DCASE Cultural Grants
Through its Cultural Grants Program, DCASE seeks to serve as a catalyst to foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and creative industries thrive.
This mission is achieved through three primary grant programs:
The Individual Artists Program, a program for artists and creatives, seeks to discover, nurture, and expand Chicago’s individual artists and creative professionals through the provision of project-specific support. This program has two tracks: Creative Projects and Professional development. Artists may only apply to one of the two funding tracks per year. Additionally, City of Chicago employees may only apply for funds up to $1,000.00.
CityArts seeks to support the attainment of artistic excellence and financial stability through general operating support for 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organizations with annual operating budgets under $2 million.
Aimed at nonprofit arts and culture organizations with annual operating budgets of $2 million or more, IncentOvate funds, for project planning or execution, seek to incentivize innovation and foster the creation of new large scale public cultural experiences in Chicago.
Past Grant Cycles
To view your past applications, please log in to your CyberGrants account at www.cybergrants.com/dcase/programs/STAR/.
For a list of previous grant recipients and jurors, please visit www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/culgrants/historical-information.html
Grant Writing Support
Have questions about how to prepare an accurate budget, write a clear artist statement, or select an appropriate work sample to accompany your application? DCASE organizes information sessions in advance of each application deadline in order to help grant writers navigate the process.
Dates, times and locations can be found on the right-hand side of this page.
A general workshop from 2014 can be viewed online. Click here.
Other Funding Opportunities for Chicago-Based Artists
Looking for additional funding opportunities? Below is a listing of other funders in the Chicagoland area:
3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and focus on their creative process.
Audience Architects is a dance service organization whose mission is to build & engage dance audiences in Chicago and advocate for Chicago dance. We exist to provide Chicago dance companies with increased visibility, expansive resources, & forums to showcase & share their talents. Audience Architects also manages the Chicago installment of “MetLife New Stages for Dance” Initiative, a grant program administered by Dance/USA that provides theater rental subsidies for dance artists in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, allowing them to increase their visibility and audience-building capacity by performing in a venue that would typically be beyond their financial means.
Chicago Artists Coalition
Chicago Artists Coalition produces events throughout the year that provide vital professional development to advance our mission of building a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives. We invite artists, arts patrons and the general public to engage with our programs, exhibitions, and events. All CAC events are either free or deeply discounted for our members. For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit:
Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF)
CDF is a catalyst for innovation and a means to increase dynamic interaction among Chicago’s dancemakers. Launched in 2003, CDF was created in response to the dearth of funding for artistic research and development. By focusing on the creative process, the program is designed to cultivate artistic exploration and growth. Additional support is provided to CDF grantees through round table discussion and work-in-progress showings. CDF is led by Ginger Farley and a consortium comprised of two independent dance artists, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Links Hall, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the city of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Hubbard Street Dance.
Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts makes project-based grants to individuals and organizations and produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.
Illinois Arts Council
The Illinois Arts Council Agency serves the people of Illinois through a variety of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives meant to Support Illinois' Arts Sector, Advance Arts Education, and Foster Creativity and Working Artists. The Grants & Programs section of the website includes everything you need to know about funding and other opportunities provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. These opportunities are divided into two main categories: Grants & Awards and Special Initiative.
The Joyce Foundation
The Joyce Foundation supports efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture. Through the Culture Program, Joyce works to improve communities through the arts, support art that reflects the community, and make art accessible to diverse audiences. Joyce also invests in projects by artists of color to develop the Midwest’s creative capital and catalyze community engagement through the Joyce Awards program. Since 2003, the Joyce Awards have distributed $2.4 million to support the plays, visual arts, music, and dance of diverse artists in Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. In those 12 years, Joyce Award recipients have flourished both nationally and within their communities.
The Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago supports young Chicago artists, writers, and musicians by selecting 20 Luminarts Fellows annually through a rigorous competitive process. Luminarts Fellows receive recognition and financial support, and are cultivated by the Foundation as they continue their artistic practice to the betterment of Chicago’s cultural landscape.
The Propeller Fund provides grants to artists, curators, and groups living and working in Cook County, Illinois, producing a wide-range of public culture.
United States Artists
United States Artists celebrates the breadth of American artistic practices by providing $50,000 unrestricted awards directly to artists. We honor innovative, accomplished artists at all stages of their careers, who are nominated by their peers and field experts for their fresh perspectives, unique artistic vision, and impact on their field in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts and Visual Arts. Since our inception in 2006, we have awarded over 400 artists with almost $20 million in support through our signature Fellowship program.