Neighborhood Access Program (NAP)

The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is currently accepting Idea Submissions for its Neighborhood Access Program. The goal of this program is to support the cultural vitality of every Chicago neighborhood via grant programs and partnerships designed to be responsive to the complex needs of individual communities. This program will offer direct grants for all types of place-based arts and culture activities.

Submissions closed for 2022. View the NAP 2022 grantees (PDF)

Download the 2022 Program Guidelines (PDF)


There’s three ways that you can share your idea with us. You can either:
1) Narrative: Provide a brief written description of your idea.
2) Recording: Provide a 5-minute video or audio recording describing your idea. (Video does not need to be highly edited. iPhone videos are fine!)
3) PDF/JPEG file upload: Provide a PowerPoint or other presentation with images and text describing your idea.

We want to hear about:

•  Why you want to do this project
•  What you hope to accomplish
•  Who will be involved
•  When and where it might take place

If you need assistance in another language, and/or if you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to apply please contact for assistance.


Community Drop In Sessions at Chicago Public Library Locations

DCASE Grants Team member will be onsite to answer any questions about the Neighborhood Access Program and help folks apply. No appointment or RSVP necessary. Assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Albany Park | Friday, May 6 | 3-4pm
3401 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

Archer Heights | Saturday, May 7 | 11am-12pm
5055 S. Archer Ave., Chicago, IL 60632

West Englewood | Tuesday, May 10 | 3-4pm
1745 W. 63rd St., Chicago, IL 60636

West Chicago Avenue | Wednesday, May 11 | 10:30-11:30am
4856 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60651


Community Information Sessions

DCASE Grants Team members will be conducting a Neighborhood Access Program info session at the below locations. No appointment or RSVP necessary. This will be a presentation about the program with Q&A.

Kusanya Café | Wednesday, May 11 | 11:30am-12:30pm
825 W. 69th St., Chicago, IL 60621

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture | Monday, May 9 | 5-6pm
6500 S. Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60629


2022 NAP Program Virtual Info Sessions

The DCASE Cultural Grants team is excited to offer virtual info sessions for anyone interested in submitting an idea. The info sessions will give an overview of the NAP program, review what is needed to apply (not a lot) and give a brief introduction to the online application system.

Webinar recorded April 27, 2022 -


Eligibility Criteria

Projects must have these elements:

•  Projects must have a primary goal to serve residents of a specific neighborhood or community.

•  Projects must engage neighborhood residents as participants or audiences between October 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.

•  Lead applicant’s primary residence/address must be in the neighborhood where this engagement will take place.


The following entities may apply for a Neighborhood Access Program grant:

•  Any nonprofit organization, Special Service Area (SSAs) or Chamber of Commerce with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) status, including religious institutions that provide significant services to the community that are non-religious in nature.

•  National nonprofit organizations with a Chicago branch.

•  Individual artists, cultural producers or curators.

•  Individuals/collectives applying with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) status.


Timeline ***All dates are subject to change



Idea Submission Portal opens
April 18, 2022     
Idea Submission Deadline Friday, May 20, 2022 5:00 PM CST – No Extensions will be granted
July 2022 – All applicants will be notified about if they have been selected as a finalist or not.
Proposal Material Preparation July & August 2022 – Finalists have 4 weeks to gather supporting documents**
Finalists Interviewed August & September 2022
Final Notifications October 2022 – All finalists will be notified about if they have been selected for a grant or not.
Payments Disbursed December 2022 - Grants will be made in a single, one-time payment.
Grant Period January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2023. This is the time during which grant funds must be spent.


** Finalists will be invited to virtual seminars to assist them in gathering the required documents. Additional sessions will be scheduled for first-time grant writers.