Arts Work Fund

Arts Work Fund is Shifting Its Grant Making – Take a Look

We are changing and expanding our grant opportunities for the coming year in response to the extraordinary challenges Chicago’s cultural community is currently facing.  We have:

  • actualized our commitment to equity 
  • streamlined our process
  • expanded our eligibility 
  • instituted a peer review panel process 
  • changed the final report process to amplify sharing of lessons learned from these grants

Think Explore Share grants will enable arts and culture organizations to develop and test possible solutions to challenges posed by COVID-19, or challenges that hampered nonprofits before the pandemic (e.g., lack of access to resources for artists of color and artists with disabilities, declining ticket sales, etc.). Challenges can relate to management, production, technology, fiscal planning, or artistic mission.  Multiple organizations can apply to collaborate on a shared challenge.

Who’s Eligible to Apply?

  • Arts organizations led by, for, and about black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), with operating expenses of $2 million and below
  • Any arts and culture organization with operating expenses of $800,000 and below

Grant Size

  •  Think Grants – up to $20,000 and Explore Grants – up to $30,000 for arts organizations led by, for, and about BIPOC, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and women
  • Think Grants – up to $15,000 and Explore Grants – up to $25,000 for all other eligible organizations

Our goal is to allocate 65% of all grants to organizations led by, for, and about BIPOC communities.

Upcoming Application Deadlines: October 15, 2020*, December 30, 2020, and March 30, 2021.
(* Extension of original deadline of September 30, 2020 due to program changes.)


For Arts Work Fund’s Think Explore Share Guidelines, Application, and additional information, click here.


Find upcoming grant opportunities in Grant Central