O’Keefe ’11, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting, is a partner at Acacia Consulting Group. As previously reported in this blog, she is also the Cook County (Illinois) Democratic Ward Committeeperson representing Chicago’s 40th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side.
Theatres and other arts venues were among the first to close amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as stay-at-home orders were implemented in Chicago. Even under Illinois’ Phase 4 reopening directives, these organizations will be among the last to reopen as social distancing best practices result in significantly reduced occupancy, making it difficult for venues to operate at all.
Chicago Stands Together, a registered Illinois not-for profit organization, was formed as a response to these unique challenges as an effort to unite the Chicago arts community, and it launched the Support Chicago Arts initiative to provide much-needed financial support to the arts community. By purchasing a lawn sign, medallion, window sign, or face mask, patrons announce their support for their favorite arts organizations and designate a portion of each tax-deductible transaction to be donated to those organizations. Support Chicago Arts is proud to support Black artists in Chicago through sales of face masks. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, all profits from the sale of face masks will be donated to Black arts organizations. There is no cost to organizations to participate, and any arts organization interested in joining the initiative should contact Micah Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.