CityArts Program

16th International

   DCASE has been approved for a $250,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This grant contributes funds to the CityArts Program for distribution to local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.


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Eligibility Criteria

2020 Grant Calendar

BOLT Exhibition 16th International TheaterWit Arts Of Life ElevArte Carnaval 2012 (Photographer Kyle LaMere) How And Why Storycatchers Operation Ignore


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.

Nonprofit arts and culture organizations of all sizes and across all artistic disciplines can apply for general operating grants and project grants. Project grants will be in alignment with DCASE’s annual theme.

The 2020 CityArts Applications are now closed.

Download the 2020 Guideline Packet (PDF)


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 OR have an arts-focused division/department with its own operating budget.

• Offer programs in an artistic discipline, operate as a museum, or serve as an arts service organization.

• Be a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization incorporated for at least 12 months prior to applying (must have been incorporated as of January 2019). General operating applicants must have been incorporated within the state of Illinois. National organizations with a Chicago branch are eligible to apply for project grants.

• 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 2020 calendar year.

• Organizations that received general operating support in 2017, 2018 and 2019 are required to take 2020 off from general operating support. Organizations that received funding in 2017, 2018 or 2019—but not all three—can reapply for 2020 CityArts general operating funding. Organizations can apply for a 2020 Project Grant even if they received CityArts support in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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.


2020 Grant Calendar




Application Assistance Workshops

Beginning January 28                
Advance registration is encouraged. See above link.
Application Opens
and Guidelines become available
January 20, 2020         
Application Deadline

February 28, 2020 

5pm CST

No Extensions will be Granted

Applications must be submitted at least one week before the deadline to avoid technical issues. Any technical issues reported within the week prior to the deadline might not be resolved in time for you to successfully submit your application.

Notification of Results
July 2020
All applicants will be notified via e-mail sent to the address on file in the CyberGrants system.
Contracting Period July-October 2020 Grant agreements and necessary attachments will be completed by grantees and processed by the cultural grants team.
Payments Disbursed
November 2020
Timeframe is subject to change. Please refer to this calendar for updates.



ElevArte Carnaval 2012 Photograper Kyle LaMere