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SPARK Grants

SPARK Grant application is closed. Check back in November 2020 for new information.

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 Application is closed. Information on this page is for reference only. New information will be available in November 2020.

How SPARK Works

The SPARK Grant program offers twenty-five, 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 2020
Selection Process

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

2020 Jury
Sampada Aranke
Gloria Talamantes
Derrick Woods-Morrow

Applications open on December 16, 2019

Important Dates for 2019-2020
  • December 12: Information Session #1 from 6-7:30pm, Peach's at Currency Exchange Cafe
    (305 E Garfield Blvd)
  • December 16: Application Opens
  • January 09: Information Session #2 from 6-7:30pm at Chicago Artists Coalition
  • January 15: Application Help Session from 6-8pm at Arts of Life (2010 W Carroll Ave)
  • February 16: Application Closes
  • March 2-27: Jury Deliberations
  • April 16: Awardees Notified

Hard copies of the applications will be available for artists who are unable to use the online system.

Please contact Aileen Cortez, aileen[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org], with questions and for more information.

Consult the FAQ Here

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