Naper Settlement Receives Grant as Part of $22.5 Million Statewide Investment to Support Local Festivals and Attractions, Drive Tourism Across Illinois
NAPERVILLE–Naper Settlement today announced that it has been selected to receive a $187,003 grant from the Tourism Attractions and Festivals Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) as part of a $22.5 million investment for nearly 90 local tourism festivals and attractions across Illinois.
The Museum especially thanked its legislators -- Senator Laura Ellman and Representative Janet Yang Rohr -- since their strong support helped make the grant possible.
The grant funding will support Naper Settlement’s special events. In 2022, the museum welcomed 33,152 attendees to Naper Settlement produced events, which include the Naper Nights Community Concert Series, Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve, and Howlin’ at the Moon. The funding will support various upgrades to each of the events’ signage, attractions, performances, and more.
In addition to its museum and education function, Naper Settlement is a significant cultural tourism attraction for the City of Naperville, and for DuPage, Will, and surrounding counties— generating revenue by attracting residents and non-residents who visit and stay to patronize other local businesses, including restaurants, shops, and hotels. During the summer, the museum hosts six Naper Nights concerts with tribute bands performing songs from some of the greatest musicians across the decades. Naper Settlement’s October events kick off with Oktoberfest, an event featuring German cuisine, beer varieties, activities, and live music. Families with kids 16 and under experience various Halloween-themed outdoor activities and performances at All Hallows Eve. The museum’s final event of the season, Howlin’ at the Moon, is an adults (21+) Halloween bash with thrilling performances, live music, a costume contest, and local cuisine.
"Naper Settlement serves as an economic engine for the city and surrounding counties. Its special events attract visitors from across Illinois and beyond and have a positive economic impact to our local economy. We are grateful to DCEO for their recognition through this grant of the value we bring,” said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, president and CEO at Naper Settlement. “This grant is important in the aftermath of the pandemic. It will give us a needed boost to deliver enhanced event experiences that keep pace with our growing audience, while also showcasing Naperville’s rich downtown area and businesses.”
The $22.5 million in Illinois Tourism Attractions and Festivals grants provides funding to localities, organizations, and businesses for a broad range of tourism-related improvements, events, and activities. This builds upon $10 million in funding through the first round of the grant program in 2022 that provided to 40 localities across the state. Combined with Illinois' largest-ever tourism campaign, ‘Middle of Everything,' Illinois is prioritizing investing in its thriving tourism industry while driving millions of visitors to choose Illinois for their next trip.
Through the $22.5 million investment, $5 million was reserved for festivals, which serve as economic drivers while bringing communities together, and $17.5 million is supporting a broad range of other tourism-related projects such as attractions, museums, live performance venues, and more. Naper Settlement’s application was selected for an award through a competitive process, which required demonstrating how the award would help businesses in the surrounding area, as well as the project's ability to attract visitors for overnight stays.
About Naper Settlement
Naper Settlement is a nationally accredited, award-winning outdoor living history museum set on 13 magnificent acres in the heart of Naperville. Located 30 miles from Chicago, the museum is home to thirty-one historical structures dating back as early as the 1830s. Featuring exhibits, special events, educational programming and more, Naper Settlement is where history comes alive and the community comes to connect. For more information, visit www.napersettlement.org or call (630) 420-6010.
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