You are here

SPARK Microgrant

Program Description

The SPARK Microgrant is an annual, unrestricted award opportunity for Chicago-based visual artists who identify as ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American), an artist with acute financial need, an artist with a disability, or as a self-taught/non-formally trained artist who does not hold a degree from an art program but has made their art practice a primary vocation.

This program offers fifteen unrestricted awards of $2000 each to recognize exceptional artists working in Chicago and to support the advancement of their artistic careers. 

SPARK Microgrant is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation. 

Award Information

In addition to the unredstricted financial support, SPARK Microgrant winners will also have free access to a number FIELD/WORK professional development workshops throughout the year. More information about that will be provided at a later date. 

Who Should Apply

This application is open to:

  • Visual artists that identify as:  
    • ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American) 
    • An artist with acute need (individual income less than $44,450/year, family income less than $63,200/year) facing urgent hardship
    • An artist with a disability
    • A self-taught/non-formally trained artist (an artist who does not hold a degree from an art program, but has made their art practice a primary vocation)
  • Ideal candidates show significant promise and dedication towards the advancement of their career as a practicing artist.

Applicants must be:

  • A resident of the City of Chicago
  • At least 21 years old  
  • NOT enrolled in a degree-granting program after June 2019
Selection Process

Submissions will be evaluated by a jury panel of five artists and arts professionals.

2019 Jury

Sky Chubacub
Pemon Rami
Vincent Uribe 

SPARK Microgrant application can be found here

Important Dates for 2018-2019

December 12: Information Session #1 (5:30-7:30 at Chicago Artists Coalition) 

December 15: Application Opens

January 16: Information Session #2 (6:30 at Build Coffee | 6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago, IL 60637)

February 15: Application Closes

March 1-30: Jury Deliberations

April 1: Awardees Notified

More more information please consult the FAQ here


Hard copies of the applications will be available for artists who are unable to use the online system.
Please contact: Adia Sykes, for more information