CityArts Program for Nonprofit Organizations

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Please check back for information on the 2018 CityArts Program in January 2018.


Program Overview

CityArts guidelines are now available. To view eligibility criteria and guidelines, Download the 2017 packet (PDF).

The 2017 Grant Application is now closed.

Workshops for the 2017 CityArts cycle have concluded. Please reference the Guideline Packet or contact us directly if you have any questions. Thank you.

Please visit for information on webinars and other resources to help you complete a DataArts profile, which is required to apply for the CityArts grant program.

The DCASE CityArts Program encourages the attainment of artistic excellence and financial stability through general operating support for nonprofit arts organizations.

Through CityArts, DCASE provides one-year general operating support grants to arts organizations with vibrant artistic or cultural programming. General operating support funds may be used for artistic, administrative and program activities including expenses such as salaries, marketing, insurance, supplies, professional services, fees and training. All grants are one-year grants.

General CityArts Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for funding, applicants must meet each of the following criteria.

Applicants must:

• Have had an annual adjusted income budget under $2,000,000 during the most recently completed fiscal year. To calculate your organization’s “Annual Adjusted Income Budget”, subtract the amount, if any, of government contributions (city, state or federal) awarded during the last fiscal year from the total income your organization received during that year.

Annual Adjusted Income = Total Income – Government Contributions

• Be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Illinois for at least 12 months prior to applying (must have been incorporated as of January 1, 2016).

• Be a resident company in the city of Chicago with a valid street address (P.O. boxes will not be accepted).

• Primarily serve the residents of the city of Chicago; demonstrate that at least half (at least 51%) of programming occurs within the city of Chicago.

• Have primary mission to create, produce, present, provide, or support arts and culture services for the public. Organizations with a primarily social service-focused or education-focused mission may not be eligible.

• Be planning public programming/activities available to the public during the 2017 calendar year.

• Work in one of the following disciplines: Architecture, Curatorial Arts/Museums, Dance, Design (includes Fashion, Industrial, and Costume), Interdisciplinary, Literary Arts, Media Arts and Film, Music, Performance Art, Photography, Public Art, Theater, Visual Arts OR serve as an arts service organization.

The following are not eligible to apply to the CityArts Program:

• Organizations that are serving as or using fiscal agents or fiscal sponsors

• Religious institutions

• Social service organizations

• Public or governmental agencies

• Schools, school districts, and universities/higher education institutions (some exceptions apply, see guideline packet for more information)

• Athletic teams, social organizations, fraternal organizations

• Consortiums and collaboratives

• Individuals

Beginning with organizations funded through this program in 2013, organizations can receive CityArts funding for three consecutive years in a row before being required to take a year off. If you are not sure if you are eligible, please email Julie Partynski at

Note: DCASE is unable to pay grant funds to nonprofits with outstanding, existing debt with the City of Chicago. Please pay off or clear up any existing debt (parking tickets, water bills, etc.) prior to applying for a CityArts grant. We suggest you contact the City of Chicago Finance Department to check your Indebtedness standing by calling 312-74-GO-BIZ as soon as possible.