Annual Benefit Luncheon

Due to COVID-19, the Alliance Eighth Annual Benefit Luncheon has been rescheduled for April 29, 2021.

Like every organization, the Alliance’s public events have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Although we will miss the opportunity to gather the Illinois creative community at our annual luncheon in 2020, we are pleased to announce that the Arts Alliance Illinois Eighth Annual Benefit Luncheon will take place on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

We are grateful that Creative Voice Awardee, Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation and Citizen Advocate Awardee, Michelle L. Collins, President of Cambium LLC, have both agreed to reschedule their participation as honorees to 2021.

The Alliance has contacted all sponsors and ticket buyers for the previously scheduled event, but for any other questions on next steps, please contact Dimi Venkov at

While we were looking forward to celebrating our state’s creative sector with you, we can’t wait to see you next year as we emerge from this crisis as a creative community united and focused on the future.

The Annual Benefit Luncheon is one of the largest gatherings of our state’s creative community across artistic disciplines. The event attracts nearly 500 cultural, philanthropic, and business leaders, in addition to individual artists and arts professionals. Awards at the event honor the work of cultural champions, luminary artists, and youth development leaders.

All proceeds from the event support the work of the Alliance, to promote and defend the value of a creative life across Illinois.

2021 Creative Voice Award
2021 Citizen Advocate Award

In his tenure as president, Darren Walker has transformed the Ford Foundation into one of the world’s leading charitable organizations focused on reducing inequality. He values the arts as essential to the human experience, and has integrated the foundation’s support for the arts and social justice.

Michelle L. Collins is President of Cambium LLC, a consulting firm, corporate director on five public and private companies, and a member of the Advisory Board of Svoboda Capital Partners, LLC. As past president of the board of Chicago Sinfonietta, she helped restructure its business model and place it on a more secure financial foundation. She also previously served as a trustee of The Field Museum, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Urban League, and many others.