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City Awards $1M in Arts Grants, Accepting New Apps

By Alexander Hough in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 30, 2009 5:20PM

eta Creative Arts Foundation received a $7,000
CityArts grant. Photo provided by the DCA.
The City of Chicago awarded 277 CityArts grants totaling $1 million for 2009. The grants, which range in size from $1,000 to $8,000, provide operating support to a wide variety of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, as well as project support to social service agencies with established art programs. The triennial grants, currently in the final year of the cycle, require recipient organizations to submit reports and modified applications annually to ensure continued funding. Established in 1979, CityArts has awarded 6,300 grants totaling more than $26 million.

CityArts is the largest of four arts grant programs administered by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Other city-funded grant programs include the Neighborhood Arts Program and the Cultural Outreach Program, both of which provide assistance to educational arts programs directed towards the city's underserved communities. The two year NAP grants are given to individual teaching artists, while COP grants are awarded annually to organizations. Through NAP, the DCA is dispersing $64,177 to twenty-one people this year, and COP will provide twenty-seven groups a combined total of $593,333.

The remaining DCA grant program, the Community Arts Assistance Program, is state-funded through the Illinois Art Council's similarly-named Community Arts Access Program. The city’s annual CAAP grants, which provide funding in amounts up to $1,000 for professional and organizational development, help new groups get off the ground through technical assistance, consultancies, and training, and is primarily for individual artists but also for nonprofit arts organizations with budgets of less than $150,000. In 2009, DCA's CAAP will re-grant $157,725 in state funds to 185 individual artists and thirty-two new and emerging organizations.

Having wrapped up the current three year CityArts cycle, the DCA is now accepting applications for the 2010 - 2012 grants. For organizations interested in obtaining a CityArts grant, the DCA offers eight application assistance workshops throughout the city between July 7 and August 4. The deadline for 2010 - 2012 CityArts applications is August 17.