Chicago Artists Coalition Announces SPARK Grant for Chicago’s Emerging Artists

Via PR

Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) announced today the second cycle of the SPARK Grant: an unrestricted award opportunity for emerging Chicago-based visual artists who identify as ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, Native American), an artist with acute financial need, an artist with a disability, or as a self-taught/non-formally trained artist who does not hold a degree from an art program but has made their art practice a primary vocation.

CAC's commitment to Chicago’s emerging artists provides resources that alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with being a working artist today. The SPARK Grant directly addresses historical barriers that have prevented the arts in this city from reflecting its demographic -- the ethos of this program having been created through the lenses of social, racial, and economic justice. Additionally, the SPARK Grant recognizes that the category of “emerging artist” is not necessarily defined by age but oftentimes a consequence of encountering systemic disadvantages perpetuated by discriminatory policies, structures, and practices; or, by operating outside of an academic or institutional system. 

With the support of the Joyce Foundation, the SPARK Grant offers unrestricted awards of $2,000 each to recognize exceptional emerging artists working in Chicago. After last year’s inaugural cycle the grant received 186 applications for 15 awards. There will be 20 awards granted through SPARK this year. 

Caroline Older, Executive Director of CAC, notes, “We are excited to launch the second year of the SPARK Grant with continued and generous support from  the Joyce Foundation and to provide much-needed, unrestricted grants to Chicago’s artists. ”  

“Expanding funding for Chicago artists was among the top priorities outlined in the city’s cultural plan. The creation of this grant program directly connects to that goal,” stated Tracie D. Hall, Director of the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program.  “We have truly visionary artists living and working in every neighborhood across the city. We hope that this line of support will help bring some of their visions to life, for their individual benefit and that of their broader communities.”

Applications for the SPARK Grant open December 16th. 

In the meantime, more information about the program and upcoming information sessions can be found HERE.