Chicago Arts Recovery Program
The Chicago Arts Recovery Program will provide resources to arts organizations to examine and address ongoing challenges brought on or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application for this program is now closed.
Chicago Arts Recovery Program Application
Chicago Arts Recovery Program Guidelines in English (PDF)
Chicago Arts Recovery Program Guidelines in Spanish (PDF)
This program is supported by federal funding awarded to the City of Chicago by the US Treasury through American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Join us for an info session to learn more about DCASE’s current grant programs for arts nonprofits.
Tuesday, February 21 | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm | Register Online
View Webinar Recording from February 10, 2023
If you have questions and are not able to access these virtual meetings, if you need assistance in another language, or if you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to attend or apply please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Goals and Focus Areas
Goal: To support the arts and culture sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic via:
• Project grants to nonprofit arts organizations, aligned with their identified needs.
• Focus on supporting projects that have potential to impact the rebuilding and recovery of Chicago’s arts and culture sector at large.
• Project evaluation and peer learning to share results, best practices, and models that can help the field.
Focus Areas and Strategies
There is one application where organizations can apply for grants in support of specified focus areas aligned with harms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each applicant must select one focus area for their grant request.
• Marketing and audience development
COVID-19 Harms: Decreases in ticket sales, subscribers, members, audiences, students, partners and other participants.
Strategy: To support marketing, promotional and audience/participant cultivation strategies to address drops in engagement since the pandemic, as well as new program models designed to engage new audiences including students.
• Facility access and management
COVID-19 Harms: Loss of space, deferred maintenance, decreases in available arts facilities, rising space costs and/or new facility health and safety standards.
Strategy: To provide administrative and capacity support to increase access to arts facilities, grants for maintenance on facilities, and support of feasibility studies related to acquiring new facilities for those that lost space due to the pandemic.
COVID-19 Harms: Mandated closures and decreases in live program attendance leading to shifts to virtual and other new programming formats associated with increased costs, and new equipment and staffing needs. Strategy: To provide support for increased digital demands, virtual and other new programming formats, and accessibility services and devices needed for these formats.
• Workforce Supports:
COVID-19 Harms: Staff, artist and teaching artist shortages and inequitable pay and benefits alongside increases in physical and mental health support needs.
Strategy: To support employee recruiting and retention efforts including training, professional development, and full-time or contract employee salaries, fees and benefits.
• Strategic and Operational Planning
COVID-19 Harms: All of the previously listed harms including shifts in programming formats and audience/participant interests and behaviors alongside rising costs, decreases in income and staff shortages, have necessitated organizations to rethink missions, business models, capacity, and more.
Strategy: To support implementation of new business models and internal structures, including merging, partnering in new ways, and/or transition of an organization’s operations or programs.
Grant and Learning Cohort Details
Grants requests can range from $50,000 - $250,000. Applicants can request up to $250,000 regardless of their budget size. We anticipate making up to 45 grants through this program.
Grantees will have the option of joining learning cohorts with other grantees receiving support. The timeline, structure, content and share-out format for the learning cohort processes will be customized based on the selected grantees’ needs and capacity and developed by a team of consultants/facilitators to be selected via a City RFP process later in 2023. Grantees participating in learning cohorts will receive additional funding for participation in quarterly forums with peers executing similar projects to inform collective progress towards challenges identified.
Eligibility Criteria for Applicants
To be eligible to apply for a Chicago Arts Recovery Program Grant, projects must be a response to a problem, challenge or harm the organization is facing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible to apply for a Recovery Program Grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.
• Have a primary mission to create, produce, present, provide, or support arts and culture activities or services for the public.
• Be a resident company in the city of Chicago with a valid street address (P.O. Boxes will not be accepted). National organizations with a Chicago branch are eligible.
• Have been incorporated and operating in Chicago prior to March 2020.
• Have experienced negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic as indicated by rising costs and/or decreases in overall income, earned income, audiences, subscribers, students, partners and/or number of programs.
The following entities cannot be listed as the lead applicant on a proposal. However, collaborations with these entities are welcome.
• Organizations that received a grant through the Together We Heal Creative Place Program.
• For-profit organizations.
• Public or governmental agencies, municipal departments and their affiliate 501c3s, including libraries, parks, transit, and family services agencies
• Organizations with primary office addresses located outside of the city of Chicago.
• Organizations applying using a fiscal agent.
• Organizations applying on behalf of an organization/program for which they serve as a fiscal agent or fiscal sponsor.
• Athletic teams, social organizations, fraternal organizations.
DCASE can only accept one application per 501(c)3 through this program.