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Photo credit: Claire Demos
Photo credit: Claire Demos

The MAKER Grant is an annual award opportunity for Chicago-based contemporary visual artists who demonstrate a commitment to a sustainable artistic practice and career development.

Specifically, the grant recognizes that Chicago is home to a unique and thriving ecology of engaged and socially-conscious makers, who often work outside of traditional forms or without commercial support. MAKER grant, therefore, endeavors to honor these artists whose work actively engages with social and/or environmental issues—with an eye towards using the strategies, beauty, and meaning of art-making for positive change.

MAKER Grant’s unrestricted $3000 and $1000 annual grants are intended to recognize two exceptional artists working in this way, and support the advancement of their artistic careers.

This grant is funded by a portion of proceeds from the Chicago Artists Coalition’s annual Starving Artist fundraiser and a matching contribution from OtherPeoplesPixels. MAKER Grant recognizes both the CAC’s and OPP’s mutual commitments to supporting local artists’ practices and professional development.

About OtherPeoplesPixels
OtherPeoplesPixels is a portfolio website service designed for artists by artists—and is dedicated to helping artists and cultural makers share their creative work with the world. Founded in 2005, OPP has remained an independently run, triple-bottom line company, and continues to support arts, environmental & social justice initiatives through The OtherPeoplesPixels Fund and initiatives like the MAKER Grant.



In addition to financial support, Maker Grant awardees receive:

  • Published interviews and promotion through CAC and OPP communications, including a feature on CAR-Chicago Artists Resource & the OPP blog.
  • A one-year CAC artist membership.
  • ‘Lifetime’ OPP portfolio exceptional services.
  • Two tickets to attend CAC’s WORK IN PROGRESS fundraiser on Thursday, May 18, 2017.  Winners will be recognized at the event.


In 2017, this grant is open to visual artists who meet the following criteria:

  • Artists whose work actively engages with social and/or environmental issues, with an eye towards positive change.
  • Artists who can show that they are at a defining moment to achieve growth in their creative and professional careers.
  • Artists who demonstrate a strong and active engagement with, and professional commitment to, their artistic practice.
  • Artists whose work as cultural makers impacts the development of art and culture in a meaningful way.


Applicants must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • A resident of the Chicagoland region (includes outlying suburbs within a 30 mile radius of Chicago)
  • At least 21 years old
  • NOT  currently enrolled in a degree-granting program or its equivalent
  • NOT an applicant or collaborator on more than one proposed project


Submissions are evaluated by a jury of three professional peers from leading cultural institutions in Chicago, as well as representatives from Chicago Artists Coalition and OtherPeoplePixels.

MAKER Grant Application will open on March 1, 2017 online. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017.

2017 Jury

Faheem Majeed, Artist
Brian Holmes, Artist and Writer