The 3Arts Awards express our gratitude to Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists for their indisputable contributions to the health and vibrancy of our city. Every year, ten artists who live and work in the six-county metropolitan area receive unrestricted $30,000 awards in dance, music, teaching arts, theater, and visual arts. Artists may use the award in any way that makes a difference to their lives and careers, including paying off debt, purchasing equipment, hiring collaborators, producing new work, and saving for the future.
We invite you to read two reports that compile reflections from artists who have received a 3Arts Award:
3Arts awardees are selected through a nomination and jury process. More than 100 artists are nominated annually by at least 35 anonymous local nominators--artists, curators, presenters, and advocates--who are acutely knowledgeable about the breadth of artists working in neighborhoods across the metropolitan area.
After the nominees have completed our online application process, five national, discipline-specific panels of judges convene to select ten awardees from the pool. 3Arts requires judges to disclose conflicts of interest as part of the selection process. If a strong personal or professional relationship exists between a judge and a nominated artist that might be an impediment to the integrity of the process, a full recusal from the discussion and vote is implemented.
In honor of the time and energy it takes to apply, all artists who submit an application will receive a $100 honorarium.
The recipients of 2022 3Arts Awards will be announced on November 7, 2022.
Meet the 2022 jury panelists.
Sophia Nahli AllisonDocumentary Filmmaker Southwest Airlines Awardee
Sophia Nahli Allison is an experimental documentary filmmaker. She disrupts conventional documentary methods by reimagining the archives and excavating hidden truths. She conjures ancestral memories to explore the intersection of fiction and non-fiction storytelling.
Her short documentary A Love Song …
Brandi Berry BensonInstrumentalist Gertrude E. Grisham Awardee
Violinist/Fiddler, Brandi Berry Benson, whose "four-string acrobatics" and "indispensable skill" (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as "alert [and] outstanding" (Chicago Classical Review), has also been noted for her "riffs…powered by a flashing blur of bow arm, …
Irina Botea BucanFilm/Performance/Installation Artist Chandler Family Awardee
Over the past ten years Irina Botea Bucan has been engaged in an art practice that uses multiple media to inspect socio-political dynamics and the possibility of transformation. Currently, her focus is on the de centralization of cultural discourses and …
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasiCircus Choreographer
Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi is a second-generation circus acrobat who grew up performing with various circuses across the country. Highlights of her performing career include touring with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and competing in the Circus World Championships …
Darrell JonesDancer Denise and Gary Gardner Awardee
Darrell Jones has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka, and Ralph Lemon.
Along with performing, Darrell is a choreographer and …
Carlos Mejía is a 2014 3Arts Awardee, a master musician, a mentor of young musicians, and a cultural activist specializing in Mayan culture, the Guatemalan marimba, and other instruments. He was born in the Maya K'iche' (or Quiche) community of …
Erica MottChoreographer McCormick Family Foundation Awardee
Erica Mott is a former researcher and international development worker turned actor, choreographer, and director. As a performance maker and cultural organizer, she utilizes body based forms (movement/song/realtime action with objects) in immersive environments and extensive cross-disciplinary collaborations to transform …
Samuel G. Roberson Jr.Theater Artist Siragusa Foundation Awardee
In memoriam (December 17, 1982 - May 21, 2017):
Upon graduating from Howard University, Samuel G. Roberson Jr. took a leap of faith and accepted an apprenticeship at The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis, where he spent the next three years …
Calamity WestPlaywright Merrill Lynch Awardee
Calamity West is a Chicago-based, award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have appeared at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Roundabout, The Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens, and TimeLine – to name a few. She holds a BA in dramatic …
Amanda WilliamsPainting/Installation/Photography Next Level Spare Room & Stan Lipkin and Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee
Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Williams’ creative practice employs color as a way to draw attention to the complexities of race, place, and value in cities. The landscapes in which she operates are the …
Mario Garcia Durham
Byron Au Yong
Lisa Yun Lee
Gia M. Hamilton