CityArts Program

Eligibility Criteria

2021 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 focused on rebuilding and recovery across all artistic disciplines. Project grants will support initiatives that have the potential to impact the Chicago arts sector at large.

The 2021 CityArts Program application is now closed.

Download the 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/program with its own 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 2020). 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).

• Organizations that received CityArts general operating support in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are required to take 2021 off from general operating support. Organizations that received funding in 2018, 2019 or 2020—but not all three—can reapply for 2021 CityArts general operating funding. Organizations can apply for a 2021 Project Grant even if they received CityArts support in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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.


2021 Grant Calendar




Application Opens
and Guidelines become available
January 19, 2021       
Application Deadline

March 3, 2021

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 2021
All applicants will be notified via e-mail sent to the address on file in the CyberGrants system.
Contracting Period July-October 2021 Grant agreements and necessary attachments will be completed by grantees and processed by the cultural grants team.
Payments Disbursed
November 2021
Timeframe is subject to change. Please refer to this calendar for updates.



ElevArte Carnaval 2012 Photograper Kyle LaMere