Call Detail
Artist Response Program: Direct Grants
Entry Deadline: 2/5/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 13
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Illinois

Artist Response Program
Direct Grant Guidelines

Through the Artist Response Program DCASE will award 5-10 direct grants from $50,000 - $100,000 to individual artists to implement ambitious projects which address the current moment through a range of creative approaches.  


  • January 11: Application opens
  • February 5: Application closes at 5:00pm CST
  • March: Finalist interviews
  • April: Grantees selected
  • May: Payments distributed

Eligibility Criteria for Individual Artists:

To be eligible to apply for an Artist Response Program grant, artist/ artist teams must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a practicing artist. This is defined as someone who:  
    • is actively creating new work  
    • has demonstrated success in the arts through the creation of high-quality work and/or contributions to the field  
    • has at least a two-year history of public presentation or publication 
  • Be residents of the City of Chicago.
  • Be a resident of the neighborhood where the project will take place, or be working in collaboration with a resident, organization, or small business in that neighborhood.


Grant Details:

  • Grants to individual artists/ artist teams will range from $50,000 - $100,000. We anticipate selecting between five and ten artists/ artist teams to receive these grants.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a panel comprised of DCASE staff and external arts experts and finalists will be selected for interviews before final decisions are made.

Review Criteria:

The following criteria will be used to evaluate artist proposals:

  • Merit and feasibility of proposed project
  • Ability to engage a broad and diverse public in a productive, civic dialogue
  • Potential benefit to people and communities with a focus on historically disinvested neighborhoods on the South and West sides of the city
  • Depth of experience, relationships and engagement with other artists and partners in identified communities/neighborhoods.


Criteria/Priorities for Artist Projects:

Artist projects can be anything from a physical artwork, to the transformation/repurposing of spaces or objects, to a happening or cultural event, focused on any artistic discipline including architecture, culinary arts, curatorial arts, dance, design, film, literary arts, media arts, music, performance art, photography, public art, social practice, theater, or visual arts.

Projects can be new work or build upon existing work.

We will prioritize projects that:

  • Address public safety, equity and access through art.
  • Are associated with repair and rebuilding on the South and West sides of Chicago.
  • Activate Chicago communities and institutions to address broader social issues, opportunities and challenges.
  • Use art as a tool to inspire community organizing, civic engagement and participation.
  • Activate vacant or underutilized spaces by infusing art and community participation to enhance the quality of life for residents.
  • Seek to celebrate and preserve the cultural traditions of underrepresented or historically marginalized groups.
  • Recognize and illuminate the character defining attributes of Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Projects must be executed by the end of 2021.


What You Need to Apply:

1. Project Overview (upload a single word doc or pdf that addresses all of the following):

  • One (1) page narrative overview about the proposed project including a description of all major project activities.
  • A list of committed project partners including artists and community organizations that will be involved. Please provide a provide a 1- 2 sentence description of their role in completing the project.
  • Budget
  • Schedule of Project Activities

2. Work Samples                      

  • Five (5) to Ten (10) total images of past projects by the artist or the artist team’s lead artists
  • Up to (3) videos, edited to no more than two (2) minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.
3. Annotated Image List
  • An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, location (if site-specific) project budget (if applicable) timeline, and client or commissioning entity for each corresponding image.
    • If a video is submitted, please include two to three (2-3) sentences to describe its context.

4. Resume

  • If applying as an artist team, a list of key team members and their roles/affiliations.
  • A two- (2) page resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
    • If applying as an artist team, provide one resume or CV for each team member.

5. Proof of Residence

  • Provide a PDF copy of one of the following forms of documentation:
    • Current, valid Illinois Driver’s License (front and back sides)
    • Current, valid State of Illinois ID (front and back sides)
    • Recent utility bill in artist’s name (all pages)
    • Chicago CityKey ID
  • P.O. boxes will not be accepted.


If you have questions please contact the DCASE public art department at

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria