Mayor Lightfoot to Co-Chair 2019 3Arts Awards for 20 Chicago Artists

Via PR

CHICAGO, IL (OCTOBER 21, 2019)–3Arts, the Chicago-based nonprofit grantmaking organization, is honored to award 20 Chicago artists with unrestricted grants at the 12th annual 3Arts Awards Celebration, taking place Monday, November 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The celebration will honor ten 3Arts Awards recipients with $25,000 cash grants, and ten additional artists with $2,000 cash grants through Make a Wave—an unprecedented artist-to-artist giving initiative in which each of the previous year’s 3Arts awardees select another artist to receive a surprise grant, sending a “wave” of support through Chicago’s cultural communities.

3Arts has distributed more than $3.4 million in total funding to more than 900 Chicago artists over the past eleven years and will award $270,000 on November 4 alone.

“As we prepare to celebrate the newest awardees on November 4, everyone at 3Arts is full of gratitude and admiration—for all of the ways that artists shake up and wake up Chicago and for the generous contributors who support those artists by investing in our work,” said Esther Grisham Grimm, Executive Director of 3Arts. “We are looking forward to a night of pure joy.”

The 2019 celebration on November 4 will be led by honorary co-chairs Honorable Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, First Lady Amy Eshleman and Dr. Carrie Sandahl (University of Illinois at Chicago), and event co-chairs Dee Alexander (2012 3Arts/Southwest Airlines Awardee), Christine Donovan (Manager, The Northern Trust Charitable Giving Program), and Kwesi Smith (3Arts Board of Directors and Global Research Analyst, William Blair).

This year’s event will feature performances by past awardees and Make a Wave recipients including violinist Nura Aly, dancer/choreographer Nejla Yatkin, musician Ben LaMar Gay, and members of Ayodele Drum & Danceled by T. Ayo Alston.

The 2019 recipients of $25,000 3Arts Awards are:

Dance artists Laksha Dantran and Jumaane Taylor; musicians Samuel “Trump” Harris and Bethany Thomas; teaching artists Ivelisse Diaz and Damon Locks; theater artists Richard Costes and Stephanie Diaz; and visual artists Norman Teague and Santiago X. 

3Arts will additionally celebrate the recipients of Make a Wave, a groundbreaking artist-to-artist grant program in which past 3Arts Awards recipients select another ten Chicago artists to receive awards. This year, Make a Wave grants are doubling to $2,000 per artist, thanks to the generous partnership of the Siragusa Family Foundation and additional support from the Reva & David Logan Foundation. The recipients of this year’s Make a Wave grants were selected by 2018 3Arts awardees and will be announced at the November 4th event.

3Arts is a nonprofit organization that advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and build momentum in their careers.

For more information about 3Arts and this year's full list of awardees, please visit