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Evans Public Library receives $10,000 Humanities grant

Evans Public Library recently received a grant from the Illinois Humanities’ Foreground Rural Initiative.

The library was one of 27 participants in 19 counties to receive funding from a unique program to support local cultural events and programs.

Evans Public Library and the other partners in the Foreground Rural Initiative were each given $10,000 on the basis that they would create “hubs” that will host community events throughout 2023.

Library Director Jessica Blain said the grant will be used toward the new library building so that the library can devote more space for additional programs.

“Supporting artistic activities in our community is important to both our community by helping create culture and to support our local artists,” Blain said. “Artistic activities help children  with improving their  language, motor skills, and visual learning development.”

Blain said currently, Evans Public Library hosts an Adult Craft Time and a Wednesdays Work of Art held on the first and second Wednesdays at 4 p.m. The library also hosts its home school group on the second and fourth Thursdays at 1 p.m., which are planned to begin again in February.

Another community event, Fantastic Fridays, feature a craft and story time for children on the last Friday of the month at 4 p.m. The December event will be held this Friday, Dec. 16, due to the holidays.

Illinois Humanities introduced the Foreground Rural Initiative in the spring of 2022, dedicating this inaugural, first-of-its-kind program aimed at supporting arts and humanities in rural communities and various small towns across the state. According to a press release, Foreground “provides critical resources for individuals and organizations working in the arts, culture, and humanities, increasing their capacity and visibility.”

Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement. We provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Founded in 1974, Illinois Humanities is supported by state, federal, and private funds. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @ILHumanities.