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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Tourism and the Performing Arts in Dixon, Illinois

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the Historic Dixon Theatre Group, Dixon, Illinois, to boost tourism by renovating the 100-year-old Historic Dixon Theatre. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will support improvements to ensure the theatre’s continued significance as an economic driver for the region. The EDA investment will be matched with $300,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 75 jobs and generate $250,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping this critical sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger and more equitably for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Enhancements at the Historic Dixon Theatre will ensure the long-term viability of the theater as a critical source of tourism-based economic development in the region.”

“The Historic Dixon Theatre is one of our state’s overlooked treasures,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I am thankful the federal government prioritized funding for its renovation, building on my administration’s Rebuild Illinois Main Street and Downtown Capital program – a $50 million effort to revitalize Main Streets across the state. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Dixon to enjoy this historic venue in the near future and encourage travelers to take additional time to explore all of the exciting destinations the state of Illinois has to offer.”

“The American Rescue Plan I worked to pass is helping to accelerate the recovery of Illinois’ performing arts industry,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “These federal funds are an investment in the long-term economic growth of the city of Dixon and will bolster tourism for years to come.”

“Preserving local art venues is not only important for the creativity and culture of the Dixon community but can also be an economic driver for the region,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “With this federal support from the Democrat-backed American Rescue Plan, the Historic Dixon Theater can continue to serve as a community hub while supporting local jobs for hardworking families.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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