This is a program for Chicagoans by Chicagoans. Individual artists (age 18+), collaborative groups or 501(C)(3) organizations (including those that work with youth) are welcome to apply. We welcome artists at all levels, including: emerging, working, established, self-taught or professionally trained. The review committee is committed to choosing a diverse array of artist proposals and at least $100,000 of project funds are dedicated to supporting artists from or art that engages environmental justice communities.
We are looking for applicants from all backgrounds and perspectives and encourage proposals from:
- Artists whose work reflects the artist’s community / neighborhood
- BIPOC individuals
- Emerging and self-taught artists
- Established artists who apply in partnership with emerging artists
- Individuals in neighborhoods directly impacted by industrially polluted corridors
- Individuals proposing projects in art opportunity areas. Art opportunity areas are loosely defined as community areas in which there are fewer public art assets. Some of these areas include but are not limited to neighborhoods in Chicago’s southeast side (Grand Crossing, Chatham, Roseland, West Pullman), greater southwest side (Garfield Park, Austin, Lawndale), northwest side (Albany Park, Hermosa, Avondale)
- LGBTQ individuals
- Persons with disabilities
- Projects that involve community collaborations / partnerships
A minimum of 5 artworks will be funded:
+ 2 – 5 smaller artworks projects
– funding between $7,500-$10,000
+ 2 – 4 medium artworks projects
– funding between $10,000-$30,000
+ 1 – 3 large artworks projects
(this project level is only for physical pieces of art)
– funding between $50,000-$100,000
We are seeking artist proposals that meet the following criteria:
1. Location and Community Focus
It is encouraged that artist applicants have a relationship with the community (or communities) where you are proposing the artwork be developed and/or displayed. Also, we strongly encourage artists to partner with others in the community to ensure a local voice from the community. If needed, the Foundation and/or other E(art)H supporters and partners can foster connections to facilitate partnerships and art placement in public spaces. We are also seeking to fund one large artwork project (a physical piece only) that will be located in a highly visible location downtown. We understand that the relationship between the artist and the community may not exist for this central location but this piece will thematically connect to all the other art.
2.Types of Art
Artwork is defined by this program in the broadest possible manner and may include sculptures, murals, paintings, dance, music and theater, poetry and spoken word, film, performance, experiential and any other art that applicants wish to propose. Physical pieces will be located on public land in conjunction with E(art)H Chicago partners to ensure accessibility. Performance and event-oriented pieces will need to be accompanied by an audience engagement plan.
3. Artwork Focus
Artwork must explore the intersection between art, the environment, resources and climate change. It must also showcase environmental challenges faced by people in the region, a specific Chicago neighborhood, and/or work already being done or could be done in Chicago to address those challenges. We welcome proposals of artwork that augment existing community art (whether already on display or not) that hasn’t received substantial outside funding.
4. Program Values
Values for this program were determined through a community wide co-creation process. Artworks chosen for this project should be able to articulate or explain how they intend to honor the following values in the art form itself:
- Actively Listening to the Voice of the Community: Artwork that reflects the neighborhood and amplifies community voices.
- Reclaiming Space + Power: Extra consideration will be provided for artworks focused on inclusivity, racial equity and on how climate change can disproportionately affect some people and communities, not just the environment/planet.
- Public Space + Community: Work that blends art and a gathering space, a place for future community events to take place, or a place to meet will be given extra consideration.
- Uniting People Together Through Mutuality + Joy: Prioritization of positive, hopeful and uplifting messages.
- Inspiration + Impact: Inspires people to take action within their neighborhoods on climate, natural resource use and environmental injustice.
- Repurposing, Recycling and Sustainability for Creative Practice: Extra consideration will be provided for artworks made from fully recyclable or reused existing materials, powered by a renewable energy source, and/or use materials that match the length of the exhibition.
Artwork proposed must be able to be completed between April 2022 thru April 2023 to allow time for grant funds distribution, art installation, venue planning, etc.