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Rep. West Applauds $1.4 Million in Grant Funding To Boost Area Tourism, Festivals, and Attractions

ROCKFORD - State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) issued the following statement in response to the recent announcement of $1.4 million in state grant funding for five Rockford tourism events, festivals, and attractions:


“Tourism, festivals, and attractions are a key part of our local economy, and I am excited for these investments in Rockford’s future,” said State Representative Maurice West. ”The projects funded by these grants will bring more visitors to our area, generating positive economic activity that supports good-paying jobs and revitalizes local communities. Plus, the events and organizations supported by this funding will provide fun, educational, and culturally enriching activities for our residents. I want to thank Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity for this important investment in our community.”


In total, $22.5 million in grant funding was awarded to 89 projects across Illinois through the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant program. Designed to support local festivals and attractions and drive tourism across the state, Illinois increased the funding available from $15 million to $22.5 million in order to support additional attractions.


The five Rockford projects that received grant funding include:

  • Anderson Gardens - Modify a parking facility at the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford ($150,000)

  • City of Rockford - Construction of a Great Lawn Open Canopy Stage at Davis Park along the Rock River in Rockford ($500,000)

  • Discovery Center Museum of Rockford Inc - Support for the Interactive Willow Garden Kaleidoscope Sculpture in the Kaleidoscope Corner of the Outdoor Science Park at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford ($15,000)

  • GT Partners, LLC - Restoration of the historic Times Theater in the West Downtown Rockford Historic District ($500,000)

  • Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau - Funding for the Transformational Arts and Culture Festival in Rockford ($235,000)


Statewide, grant awards range from $15,000 to $500,000, with an average award of $250,000 for a total of $22.5 million. A link to the full list of the recipients can be found here.



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