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.
Meet our 2021 judges.
Charles "Poppin Chuck" BledsoeDancer & Visual Artist 3Arts Awardee
Charles Bledsoe, better known as “Poppin Chuck,” is a remarkable dance and visual artist who exemplifies the definition of a true school innovator. In the last three decades, Chuck has performed with and choreographed for some of the world’s best …
Lili-Anne BrownDirector Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee
Lili-Anne Brown, a native South Side Chicagoan, works as a director, actor, and educator, and has performed in, directed, and produced many award-winning shows, both local and regional. She is the former Artistic Director of Bailiwick Chicago, where she focused …
Caitlin EdwardsCreator, Violinist, Musician, Composer Walder Foundation Awardee
Caitlin Edwards began studying the violin at the age of eight through the Music Opportunity Program in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She went on to be the recipient of the 2018 Rising Star Award from the Gateways Music Festival. …
Andres L. HernandezArtist, Designer, Educator Chandler Family Awardee
Andres L. Hernandez is an interdisciplinary practitioner engaged in discovering, recovering, and uncovering the histories, politics, and possibilities of the built environment. Through collaborative and socially engaged work, as well as an independent, studio-based arts practice, he considers the potential …
Emily Hooper LansanaStoryteller & Community Builder BMO Harris Bank Community Awardee
Emily Hooper Lansana is a community builder, storyteller, arts administrator, and educator. For more than thirty years, she has performed as a storyteller, sharing her work with audiences throughout Chicago and across the country. She has been featured at the …
Andrés Lemus-SpontTeaching Artist HMS Fund Awardee
Andrés Lemus-Spont is a designer, educator, fabricator, and proud child of Mexican immigrants. He teaches art and architecture to youth from kindergarten through high school in various in-school and afterschool programs. He studied architecture at the College of DuPage and …
Cat MahariArtist & Black Being Walder Foundation Awardee
Cat Mahari’s practice is built from a richly layered body history, stemming from an archive of research and physical training with the intent of manifesting an intellectual, material, and informal grammar of liberation via documentation, video, and live performance. Through …
Shanta NurullahMusician & Storyteller SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Awardee in honor of Samuel G. Roberson Jr.
Shanta Nurullah makes music primarily on sitar, bass, and mbira, and works as a storyteller and teaching artist. She has been performing professionally as a musician since 1972 and as a storyteller since 1978. She co-founded two all-women’s groups, Sojourner …
David RheeTheater Artist Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee
David Rhee began his career as an actor after graduating from New York’s Circle in the Square Musical Theatre program. Since then, he appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning Thoroughly Modern Millie, worked at numerous theaters across America …
Derrick Woods-MorrowMultimedia Installation Artist & Filmmaker Gary & Denise Gardner Fund Awardee
Derrick Woods-Morrow's work is a meditation on deviation and disruption, on language and representation, and on growing up in the American South. Currently based in Chicago and originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, he explores through his artistic practice Black sexual …
Kealoha Alex Ferreira
Sarah Cullen Fuller
Akilah S. Halley