Once artists receive a $25,000 3Arts Award, they become eligible for a network of offerings designed to help them build momentum in their practice over time. The award is the first step and the foundation for ongoing project support, residency fellowships, promotion, and informal and formal professional development.

A National Network of 3Arts Residency Fellowships

Every 3Arts awardee has the opportunity to apply for our fellowships in a national network of residency programs. The fellowships include month-long residencies, $2,000 stipends, and airfare. Artists who receive a fellowship in the network are eligible to apply again every three years. This program is managed independently by the Alliance of Artists Communities and our residency partners: Djerassi Resident Artists Program, The Rauschenberg Residency, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. 3Arts has also established residency fellowships through a long-term alliance with Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

Artists are selected through a nomination and jury process overseen by Ragdale. No unsolicited applications are accepted.

3AP Project Support with Technical Mentorship

Any 3Arts awardee or residency fellow may opt to seek project support every year through our 3AP (3Arts Artist Projects) program, an online crowdfunding initiative in which artists work with us to post projects to our web site and invite pledges from our collective networks. Once 1/3 of the funding goal has been reached, 3Arts contributes 1/3 in the form of a grant and an incentive for supporters. Once the full amount has been raised within the allotted time frame, all pledged funds, plus the 3Arts match, are distributed to the artist. Donations made through this program are tax deductible.

Because 3AP involves artists using communication, marketing, social media, and technology, 3Arts provides workshops, mentorship, technical support, and a step-by-step handbook to help them learn the skills they need to get their projects funded and gain traction in their careers.


Because visibility is important to artists working in every discipline, each 3Arts awardee is given an online gallery on our web site and provided access to update the site as needed. Further, we feature the work of our awardees in e-blasts, advertising, and on our Facebook page on a regular basis.


Annually, as the result of a nomination and jury selection process, ten artists working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts receive 3Arts Awards of $25,000 with no strings attached.

More than 100 artists are nominated each year by 35 anonymous nominators. The nominators are Chicago artists, arts advocates, curators, and presenters who are acutely knowledgeable regarding artists working in a wide variety of communities in the greater metropolitan area. Nominees are invited to submit online applications to be considered for the awards.

Discipline-based panels of three judges each select the award recipients. Each panel consists of one local and two out-of-state judges who convene in Chicago to make their selections. Panel disciplines include dance, music, teaching arts, theater, and visual arts.

3Arts requires judges to disclose conflicts of interest as part of the award selection process. If a strong personal or professional relationship exists between a judge and a nominated artist that might impair the judge’s ability to be a neutral evaluator of the work samples, the judge may not participate in the discussion or the vote related to that artist’s application.

Artists are selected through a nomination and jury process. No unsolicited applications are accepted.

  • Brandi Berry featured artwork
  • Carlos Mejia featured artwork
  • Irina Botea featured artwork
  • Amanda Williams featured artwork
  • Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi  featured artwork
  • Sophia Nahli Allison featured artwork
  • Samuel Roberson featured artwork
  • Calamity West featured artwork
  • Darrell Jones featured artwork
  • Erica Mott featured artwork



We define the categories of performing, teaching, and visual arts broadly, to encompass the following categories of production:

Dancers and choreographers
2014 JUDGES:  Mario Garcia Durham,  Margaret Jenkins,  Julie Nakagawa

Composers, singers, instrumentalists, and conductors
2014 JUDGES:  Byron Au Yong,  Nicole Cherry,  Jim Hirsch

Playwrights, actors, directors, designers (costume, lighting, scenic, and sound)
2014 JUDGES:  Christine Bruno,  Emilya Cachapero,  Runako Jahi

Teaching Arts
Performing and visual arts instruction
2014 JUDGES:  Lynn Johnson,  Philip Yenawine,  Lisa Yun Lee

Visual Arts
Fine artists working in any visual arts genre
2014 JUDGES:  Linda Earle,  Gia M. Hamilton,  Stephanie Whitlock

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