City Service

Call To Artists: Taste of Chicago Street Art & Graffiti Alley

The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is presenting the 37th annual Taste of Chicago this summer, July 5–9, in Grant Park. Each year, more than 1 million people attend this iconic summer event which features more than 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment. This year's event will provide a complete sensory experience for all Taste attendees, including great food, critically acclaimed music, and an array of cultural initiatives which highlight the City's cultural programs and creative community to a new audience.

A new program will be added this year, a Street Art & Graffiti Alley. Four Chicago artists will be engaged to create new artwork each day culminating in an artist meet and greet on Sunday. The resulting artworks will be displayed in four different neighborhood locations (TBD) for one year, after which the artwork will revert to the artist. As part of their application artists may suggest specific neighborhoods or locations for the post-Taste display.

Each artist will receive a fee of $4,000. Artists will be expected to be on site daily and create one panel per day and be able to interact with members of the public while making art.

Artists are responsible for paint and other art supplies.

DCASE will provide each artist four 4’x8’ exterior grade plywood panels, easel, picnic table, and secure overnight storage. DCASE may prime panels in advance to artist specified color.

The workspaces for all four artists will be located in a shaded area north of the Buckingham Fountain Plaza.

The four kiosks, one for each artist, will be erected in four separate locations in the main Taste area. At the end of each day the completed panels will be attached by DCASE staff to the kiosks so that the gallery display grows each day. The kiosk will accommodate one panel per side.

Sunday, the last day of Taste, will be a viewing day specifically targeted for the public to be able to see all of the completed works and interact with the artists. If necessary, final touches may be completed on Sunday.

To be eligible artists must live, work or maintain a studio within Chicago city limits. Artists are expected to be active contributors to Chicago’s street art and graffiti community.



RFI due in CAFÉ by April 9, midnight CST.

Artists selected by May 1.

Total project budget: $4,000.00 per artist

Application deadline: 11:59pm CST, April 9, 2017


The Site

Taste of Chicago Street Art & Graffiti Alley, live painting and display of finished artworks.


The Commitment

Artist are expected to be on site daily, minimum hours are:

Wednesday-Friday hours, 11am–6pm; Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, noon–6pm

It is preferred that all work is completed by end of day Saturday for the Sunday meet-and-greet afternoon.

Taste of Chicago is open daily until 9 PM and artists may work until that time if desired. In May, selected artists will meet with DCASE staff and potential post-Taste site representatives to discuss and confirm site selection and further develop artwork concept.



The budget for each artist is $4,000.00.


Eligibility and Selection Process

Taste of Chicago is about promoting Chicago. To be eligible for this opportunity artists must live, work or maintain a studio within Chicago city limits and have an active presence in Chicago’s street art and graffiti community. Artists will be selected based on the strength of their application.


Selection Panel

DCASE staff and site partners.


To Apply

Deadline = 11:59pm CST, April 9, 2017

All applicants must submit the following:

1. A brief artist statement addressing how their artwork shows the strength of Chicago’s street art and graffiti community. Artists should indicate their positive experience of interacting with members of the public while creating artwork.

2. If artist has a specific neighborhood or location where they would like their artwork displayed they should indicate that and include a brief explanation of their relationship to site and neighborhood.

3. A resume that clearly highlights the applicant’s past experience and training relevant to this opportunity (no more than 3 pages – saved as a .pdf or .doc file).

4. 6-10 images of past work that best demonstrate the applicant’s skill and craftsmanship. One video, edited to no more than 2 minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.

5. An image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions for each corresponding image. If a video is submitted, please include 2-3 sentences that describe its context.

Department Main Office

Cultural Affairs and Special Events