Opportunities for Artists and Arts Organizations

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Special Events Permit Application

DCASE processes Special Events applications for outdoor festivals, street and art/craft fairs and athletic events. Special Event Permits will be issued but are subject to change based on updated health and safety guidelines from either the City of Chicago or State of Illinois. All events must follow guidelines in place at the time of the event. For more information and to apply online, visit our Special Events Permit Application website.


Performing Arts Music, Dance, and Theater Programming Submissions 2024

Apply Online

Are you an artist or arts organization interested in participating in 2024 DCASE Performing Arts Music Festival, Dance, or Theater programming? Due to the volume of responses, applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis. Should an opportunity arise for partnership, you will be contacted directly by a member of the DCASE Performing Arts Programming Team. Artist submissions for 2023 programming are currently closed.


Meet an Artist – Mobile Makers Chicago

Chicago Cultural Center’s Learning Lab, 1st Floor South

October 13, 14 & 27, 28 / November 10, 11 & 24, 25 / December 8, 9 & 22, 23, 12-2pm

This nonprofit organization makes design education accessible to all. Their bright orange renovated mail truck can be spotted around the city encouraging conversation about positive change in the built environment. Join us for design and skill-building workshops. For more information, visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org.


Cultural Community Rental Path

The Cultural Community Rental Path was created to reduce barriers to entry for Chicago's artists and arts organizations to produce free and open to the public events at the Chicago Cultural Center. The process features a reduced room rental rate and waived standard equipment fees (other production and operations costs still apply). For more information, visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org.


LaSalle Street Reimagined Small Business Improvement Fund

SBIF grants up to $250,000 are available for new retail, dining and cultural projects along LaSalle Street in the Loop.

Application Deadline: Monday, October 2, 2023  Download Flyer (PDF)

Part of the City of Chicago’s LaSalle Street Reimagined initiative to transition the corridor into a vibrant, mixeduse environment, the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) is available to help entrepreneurs create cafes, restaurants, stores and other neighborhood-oriented amenities for the Loop’s growing population.


Apply for the Small Business Improvement Fund

The Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF), offered by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), provides grant funding for permanent building improvements and repairs across the city.

SBIF is offered to tenants and owners of industrial and commercial properties. Program participants can receive grants to cover between 30% and 90% of the cost of remodeling work, with a maximum grant of $150,000 for commercial properties and $250,000 for industrial properties. The grant, which is administered by SomerCor on the City’s behalf, does not have to be repaid. To learn about eligibility, attend an information session, and apply, please visit Chicago.gov/SBIF.

September's prioritized geographies are the following TIF districts (the districts change each month):


Save the Date for City Civics Day!

Saturday, November 4, 9:30am-4:30pm

Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave.

Register to Attend

Featuring seminars, workshops and panels involving top City of Chicago officials and distinguished community voices, the event will help Chicagoans leverage their civic interests on behalf of a more engaged and vibrant city.

Admission is free! Guests are invited to drop in any time during the day. Lunch will be provided. More information.


P.A.R.T.Y. (Public Art Reimagining Tour with You)

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has launched an initiative to develop a Public Art Vision Plan for each INVEST South/West neighborhood. Each plan will outline public art themes, types, and locations unique to each neighborhood, contributing to its revitalization. Join our PARTY mailing list to stay up to date on events and opportunities!


Call for Submissions: “Now Playing...Sights & Sounds” in the Learning Lab

Applications accepted on a rolling basis

The Learning Lab at the Chicago Cultural Center is an interactive studio that offers sights, sounds, and experiences for visitors of all ages and a wide range of abilities. Reinvigorated by design team Made in Englewood.

Organizations and artists from around the world are invited to submit their work to play in the sound dome and projection wall in the Learning Lab. For more information visit: "Now Playing...Sights & Sounds" in the Learning Lab.


City of Chicago Mural Registry

Applications accepted on a rolling basis

DCASE manages the City of Chicago Mural Registry, a publicly-accessible database documenting the growing collection of murals across the city on both private and public property. Artists, organizations and property owners are encouraged to register completed murals by submitting an application. For more information about the registration, application and process, visit chicago.gov/muralregistry.


Nominate a Neighborhood Cultural Spotlight for 2023

Chicago Cultural Center, Welcome Center, 1st Floor North

Neighborhood Cultural Spotlights feature people, places and things nominated and recognized for a cultural contribution to their neighborhood’s vitality, and celebrates cultural assets in Chicago’s varied and vibrant 77 community areas.

Neighborhood Cultural Spotlights can be given to your local puppeteer, the house on the block with sculptural installations in the yard, the neighborhood culture compiler who sends out a newsletter, or the local arts supporter who your community relies upon, etc.

Know a person, place or thing in your neighborhood that deserves a Neighborhood Cultural Spotlight?  Nominate now

Check out the current Neighborhood Cultural Spotlights in the Welcome Center and then nominate your favorite neighborhood cultural asset!


Digital Access for ALL Chicagoans

Chicago families know the importance of quality, affordable internet, computers and resources, to participate in today’s society. For information on no-cost resources for eligible households to ensure they are supported and safe in today’s digital world, visit Chicago.gov.


Serve as a Grant Panelist

Apply Online

The Cultural Grants team seeks Chicago-area individuals to serve as grant application reviewers. Candidates must have arts and culture experience and be available for approximately 40 total hours over a period of six weeks. There is compensation for service.


Culture In My Neighborhood

Announced as part of the Arts77 recovery and reopening plan, Culture In My Neighborhood is a unique partnership between the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Chicago Park District, and Chicago Public Library to advance Mayor Lightfoot’s vision for equitable access to the arts in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas. This $40 million collaborative initiative 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. Visit the DCASE, Park District, and Library websites to find free arts activities near you. Learn more at CultureInMyNeighborhood.org and join the conversation on social media using #CultureInMyNeighborhood.


Volunteer for DCASE

Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Share your love of Chicago’s culture, history and architecture by volunteering with DCASE. With DCASE you will connect guests (Chicagoans and visitors alike) with some of the city’s cultural treasures, such as Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center, Clarke House Museum and the Taste of Chicago. Volunteers help in a variety of ways: leading tours, providing information, greeting and wayfinding at events and more. Information and application


Call for Corporate Partners

DCASE produces Chicago's largest free festivals including Taste of Chicago, Chicago Blues Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival plus a variety of other festivals and events throughout the year. Our goal is to engage companies, agencies and other partners to add value to the City's events while bringing brands directly to local consumers to increase brand awareness, generate valuable press exposure, drive traffic and sales, and build customer loyalty. To learn more about partnership opportunities, visit ChicagoPartnerships.com or email at chicagopartnerships@cityofchicago.org.




City Marketing Assets + Resource Guide

Access a partial list of City of Chicago Marketing Assets available to the local arts industry. This was compiled by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) for its Performing Arts Convening: Marketing and Audience Development, held October 26, 2022. Download the guide (PDF).