Arts77: Arts for every Chicago community

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Arts 77, Arts For Every Chicago Community 

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“Arts77” is a citywide arts recovery and reopening plan for all of Chicago’s 77 community areas, representing an initial investment of over $60 million from the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, the Chicago Parks District, other city agencies and private funding to support local artists and organizations. Additional updates regarding financial grants and programs to support arts recovery will follow in the upcoming weeks.

“Arts77” signals a new direction for Chicago’s cultural policy, in which the arts are embedded in initiatives and strategies across City government. This plan seeks to expand access and participation in the arts citywide, prioritize employment of creative workers through City programs and services, and deepen public sector investment in the creative sector though financial support and cultural policy. Today's announcement launches new and expanded programs including the Neighborhood Access Program, the Chicago Band Roster and Chicago Presents grant programs, Culture in My Neighborhood (a $40 million collaboration by DCASE, the Chicago Park District, and Chicago Public Library), Individual Artists Program grants, Artist Response Program grants, and $18.5 million in art and infrastructure investments.

Watch a presentation on Arts77 led by Commissioner Mark Kelly of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, First Deputy Commissioner Erin Harkey of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Cultural Advisory Council Chair Amina J. Dickerson and Vice-Chair Alison Cuddy and learn about the programs, initiatives and opportunities recently announced as part of Arts77.

Join us for one of our virtual Info or Drop-In Sessions to learn more about Arts77 and its various initiatives, programs and opportunities. Registration is required and space is limited.

Info Sessions:

Reopening Guidelines Info Session: Thursday, May 13, 11am-12pm  Virtual Meeting

Chicago In Tune/Chicago Presents/Chicago Band Roster Info Session: Thursday, May 20, 3:30-4:30pm  Download Presentation


Drop-In Sessions:

Drop-In Session with DCASE First Deputy Commissioner Erin Harkey and Arts Alliance Illinois Executive Director Claire Rice: Monday, May 17, 3-4pm  Download Presentation

Drop-In Session with DCASE Chief Marketing Officer Jamey Lundblad and Cultural Advisory Council Vice-Chair Alison Cuddy: Tuesday, June 8, 3-4pm  Download Presentation


Dancers performing at the Maxwell Street MarketExpanding Access and Participation in the Arts

Neighborhood Access Program represents $1 million in financial grants (up to 40 grants ranging from $5,000 – $50,000) designed to be responsive to the complex needs of individual communities. DCASE is currently accepting idea submissions at

Chicago Presents is a new funding program to support cultural presenters activate cultural programs that comply with public health guidelines in neighborhoods throughout Chicago in Summer 2021. Emerging and established cultural presenters are invited to submit proposals for free live, in-person concerts and events, spanning across all genre’s music, performance and dance that activate Chicago’s streets, plazas and parks. Additionally, presenters may select up to two solo musicians and/or bands from the Chicago Band Roster to play at their event.

Culture in My Neighborhood is a new collaborative initiative that supports cultural programming at the Chicago Cultural Center, 18 Chicago Park District neighborhood cultural centers, and the Chicago Public Library regional libraries — through grants and commission opportunities for artists and organizations.


Blues musician Lurrie Bell performingSupporting Artists and Creative Workers

Artist Response Program has awarded five artists and artist teams $100,000 grants to implement ambitious public art projects that engage the public in a constructive, civic dialogue during this historic moment. In addition to the individual artist grants, seven arts organizations will receive grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 to re-grant funds to approximately 60 artists for smaller projects. The Artist Response Program represents a $1.2 million investment, including over $600,000 in support available soon through re-granting partners.

Chicago Cultural Grants have announced the 2021 Individual Artists Program grants between $800 to $5,000 to 162 practicing artists to create work that develops their craft and elevates their careers while adding to the cultural vitality of the city of Chicago. In addition to the Individual Artists Program project grants, 13 high-qualified artists will receive the Esteemed Artist Award, a special $10,000 grant for expenses associated with an artist’s practice within the 2021 grant period.


Theater performance at the Taste of ChicagoInvesting in Arts and Infrastructure

The Capital Plan, for the first time, invests at least $15 million in public art over the next five years to turn the everyday into the extraordinary, physically and symbolically communicating connections between neighborhoods, histories, people, and futures. Under the leadership of Mayor Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Assets, Information, and Services, the new multi-year, needs-based Capital Plan will not only leverage capital improvements to spur local economic development and job creation, but also mark a major advancement in the standard of public asset maintenance, and, consequently, the quality of life and livability of all Chicago communities.

O'Hare International Airport Terminal 5 Expansion Project will include a $3.5 million public art plan to celebrate the work of Chicagoland artists through large-scale commissions and acquisitions and to provide international visitors a dynamic and welcoming first impression of our city. Up to 30 Chicago-area artists will participate in this program — the largest single acquisition of works by Chicago artists by the City in the last 30 years.


April 20, 2021 - Mayor Lightfoot, DCASE, and Chicago Park District Announce "Arts77"