Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces $1M in DCASE Grants Supporting Chicago Community-Based Programming

December 5, 2023

DCASE Communications

Download Photos

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Announces
27 Cultural Grants Recipients, Continuing City’s Investment in the Arts Sector


CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced 27 “Neighborhood Access Program” grantees, providing $1 million in funding to 27 organizations and artists (89% on the South and West sides) to support community-based programming in their neighborhoods. The goal of this program is to support the cultural vitality of every neighborhood via grant programs and partnerships designed to be responsive to the complex needs of individual communities. Learn about the grantees and descriptions of their projects. For more information about DCASE's cultural grants program, visit

“Our city is a city of neighborhoods, each of which has its own unique flavor and contributes to what I like to call the ‘Soul of Chicago,’” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “The Neighborhood Access Program will provide much-needed funding to help curate this flavor and the rich tapestry of the city we call home, and more important, prioritizes the South and West Sides of the city where residents do not always benefit from the fruits of our thriving arts community. With this commitment, we continue to invest in people and uplift the organizations and communities that need our support the most.”

“We are thrilled to announce the 27 grantees for the Neighborhood Access Program. Thanks to an unprecedented level of public funding in 2023, DCASE has worked to increase support for the cultural community with such programs. This expanded investment ensures that artists and cultural organizations can present projects and activities in their neighborhoods,” shared DCASE Commissioner Erin Harkey.

“DCASE’s cultural grant opportunities build upon our ongoing commitment to revitalize, strengthen and celebrate our city through the arts.”

Neighborhood Access Program Grantees

  • 18th Street Casa de Cultura
  • 4500 West Monroe Street Block Club
  • 51st Street Business Association
  • A Knock At Midnight, NFP
  • AnySquared Arts NFP
  • Bonni McKeown
  • Building Community Foundation, INC
  • CircEsteem
  • Englewood Arts Collective
  • Fresh Path Inc
  • Gary Comer Youth Center
  • Geraldine Leopoldo
  • Gloria Rivera
  • Greater Chatham Initiative
  • Humboldt Park Skate Meetup
  • Jeff Daube
  • Lawndale Pop‐Up Spot
  • Mika Tang
  • NeighborScapes
  • Public Media Institute
  • Sally Nuamah
  • SkyART
  • Somos Arte
  • The Next Level Dance Foundation
  • The South Side Jazz Coalition
  • Theatre Y
  • Uhuru Shule Cooperative, Inc.

DCASE offers several cultural grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations, cultural presenters and individual artists. Applications for the 2024 Individual Artists Program (IAP) grant opened on November 29, 2023. IAP aims to assist Chicago's practicing artists in creating work that develops their craft and elevates their careers. IAP grants support to artists across all artistic disciplines including Film & Media Arts, Literary Arts, Music, Performing Arts (Theater/Dance), and Visual Arts/Design. Visit to apply and sign up for an information session to learn more.

DCASE is committed to strengthening the capacity of Chicago’s arts and culture sector by connecting artists and arts organizations with City of Chicago grants and resources. Together, these programs provide a range of funding opportunities to bolster artists’ livelihoods as part of Chicago’s thriving arts economy and to bring enriching and impactful arts activities and services throughout Chicago’s communities. To learn more about DCASE Cultural Grants and recent grantees, visit


Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city—to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city—serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.

# # #