Chicago Artists Coalition helps people connect with opportunities including calls for artists, jobs, grants, and art advising

Coney Family


CONEY Family Fund application is currently closed. Check back in 2021!

The Coney Family Fund annually awards one unrestricted grant of $5,000 to an outstanding visual artist in the city of Chicago who identifies as Black or African-American. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a sustainable studio practice and artistic career development.

This grant is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors Chanel and Lester N. Coney. Launched in 2017, the award recognizes the Coney Family and Chicago Artists Coalition's mutual commitment to supporting a more inclusive arts community and creative economy in Chicago.

About the Coney Family

Les Coney is the Executive Vice President in Mesirow Financial’s Office of the Chairman. As a civic leader, Les has been actively involved in many organizations in support of the arts, civic betterment, and minority and ethnic issues. In his philanthropy and as an art collector, Les has focused on supporting artists of color and improving racial equity and inclusion in the Chicago art community. The Coney Family Fund Award is also stewarded by Les’ children, Chanel and Javon Coney. Chanel is the Director of Marketing for Chicago Fundamental Investment Partners, LLC and the board chair of Congo Square Theater. Chanel has a personal background in theater performance, and also sits on the board of 3Arts. Javon Coney currently lives in New York City, where he is an aide to Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Javon formerly worked for an advance team in the West Wing of the White House during the Obama administration.

CONEY Family Fund application is currently closed. Information on this page is left for reference only. There is a $10 application fee.

2020 Jury

  • La Keisha Leek, Curator and Writer; Grants Management Administrator, MacArthur Foundation
  • Pascale Ife Williams, Artivist and Cultural Producer; Program Coordinator, Strategic Solutions for Cultural Leadership, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Never miss a thing

Subscribe to our newsletter and get regular updates on news, events, grants, and the latest opportunities for artists.

Support Chicago Artists

Make a gift to CAC today and join our growing community of supporters