Grant to help Crystal Lake Strikers’ programs for girls, special needs students

Grant gave up to $10,000 to arts and culture organizations to support their efforts to ‘reach new and diverse audiences’

Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline was one of 16 northern Illinois organizations awarded a grant through ComEd’s annual Powering the Arts program.

Meant to support accessibility to the arts “in the face of challenges due to the pandemic,” ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres partnered to give grants of up to $10,000 to area nonprofit organizations, according to a news release.

The Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline will support community-driven programs for the Kingpins, a drumline for special need students, and Girls on the Drum, a drumming program for elementary and middle school girls, ComEd said.

“These programs are multi-year endeavors with the goal of expanding diversity and reaching underserved communities in McHenry County,” ComEd said in the release.

The Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline, founded in 2007, includes five student ensembles, with more than 125 members, and an adult line, which, according to its website, has performed in front of “millions of people live and on television.”

Other Powering the Arts grant recipients include the Barrington Dance Ensemble and the Alma Dance Theatre from Glen Ellyn’s Dance2Connect program, which “brings dance and movement to children and youth with autism.”

This is ComEd’s fourth year partnering with the League of Chicago Theatres to provide the Powering the Arts Program. Since it began in 2018, the program has given more than $450,000 in grant money to support 58 local theaters, arts programs and cultural institutions throughout northern Illinois, according to the news release.

“Long before the challenges of the past year and a half, ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres recognized the value of the arts as a means to enrich people’s lives,” Melissa Washington, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd, said in a statement. “Today, nonprofit arts organizations continue to face challenges in adapting to ever-changing health and safety protocols. Our program is designed to help keep the arts open and accessible to all residents across every community we serve.”

Cassie Buchman

Cassie Buchman

I cover Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove, Prairie Grove and Oakwood Hills for the Northwest Herald.