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SPARK: A Program of The Joyce Foundation and Chicago Artists Coalition

Program Description

The SPARK Microgrant is an annual, unrestricted award opportunity for Chicago-based visual artists who identify as ALAANA (Asian, Latinx, Arab, African diaspora, Native), an artist with a demonstrated need, an artist with a disability, or as a self-taught or informally trained artist who is striving to make their art practice a primary vocation.

This program offers fifteen, unrestricted awards of $2000 each to recognize exceptional artists working in Chicago and to support the advancement of their artistic careers. 

The SPARK Microgrant is generously funded by the Joyce Foundation. 

Award Information

Information will be available soon. Please check back in the coming weeks.

Who Should Apply

This application is open to:

  • Visual artists that identify as: 
    • ALAANA (Asian, Latinx, African diaspora, Arab, Native) 
    • An artist with a demonstrated need
    • An artist with a disability
    • A self taught or informally trained artist: an artist who was not formally trained at an art school or degree-granting setting yet is committed to making their art practice a primary vocation
  • Ideal candidates show significant promise and dedication towards the advancement of their career as a practicing artist.
Please check back for updates to these guidelines. 

Applicants must be:

  • A resident of the City of Chicago
  • At least 21 years old  
  • NOT enrolled in a degree-granting program after June 2019
Selection Process

Submissions will be evaluated by a jury panel of five artists and arts professionals.

2019 Jury: To be announced soon

SPARK Microgrant applications will open December 15th. 

Important Dates for 2018-2019

December 12: Information Session #1 (5:30-7:30 at Chicago Artists Coalition) 

December 15: Application Opens

January (TBD): Information Session #2

February 15: Application Closes

March 1-30: Jury Deliberations

April 1: Awardees Notified


Hard copies of the applications will be available for artists who are unable to use the online system.
Please contact: Adia Sykes, for more information