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.
The 2021 3Arts Award recipients will be announced on November 1, 2021.
Meet our 2021 judges.
T. Ayo AlstonDancer & Drummer Southwest Airlines Awardee
T. Ayo Alston teaches and practices a signature theatrical style of West African drum and dance culture that captures the strength and power of women and community. Ayo is the founder, executive director, composer, and choreographer of Ayodele Drum and …
Sandra DelgadoPlaywright & Actor Community Awardee
Sandra Delgado is a Colombian-American writer, actor, singer, and producer born and raised in Chicago. She is best known as the creator and star of the hit play La Havana Madrid. Acclaimed as one of the best plays of …
Brittany "BrittanE" EdwardsVocalist & Musician SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Awardee
Born and raised in Chicago, Brittany ("BrittanE") Edwards is an artist, producer, and songwriter. Growing up as the daughter of a worship leader/musicians, she drew inspiration from her mother as well as other artists, producers, and songwriters such as Prince, …
Dianna FridVisual Artist Chandler Family Awardee
Dianna Frid was born in Mexico. She grew up in Mexico City and when she was fifteen years old her family emigrated to Vancouver, Canada. She has lived and worked in Chicago since 1999 and is presently a Professor at …
Leyda "Lady Sol" GarciaTeaching Artist & Mentor RH, Restoration Hardware Awardee
Leyda “Lady Sol” Garcia is a proud Mexican-American street dance professional, mother, and wife from Chicago who is globally recognized as a teaching artist, creative director, manager, producer, and cultural ambassador. She has worked with major media networks including BET, …
Ben LaMar GayMusician & Storyteller Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee
Ben LaMar Gay is a composer and cornetist who moves sound, color, and space through folkloric filters to produce electro-acoustic collages. His unification of various styles is always in service of the narrative and never solely a display of technique. …
Huong NgôInterdisciplinary Artist Next Level Spare Room & Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee
Hương Ngô (Huong Ngo, Ngô Ngọc Hương, 吳玉香) is an artist born in Hong Kong, often working between France and Vietnam, and currently based in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor in Contemporary Practices at The School of the …
Christine PascualCostume Designer Lakeside Bank Awardee
Christine Pascual is a costume designer based in Chicago since 1994. She was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island in Dix Hills, New York. She is the oldest of seven children whose parents immigrated to …
Elgin Bokari T. SmithGraphic Artist & Educator Denise & Gary Gardner Awardee
Elgin Bokari T. Smith (aka Kari the Illustrator) is an artist, social activist, and educator who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Discovering a passion for art in elementary school while drawing his favorite cartoon characters on his homework, Elgin …
Anna Martine WhiteheadPerformance Maker HMS Fund Awardee
Anna Martine Whitehead does performances. She has been presented by venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; San José Museum of Art; Velocity Dance Center; Chicago Cultural Center; Links Hall; AUNTS; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She …
Craig T. Peterson
Tara Aisha Willis
Heather Ireland Robinson
Courtney J. Boddie
Beth Feldman Brandt
Willa J. Taylor
Taylor Renee Aldridge
Julie Rodrigues Widholm