Local Grant Opportunities
- Arts + Public Life with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture: an annual “Critical Boundaries Prize” for artists seeking to form a unique project-based collaboration that stretches the boundaries of their work as individuals to date.
- Arts Midwest Touring Fund: grants to presenting organizations in the performing arts located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
- Awesome Foundation (Chicago chapter): unrestricted microgrants on a monthly basis for projects in multiple disciplines, with an additional fund specifically for projects by artists with disabilities (more here).
- Chicago Artists Coalition: offers three different unrestricted grant programs designed to offer artists financial support to help them build on their practice.
- Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF): offers annual $20,000 Lab Artist Awards for up to six artists, plus other funding and professional development resources for local dance artists.
- Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Cultural Grants (DCASE): grants for projects and professional development needs for local artists.
- Diverse Voices in Docs: a nine-month professional mentorship and development program for documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.
- Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship: grants to visual artists living in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
- Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts: project-based grants for individual artists interested in architecture and its role in the arts.
- Ignite Fund: supports experimental and groundbreaking visual arts-based work by Chicago-area artists and artist-led collectives (grants of $1,500 to $6,000).
- Illinois Arts Council Agency: fellowships, project, and professional development grants in all disciplines (state budget dependent).
- Luminarts: grant and fellowship opportunities for young artists (18-30) working in the disciplines of visual art, music, or writing.
National Grant Opportunities
- A Blade of Grass: an annual fellowship that includes project support for artists who are working in leadership roles and in partnership with communities to enact social change.
- Aaron Copland Fund for Music: three grant programs in support of contemporary American music, including for recording, performing ensembles, and more.
- Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation: individual support grants to painters, sculptors, and printmakers who have been creating mature work for at least 20 years. They also provide Emergency Grants for mature artists (see below).
- Alexia Foundation: production grants to students and professional photographers.
- Artadia: grants on a rotating basis to visual artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Barbara Deming Memorial Inc. Fund: provides grants to individual feminists in the arts (writers and visual artists).
- Bennett Prize: award for women painters who paint in the figurative realist style and have not yet reached full professional recognition.
- Creative Capital: project grants for artists and arts writers in various disciplines on a rotating basis.
Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists: minimum of $30,000 grants to individual artists who have developed a sustained and intentional practice of working through dance and movement-based modalities to address social change.
- Harpo Foundation: grants for visual artists; new work project grants for organizations; Native American fellowships; and Emerging Artist Residency Fellowships.
- Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists: this new annual $10,000 grant, awarded to draw attention to an existing body of work, sheds light on the under-recognized contributions of Black trans women visual artists and provides critical support for their continuing work.
- Lewis Prize for Music: annual award to leaders in diverse and vibrant communities who create positive change by investing in young people through music.
- MAP Fund: supports performance projects by artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the American landscape.
- Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: supports performances by American artists at important cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe.
- National Dance Project Production Grant: offered by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), these production grants provide funds for the creation and U.S. touring of new dance works.
- National Theater Project Grants: New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) offers four different project grants to theater artists.
- New Music USA: supports individuals and organizations with project-support grants, which cover "any kind of activity that involves new music getting out into the world through a live performance or recording."
- Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.: grants for artistic merit and financial need to visual artists who are painters, sculptors or artists who work on paper, including printmakers.
- Princess Grace Awards: grants for emerging theater, dance, and film artists who are at the outset of their careers or at early stages of professional development.
- Puffin Foundation: grants to artists working in a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on supporting art that educates the public on topical issues.
- Relentless Award: annual cash prize awarded to a playwright in recognition of a new play.
- Sustainable Arts Foundation: grants to individual artists and writers with children.
- Vilcek Foundation: awards to immigrant artists in theater.
Funding Search Engines & More
- ARTSEARCH: powered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), ARTSEARCH is a free online platform for job seekers and job postings.
- CaFE (Call for Entry): searchable database of artist calls for shows, exhibitions, and residencies, as well as grants and awards.
- Chicago Artists Resource: job and grant opportunities, professional development resources, space, and more.
- Fractured Atlas Blog: frequently publishes grant opportunities and articles. Two useful archived articles include "5 Tips for Grant Research" and "6 Commonly Asked Questions on Grant Applications."
- New York Foundation for the Arts: national database of grant opportunities for artists working in all disciplines (visit the NYFA Source section).
- Philanthropy News Digest (PND): publishes RFPs (requests for proposals) and awards opportunities.
- Theater Communications Group: grants for individual theater artists (visit the Grants for Individuals section).
- WomanArts: funding resources and newsletters geared for women artists in theater, film, writing, and visual art.
- Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant: intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.
- CERF+ (Craft Emergency Relief Fund): provides rapid relief and career recovery loans through their own grants (for artists working in craft disciplines) as well as a list of emergency resources for artists in other disciplines.
- Entertainment Community Fund: national human services organization (with a Chicago office) that provides emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care, secondary career development. These services are designed for performing arts and entertainment professionals.
- Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants: in addition to a year-round Emergency Grant program for visual or performing artists, FCA announced a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions in the wake of COVID-19.
- Jazz Foundation of America: a musician's emergency fund provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief, and direct financial support in times of crisis.
- Malcolm Ewen Emergency Fund: provides short-term emergency financial assistance to members of the Chicago theater community (union and non-union alike) who are in need due to incapacitating illness, injury, or health-related circumstance.
- Musicians Foundation: provides one-time assistance to professional musicians in the US for periods of acute need (e.g. medical crisis, crime victimization, catastrophic events, etc.)
- National Coalition for Arts' Preparedness & Emergency Response (NCAPER): a voluntary task force of national, regional, state, and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations, NCAPER helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.
- New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA): offers a list of emergency relief resources.
- Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants: this national fund administered by the New York State Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need who are practicing in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, and choreography.
- Season of Concern: Chicagoland theater community’s fundraising effort in providing compassionate care to those in our community who are experiencing the effects of incapacitating illness, injury, or circumstance.
- Statera: offers an Emergency Response Directory for artists during COVID-19 that covers topics such as advocacy, social justice action, travel/visa information, funding, best practices for online teaching/learning/gathering, etc.
- Sustain Chicago Music: this nonprofit is raising funds to provide $1,000 emergency grants to Chicago musicians. Donors of at least $40 may also nominate a specific artist.
There are multiple opportunities available to artists who seek to fund projects through crowd-sourcing initiatives. See the following for a selection of resources.
Tips from 3AP Artists on Crowdfunding
Some resources about fiscal sponsorship:
- 8 Things Fiscal Sponsorship Isn't
- Artists and Fiscal Sponsorship: What Is It and Why Should You Use It?
- Fiscal Sponsor Directory: search by state/province or service category.
- National Network of Fiscal Sponsors: comprehensive guidelines and best practices.
A selection of fiscal sponsorship programs:
- Chicago Filmmakers for noncommercial films or video projects.
- Experimental Sound Studio for artists working in music, sound art, installation, cinema, performing arts, sound poetry, broadcast, new media, and more.
- Fiscal Services through Pentacle: includes full fiscal administration for incorporated companies, fiscal sponsorship for individual artists, and bookkeeping services that meet individual companies’ and artists’ needs.
- Fractured Atlas for artists working in any discipline.
- Midwest Artist Project Services (MAPS) for individual artists, collectives, and emerging organizations.
- New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) a national program for artists working in any discipline.
- Pentacle offers fiscal sponsorship through its Foundation for Independent Artists program (FIA).