Dedicated to Artists

Nothing of significance can be accomplished without imagination, without stretching and flexing our minds, without dreaming.

We consider it our civic duty and a privilege to champion local artists and invest in the essential creative process that drives their art forth and touches all of us, in every corner of our community. That creative energy is the foundation on which the future will be built.

3Arts works to sustain and promote artists in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area. Our focus on women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists stems from the need for a diversity of voices and visions to be supported if our city is to prosper and inspire.

Our programs are designed to support artists in multiple and tiered ways—through validation, promotion, residencies, project support, and unrestricted cash grants that let them know their risk-taking and determination are deeply valued. 

Since 2007, 3Arts has supported more than 1,600 artists across all program areas, representing approximately 69% women artists, 71% artists of color, and 17% Deaf and disabled artists working in the six-county metropolitan area, and distributed $5.8 million through our grantmaking.

In the past three years (2018-2020), 3Arts has supported artists living in 66 zip codes: 43 within the city limits, 17 in other Cook County neighborhoods, and six in surrounding counties (Lake, DuPage, and Will).

3Arts is proudly certified by W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), which publicly recognizes non-profit arts organizations demonstrating a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees that meet a minimum payment standard.


"My students have helped me understand that my mission as a creative individual is not just about my personal work, but about shaping all that surrounds me. Balancing teaching and making art is not easy, but the 3Arts Award has encouraged me to continue finding that balance and has given me a big push to help me be successful as an artist and a teacher."
- JoVia Armstrong