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Press Release: Mayor Emanuel and DCASE to foster Cultural Innovation with new Grants Program


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Contact Information

All documentation should be
sent to:


Allyson Esposito
Director, Cultural Grants Program
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street, Room 522
Chicago, Illinois 60602


Contact Information:

DCASE Grants Staff:

Allyson Esposito, Director, Cultural Grants Program

Julie Partynski, Senior Project Manager

Andrea Portillo, Project Manager

What We Do

Cultural Grants

Announcing a new grant program for 2014:

The application is now open!


IncentOvate Program

The IncentOvate Program seeks to incentivize innovation and foster the creation of new large scale public cultural experiences in Chicago. Awards may be used to support the planning or execution of a specific project or program focused on innovation, audience development, or programming in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Deadline: Friday, August 1, 2014 5:00 PM CST - No Extensions will be Granted



The mission of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. To support this overarching mission, the Cultural Grants Program’s goal is to serve as a catalyst to foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and creative industries thrive. DCASE provides more than $1.2 million annually in direct funding for Chicago’s arts community through this program which is designed to reach artists and nonprofit arts organizations across the City of Chicago. Grants provide operating funds for nonprofit arts and culture organizations, as well as project-specific funding for individual artists and creative professionals to make artistic work or engage in professional development activities. Grants are awarded through a competitive panel review process.


Individual Artists Program

The goal of the DCASE Individual Artists Program is to discover, nurture, and expand Chicago’s individual artists. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Through this grant program, DCASE will award grants to Chicago-based artists over 18 years of age, at all career levels and working across numerous disciplines. Click here if you are a 2014 IAP Grant recipient.

Download the 2014 IAP Guideline Packet (PDF)

Deadline: The 2014 IAP Application Period has now closed.


CityArts Program

CityArts is a program that encourages the attainment of artistic excellence and financial stability through general operating support for 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organizations. Click here if you are a CityArts Grant recipient.

Download the CityArts Guidelines Packet (PDF)

Deadline: The 2014 CityArts Application Period has now closed.


Previous Grant Information Can Be Found Below

  • Individual Artists Program

            - Click here for the List of the 2014 Panelists and Grantees (PDF)

            - Click here for the List of the 2013 Panelists and Grantees (PDF)

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Most Recent News (Cultural Grants)

Jun 2, 2014 Mayor Emanuel and DCASE to foster Cultural Innovation with new Grants Program

Department Main Office

Cultural Affairs and Special Events

Studio Artist and Curatorial Residency Program

DCASE announces the Chicago Cultural Center Studio Artist and Curatorial Residency Program for professional and emerging Chicago-based visual artists and curators. The program aims to support Chicago's visual artists and curators in their creative process and to increase the diversity of expression and representation in the larger artistic community in Chicago. For more information, click here.