2018 Chicago Jazz Festival Citywide Programs

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Application Deadline: Monday, April 9, 2018

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The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.



The Chicago Jazz Festival is a Labor Day weekend tradition that promotes all forms of jazz through free, high-quality music programming. The festival showcases Chicago's local talent alongside national and international artists to raise awareness and appreciation for one of the city’s most beloved art forms.

In honor of the 40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival in 2018, DCASE will offer a new program to support local venues and Jazz presenting organizations that offer free, public programs lead. The goal is to encourage collaboration within the Jazz community to build excitement and promote Chicago as a destination for Jazz.



Grant Amount

Applicants may request up to $3,000 to support free, public programs. Support may be applied to artist’s fees and up to $500 of production related expenses, but may not be applied to staffing costs, venue or facility maintenance or capital expenses, food, beverages or hospitality related functions, fundraising activities or donor events.


Applicant Eligibility
  • Music venues and/ or nonprofits with at least a 2 year history of presenting jazz programming
  • Venues and organizations must be located and/ or incorporated within the City of Chicago
  • Individuals are not eligible
  • Multiple applications are not permitted; only one application per venue/ organization can be submitted.


Program Eligibility
  • All programs must take place between August 24 -29, 2018.
  • All programs must be free, and open to the public
  • All programs must occur within the City of Chicago


Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by the Chicago Jazz Festival Committee and evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit of the proposed program
  • Potential of the program to reach traditionally underrepresented areas of the city
  • Applicant’s prior success as an event producer

Please note that 2018 has been designated as the Year of Creative Youth. While not required, special consideration will be given to proposals that show alignment with this initiative by engaging youth artists or audiences.


Disbursement Funds

Selected partners will be required to complete an agreement with DCASE detailing the terms and conditions of support.

Upon receipt of the agreement and necessary forms, DCASE will disburse funding. The time and date will be specified in the agreement.

Credits and Media Availability

Selected venues/ organizations will be required to recognize the Chicago Jazz Festival and DCASE including name or logo in all advertisements, programs, and websites and other promotional information. DCASE will also include selected programs in Chicago Jazz Festival promotions and collateral.


Final Report

Partners will be required to submit a brief final report to prove that the event was completed within the terms and conditions of the support.

Final Reports must include:

  • An event summary including attendance numbers
  • Copies of signed performance contracts or copies of signed receipts for all performers paid by DCASE support
  • Photographs or video of event, showing the audience and performers Partners who do not submit a final report by the deadline will not be eligible to apply for future programs.



- Deadline to submit an application: Monday, April 9, 2018

- Notification of support will be sent by email by April 20, 2018

- Disbursement of funds by July 2018

- All programs must take place between August 24 -29, 2018

- Final reports will be accepted no later than November 30, 2018


Questions should be directed to:

Frayne Lewis

Policy Analyst, Programming – Music

Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events



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