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.
Meet our 2021 judges.
Keyierra CollinsDancer, Choreographer, Teacher Walder Foundation Awardee
Keyierra Collins is a dancer, teaching artist, and choreographer based in Chicago. She earned a BA in Dance from Columbia College Chicago where she studied various dance forms, including West African, modern, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and improvisation. As a dance …
Emjoy GavinoActor & Casting Director Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee
Emjoy Gavino is an actor, casting director, teaching artist, and producer proud to call Chicago her home. The eldest child of Filipino immigrants, Emjoy grew up in the Pacific Northwest, falling in love with the Seattle theater scene.
In 2006, …
J'Sun HowardDancemaker RH, Restoration Hardware Awardee
J’Sun Howard is a Chicago-based dancemaker, writer, curator, and administrator who was awarded an inaugural 2020 Esteemed Artist Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and is an Asian Cultural Council Fellow.
A Links Hall …
AJ McClenonInterdisciplinary Artist Gary & Denise Gardner Fund Awardee
Originally, I was born and raised in “DC proper,” and I now call Chicago my second home. In 2014 I received a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Beforehand I received a Bachelor …
Meagan McNealVocalist, Cultivator, Mother Walder Foundation Awardee
Meagan McNeal is a powerhouse singer/songwriter and recording artist from Chicago. Well-versed in the genres of soul, jazz, and R&B, she is known for her diverse range and soulful voice. Influenced by groundbreaking artists such as Anita Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, …
Luis Álvaro Sahagun NuñoArtist & Educator Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee
Luis Álvaro Sahagun Nuño was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1982. His grandfather came to the United States in the 1940s under the Bracero Program, working in Chicago Heights’ steel industry. His mother and father found work in the …
Junius PaulBassist & Composer SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Awardee
Junius Paul is an internationally recognized composer, bandleader, and acoustic and electric bassist born and raised in the Chicago area. He has shown himself to be a highly versatile bassist, with performance and/or recording credits that include The Art Ensemble …
Dorian SylvainMuralist & Teaching Artist Southwest Airlines Community Awardee
Dorian Sylvain is a painter whose color and texture explore ornamentation, pattern, and design as identifiers of cultural and historical foundations. She is a studio painter and muralist, as well as an art educator, curator, and community planner. Much of …
Sydney Lynne ThomasScenic Designer HMS Fund Awardee
Sydney Lynne Thomas is a Chicago-based designer from Dallas, Texas who has been a practicing visual artist for 10 years. Her breadth of work includes scenic design, workshops, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, community organizing, and building. Beginning with a background …
Reveca TorresVisual Artist Chandler Family Awardee
Reveca Torres was paralyzed in a car accident as a teenager. After completing degrees in Fashion Design and Theatre Arts, Reveca worked as a costume designer and simultaneously with organizations doing disability work in health, advocacy, recreation, and peer support. …
Karen Benita Reyes
Hana S. Sharif