CityArts Program

The goal of DCASE’s CityArts Program is to encourage the attainment of artistic excellence and financial stability, and to incentivize innovation related to citywide priorities.

In 2019, nonprofit arts and culture organizations of all sizes will be able to apply for general operating grants and project grants. Project grants will be in alignment with the Year of Chicago Theatre.

The 2019 CityArts Program guidelines are now available. Download the 2019 Guideline Packet (PDF).

There are Three Distinct applications, which can be accessed as outlined below.

• General operating grant application for organizations with an annual adjusted income budget over $2M:

• General operating grant application for organizations with an annual adjusted income budget under $2M:

• Project grant application for organizations of all sizes:


Eligible organizations are able to apply for both a General Operating grant AND a Project Grant in 2019.



Jump to:

Program Overview

Eligibility Criteria

2019 Grant Calendar

BOLT Exhibition 16th International TheaterWit Arts Of Life ElevArte Carnaval 2012 (Photographer Kyle LaMere) How And Why Storycatchers Operation Ignore
All applicants are encouraged to attend an Application Assistance Workshop. Please use the following link to RSVP for a workshop:

Program Overview

Through CityArts, DCASE provides general operating grants to arts organizations with vibrant artistic or cultural programming. General operating funds may be used for artistic, administrative and program activities including expenses such as salaries, marketing, insurance, supplies, professional services, fees and training. All grants are one-year grants.

In 2019, we will also offer the opportunity to apply for project-specific funding in alignment with the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre. Grants will support projects that have the potential to impact the Chicago theatre sector at large. Funded projects might include research projects, resource sharing initiatives, or programs that could serves as replicable models related to DCASE’s Cultural Grants Program Priorities of Community Engagement, Diversity & Equity, and Collaboration.


Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for a CityArts grant, applicants must meet the following criteria.

Organizations must:

• Have a primary mission to create, produce, present, provide, or support arts and culture services for the public.

• Work in one of the following disciplines: Architecture, Curatorial Arts/Museums, Dance, Design (includes Fashion, Industrial, and Costume), Interdisciplinary, Literary Arts, Media Arts and Film, Music, Performance Art, Photography, Public Art, Theater, Visual Arts OR serve as an arts service organization.

• Be a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization incorporated in the State of Illinois for at least 12 months prior to applying (must have been incorporated as of January 2018).

• Be a resident company in the city of Chicago with a valid street address (P.O. Boxes will not be accepted).

• Primarily serve the residents of the city of Chicago (demonstrate that, on average, half of all programming occurs within the city of Chicago limits).

• Be planning programing/activities open and available to the public during the 2019 calendar year.

• Organizations that received CityArts general operating support in 2016, 2017, and 2018 are required to take 2019 off from general operating support. Organizations can apply for a 2019 Project Grant even if they received CityArts support in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Special eligibility criteria for general operating grants only: Organizations must not be receiving other significant support (cash or In Kind) from the City of Chicago or a City of Chicago Delegate Agency. Significant support is defined as more than $1M within the calendar year towards an organization’s annual budget.


2019 Grant Calendar




Application Assistance Workshops
Beginning January 24               
Advance registration is encouraged.
Application Opens
and Guidelines become available
January 15, 2019      
Application Deadline

February 28, 2019  

5pm CST

No Extensions will be Granted

Notification of Results
June 2019
All applicants will be notified via e-mail sent to the address on file in the CyberGrants system.
Contracting Period June-August 2019 Grant agreements and necessary attachments will be completed by grantees and processed by the cultural grants team.
Payments Disbursed
September 2019
Timeframe is subject to change. Please refer to this calendar for updates.



ElevArte Carnaval 2012 Photograper Kyle LaMere