3Arts Awards

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:

We thank our Award Partners and Community Award donors for their generosity in helping 3Arts support and advocate for local artists.

Selection Process

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. 

Meet our 2021 judges


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    Barak adé Soleil

    Dance Maker & Interpreter Denise & Gary Gardner Awardee

    Barak adé Soleil makes dance, theater, and performance art. An award-winning creative practitioner, he has been engaging diverse communities within the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, and West Africa throughout his career. He is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an …

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    Jo Cattell

    Theater Maker Perkins Coie Awardee

    Originally from the United Kingdom, Jo Cattell focuses on developing new work in theater. She is part of the LightPoets, currently creating the immersive graphic novel, PARTICLE INK, for a production in New York City. Other recent credits include, directing Isaac Gomez' play, THE DISPLACED for Haven Theatre, …

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    Alexandria Eregbu

    Interdisciplinary Artist Allstate Awardee

    Alexandria Eregbu is a visual artist, independent curator, and educator. Her practice and research refers to lived experience and the natural world as a resource to meditate on both the power of individual existence and the potency of collectivized efforts …

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    William Estrada

    Multidisciplinary Artist Community Awardee

    William Estrada was born to immigrant parents and grew up assembling memories in California, Chicago, and Mexico. His teaching and art making practice focus on exploring inequality, migration, historical passivity, cultural recognition, self-preservation, and media representation in marginalized communities. He …

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    Jess Godwin

    Singer/Songwriter RH, Restoration Hardware Awardee

    J (aka Jess Godwin) is an audiovisual artist and mentor currently based in Brooklyn. A proud recipient of a 2016 3Arts Award, she uses music, storytelling, and visuals to translate and transform her worldview. She has created hundreds of videos …

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    Candace Hunter

    Installation Artist Chandler Family Awardee

    Candace Hunter (chlee) creates collage, paintings, installations and performance art. She tells stories. Through the use of appropriated materials from magazines, vintage maps, cloth, various re-used materials, she offers the new landscape of materials  back to the viewer with a …

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    Ayako Kato

    Dancer & Choreographer Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

    Called “moving everyday sculptures, artfully cast in naturalness” (Luzerner Zeitung, Switzerland), Ayako Kato established her dance company Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape in 1998 and has been active as a choreographer, dancer, educator, and curator. She has created work through interdisciplinary …

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    Maggie Popadiak

    Theater Artist Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

    Maggie Popadiak has been the Associate Director of Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) since 2007, during which time she has directed and choreographed for Learning CurveGod’s Work, I Will Kiss These Walls, Home/Land, Feast, Remember Me Like This …

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    Tomeka Reid

    Composer & Cellist Southwest Airlines Awardee

    Recently described as “a new jazz power source” by the New York Times, cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community. Her …

  • Aram, a Korean American womxn, is holding a protest banner that says TRUST BLACK WOMXN and is standing on top of a building

    Aram Han Sifuentes

    Fiber Artist Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee

    Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they) is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to claim spaces for immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing …

2016 Judges

Peter Taub
Joan Gray
Mark Burford
Birdie Soti
Carmen-Helena Téllez
Teaching Arts
DeAnna Dodds Cummings
Miko Lee
Paul Teruel
Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Tim Rhoze
Nikkole Salter
Visual Arts
Patric McCoy
Gordon Sasaki
Eugenie Tsai

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