3Arts Awards

The 3Arts Awards express our gratitude to Chicago’s artists for their indisputable contributions to the health and vibrancy of our city. Every year, ten artists who live and work in the six-county metropolitan area receive unrestricted $30,000 awards in dance, music, teaching arts, theater, and visual arts. Artists may use the award in any way that makes a difference to their lives and careers, including paying off debt, purchasing equipment, hiring collaborators, producing new work, and saving for the future.

We invite you to read two reports that compile reflections from artists who have received a 3Arts Award:

We thank our Award Partners and Community Award donors for their generosity in helping 3Arts support and advocate for local artists.

Selection Process

3Arts awardees are selected through a nomination and jury process. More than 100 artists are nominated annually by at least 35 anonymous local nominators--artists, curators, presenters, and advocates--who are acutely knowledgeable about the breadth of artists working in neighborhoods across the metropolitan area.

After the nominees have completed our online application process, five national, discipline-specific panels of jurors convene to select ten awardees from the applicant pool. 3Arts requires panelists to disclose conflicts of interest as part of the selection process. If a strong personal or professional relationship exists between a panelist and a nominated artist that might be an impediment to the integrity of the process, a full recusal from the discussion and vote is implemented.

In honor of the time and energy it takes to apply, all artists who submit an application will receive a $100 honorarium. 

We express our gratitude to this year's distinguished jury panelists


  • A black woman smiles warmly while looking at the camera. The image is in black and white.

    Alana Arenas


    Originally from Miami, Florida, Alana traveled to Chicago to study at DePaul University's Theatre School, receiving her BFA in 2002. In 2007, Alana was invited to join the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble where she created the role of Pecola in THE …

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    Amy Briggs


    Amy Briggs has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of living composers, while also bringing a fresh perspective to music of the past. Based in Chicago, she is a featured soloist and chamber musician on the Chicago …

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    Juan Angel Chavez

    Sculptor/Installation Northern Trust Artist

    Juan was born in La Junta, Chihuahua, Mexico, where he lived until 1985.  At the age of thirteen, he immigrated with his family to Chicago, where he lives and works to day.

    Juan focuses in larger then life sculptures and …

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    Josephine Lee


    Born in Chicago, Josephine Lee is a classically trained pianist, conductor, arranger and producer. Appointed in 1999, Josephine is Artistic Director of the multicultural Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children's Choir), serving 3,000 children annually. Under her direction, Uniting Voiceshas …

  • A midddle-aged white woman with red-and-silver streaked hair, black glasses, black sweater, against a yellow door.

    Riva Lehrer

    Works on Paper Chandler Family Artist

    Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer and curator who focuses on the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people whose physical embodiment, sexuality, or gender identity have long been stigmatized. 

    Lehrer’s work has been seen in …

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    Tekki Lomnicki


    Tekki Lomnicki believes in the healing power of stories. She is a solo performer, playwright, director, and educator. Tekki has devoted her craft to finding ways to break down the barriers between those with disabilities and those without. In 1995, …

2008 Judges

Dr. Paul Freeman
Lee Koonce
Augusta Reed Thomas
Martha Lavey
Rosalba Rolón
Kenneth Washington
Visual Arts
Rehema Barber
Yasmil Raymond
Hamza Walker

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