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Latest funding update (2/22):
Thank you to all artists who applied for Round 5, and to all who donated to make Round 5 possible.
Applications were received on Sunday, February 14th from 12pm-3pm Central time.
Applications are currently being processed by our volunteer team.
*Our volunteer team is working as hard as we can to make the application and the application process as clear and accessible as possible, however, we are only human and we don't know what we don't know. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or feedback.
Why we exist:
Chicago wouldn’t be Chicago without its artists. Painters, filmmakers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, theater makers, writers: artists help us tap into our own creativity, to see the world in new ways, to share experiences in communal spaces. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, these communal spaces remain shut down. And too many artists aren’t sure how they’re going to make rent this month. Or next.
Please pitch in to our relief fund for our fellow artists!
This fund was created by Chicago artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We allocate microgrants of up to $300 each in order to support our colleagues in the City of Chicago arts community who are experiencing financial repercussions due to the pandemic.
Priority will be given to BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] artists, trans+ & nonbinary & queer artists, and disabled and immunocompromised artists - but we aim to help as many artists residing in the City of Chicago as possible. Our ability to do that will depend on how much we can raise.
If you’re an artist with resources to spare, please consider contributing to support your colleagues. If you’re a lover of the arts, please consider contributing directly to the individuals who devote their lives to creating for our city.
Our equity lens:
We recognize the inequity inherent in our communities - globally, nationally, locally, and often especially in the arts. Even in times of stability, many working artists are able to pursue their careers with the help of family wealth, the support of a partner, or work in other fields, and many benefit from other social privileges connected to race, gender, sexuality, size, ability, citizenship status, and more. As Ijeoma Oluo, organizer of the Seattle Artists Relief Fund, writes, some of us are in “the rare and privileged position to be able to weather this [crisis] financially. Many are not.”
We recognize that government agencies, institutions, and non-profits often do not or are not able to prioritize those whom inequity affects most on a daily basis, even outside times of crisis. As such, we prioritize artists who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Queer, Trans+, Non-Binary, Disabled, and Immunocompromised, but will endeavor to support as many City of Chicago artists as possible.
Who's eligible to apply?:
Artists living in the City of Chicago (check out this map if you're not sure) whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 are invited to apply when our application opens up periodically.
Our fiscal sponsor:
We're proud to be sponsored by Soham Dance Space, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit. If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation to our campaign, go to paypal.me/SohamDanceSpace or use our PayPal email [email redacted], including “Chicago Artists Relief Fund” in the notes. Or, you can send a check payable to Soham Dance Space, with “Chicago Artists Relief Fund” in the memo, to: 1932 S Halsted Street, #206, Chicago, IL 60608. Please note that checks by mail will require a longer processing time.
Our confidentiality and transparency statement:
The Chicago Artists Relief Fund is managed by a group of community volunteers. Bios can be found here. Though organizational affiliations are listed, each individual is acting on their own behalf.
All application information is kept confidential by the organizers. Please view our more detailed confidentiality agreement, signed digitally by all members of the team, here.
100% of contributions are allocated directly to artists who apply to the fund (minus GoFundMe and PayPal fees -- our only expenses). No volunteer receives any percentage. We are following best practices for internal record-keeping to ensure every dollar is accounted for. We update the community regularly as funds are allocated, and will continue to do so.
Citing our sources:
We gratefully acknowledge writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo and her Seattle Artists Relief Fund, which inspired us to start this effort for the Chicago region. We also acknowledge Jeremy O. Harris and The Bushwick Starr as sources for our application language starting in Round 3.
Our logo was designed by Chicago artist Michelle Underwood!
Who are we?
We are an independent group of artists in the Chicago area (Adelina Feldman-Schultz, Anjal Chande, Claire Stone, Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel, Elizabeth Blondel, Ellenor Riley-Condit, Hal Cosentino, Jessica Kadish-Hernández, Lindsay Hopkins, Michael McCracken, and youth associate member Rachit Das). Learn more about us here.
Please email [email redacted].
The Arts Section
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Please click here for a list of additional resources for artists.
(This list is continually updated as we become aware of new opportunities. If you have one to share, please email us!)
We love you, Chicago.
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