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SPARK Grants

SPARK Grant opens December 14, 2020 and closes February 16, 2021.

SPARK Grants are an annual, unrestricted award opportunity for Chicago-based visual artists who identify as ALAANA (Asian, Latinx, Arab, African diaspora, Native), an artist with a demonstrated need, an artist with a disability, or as a self-taught or informally trained artist who is striving to make their art practice a primary vocation.

SPARK Grant opens December 14, 2020 and closes February 16, 2021.

How SPARK Works

The SPARK Grant program offers thirty, unrestricted awards of $2,000 each to recognize exceptional artists working in Chicago and to support the advancement of their artistic careers. This grant is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation.

Who should apply

This application is open to:

  • Visual artists that identify as (one or more of the following):
    • ALAANA (Asian, Latinx, African diaspora, Arab, Native)
    • 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 or informally trained artist: an artist who was not formally trained at an art school or degree-granting setting yet is committed to making 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 2021
Selection Process

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

Application available here.

2020 Jury
Sampada Aranke
Gloria Talamantes
Derrick Woods-Morrow

Important Dates for 2020-2021
  • December 14: Application Opens
  • December 14-18: Application Help-Sessions- 5-10 minute phone calls
  • January 6, 2021: Virtual Information Session #1
  • February 3, 2021: Application Help-Sessions by appointment - 5-10 minutes Google Meets or phone call, contact Aileen at aileen[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org] to set up an appointment
  • February 16: Application Closes
  • March 2-19: Jury Deliberations
  • April: Awardees Notified

For questions and more information contact Aileen Cortez, aileen[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org]

Consult the FAQ Here

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