Chicago's Creative Powerhouse | World Business Chicago



Chicago’s Creative Powerhouse

Chicago’s Creative Powerhouse

World Business Chicago proudly celebrates the incredible achievements of our homegrown talent and local productions this awards season. From rapper Lil Durk’s Grammy win for Best Melodic Rap Performance for “All My Life” to poet J. Ivy’s victory for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album, Chicago’s creative community continues to shine on the national stage. Meanwhile, “The Bear” dominated the Emmy Awards with 13 nominations and 10 wins, showcasing the city’s ability to nurture top-tier talent across various artistic disciplines.

On the heels of these achievements, Ellen Kaulig Creative Economy Lead at World Business Chicago, compiled the below list of noteworthy developments from Chicagoland’s dynamic creative landscape.

Iconic Stories: Made in Illinois

Photo by the Reservation Counter.

On Wednesday, March 27th, the Illinois Production Alliance (IPA) hosted two events in LA with special guest JB Pritzker.The theme, Iconic Stories: Made in Illinois, captured nostalgic moments of the past with a pitch for the future of film in Illinois.

The day kicked off with a luncheon at historic The Beverly Hilton. Local labor and business leaders joined film, TV, and independent studio production executives and producers to hear from the Governor and Illinois Film Office’s Peter Hawley. Among those in attendance were: Eric Chaudron of SAG-AFTRA, Zoe Borys of Fuse Technical Group, Tony Barracca of IATSE Local 746, Ashley Rice of Cinespace Studios , and Shawn Papazian of The Fields Studios. The luncheon programming centered on the benefits of doing business in Illinois and the particulars of the state’s expanded/extended Film Production Tax Credit and workforce training programs.

Illinois Film Production Tax Credit

In Illinois, public records show, Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” franchises have earned nearly $260 million in tax credits in the past six years, with much of those being sold to Comcast (New York Times). Image by NBC.

While other states are doubting whether there is a tangible return on their investment, the hard work of Illinois legislators, labor partners, and businesses have been able to create one of the most successful programs in the nation. The Illinois Film Production Tax Credit was recently highlighted in the New York Times.

To learn more about the economic impact of this tax incentive for Film, Television, and Commercials, click here to read the full economic impact report commissioned by the Illinois Production Alliance (IPA). Or if you’d like to learn more about how you can take advantage of the program, please visit this great resource made by the Illinois Film Office.


June 2024- Film and Television Events

Looking forward to June, the calendar is packed with Film and Television events open to the public.

  • On June 1st the Chicago International Film Festival, now in its 60th year, is hosting Cinema Soiree’. The celebration of this iconic festival will feature NBC News Today’s Al Roker as emcee. Click here for more information and tickets.
  • The 1-2-3 powerhouse of Filmscape from June 21-23, Art House Convergence + Film Festival Alliance Conference from June 25-28, and Sundance Institute x Chicago from June 28-30. Filmscapeis not only the Industry Tradeshow of the Midwest for Film/TV, there is a packed weekend of free panels, workshops, and workforce development.
  • Art House Convergence and Film Festival Alliance are launching a new conference for independent film exhibitors of all kinds featuring workshops, keynotes, networking events, and capacity-building sessions, learn more here.
  • To cap it all off, Sundance Institute has partnered with the Chicago Film Office and Choose Chicago for Sundance Institute x Chicago 2024 featuring artists’ programs, film screenings, and events across the city and will be an opportunity to highlight Chicago’s vibrant cultural scene and bolster its status as a diverse and innovative filmmaking hub: June 28-30.

The Fields Studios Ribbon-Cutting

Rendering by Knickpoint Ventures.

June will also bring the ribbon-cutting of The Fields Studios on the Logan Square/Avondale border. This $250 million development is our first purpose-built production studio, the newest part of the larger 1.5 million square foot Fields complex. Recently the project has received financial support from both the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. Projects are already being booked for the space and we look forward to this addition of Chicago’s Film and Television infrastructure.

The Emmys

Photo by the Television Academy.

The Bear’s 10 Emmy wins and 13 nominations opened the door to Chicago’s storied history in comedy.

The Emmy’s highlighted nominations for:

  • Robin Thede (A Black Lady Sketch Show),
  • Rashida Olayiwola (Jury Duty),
  • Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso),
  • Steven Yeun (Beef),
  • Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul),
  • Michael Shannon (George & Tammy),
  • and Brian Stack (Late Show with Stephen Colbert).

In February, the Grammy’s nominated Terry Hunter for a third time, John Primer, Third Coast Percussion, Drew Lindsay aka Dim Star, and winners included J Ivy, Lil Durk, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra .

Keep the celebratory spirit going! Get your tickets for Art After Hours, out at EXPO, the Other Art Fair, or the Chicago Latino Film Festival, this weekend.

From corporate attraction to startup support, we champion initiatives that foster growth, innovation, and inclusivity, creating opportunities that benefit all Chicagoans and drive economic prosperity across the region. Join us in celebrating Chicago’s creative spirit and the boundless opportunities it brings!

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