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.

Profiles of all 3Arts Awards recipients are accessible further below on this page, or download an awardee list in PDF here.

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 the most recent jury panelists


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    Tatsu Aoki


    Tatsu Aoki is a prolific artist, composer, musician, educator and a consummate bassist and Shamisen Lute player. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental and creative music.

    Aoki …

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    Cheryl Lynn Bruce


    Cheryl Lynn Bruce has performed on stages across the country as well as in Europe and Mexico, and created the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning production of “The Grapes of Wrath,” adapted and directed by Frank Galati …

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    Nicole Cabell

    Soprano Northern Trust Awardee

    Nicole Cabell, a Decca recording artist, is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lyric sopranos of today. Her solo debut album, Soprano was named “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone and has received an incredible amount of critical acclaim and several …

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    Robin Hewlett


    Robin Hewlett is an artist and organizer based in Chicago. Hewlett works at the intersection of artistic practice and social justice through her participation in community-based initiatives such as AREA Chicago, Project NIA, Teachers for Social Justice and La Casita …

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    Jessica Hudson


    Jessica Hudson is a theatre-maker and teaching artist who has lived and worked in Chicago for 13 years. Hudson bridges different modes of performance in order to create new modes of performance. Her solo work blends the vocabularies of dance, …

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    Jamil Khoury


    Jamil Khoury is the Founding Artistic Director of Silk Road Rising, a Chicago-based, nonprofit theater and media arts organization that tells stories through primarily Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses. Promoting playwrights of Silk Road backgrounds is a passion …

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    Larry Lee

    Multimedia Artist Chandler Family Awardee

    Larry Lee grew up in Chinatown and Andersonville before moving to South Carolina. In 1980, he returned to Chicago, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture …

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    Cecil McDonald Jr.

    Visual Artist

    Cecil McDonald, Jr. (B. 1965, Chicago) is most interested in the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and black culture's artistic and intellectual pursuits, particularly as this culture intersects with and informs the larger culture. Through photography, video, and dance/performance, he …

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    Rachel Ries


    Rachel Ries, hailing from the prairies of middle America, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked-hearted. With an electric guitar and piano, a clear voice and steady hand, she deftly pulls listeners in with disarming candor and holds them …

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    Luis Romero

    Works on Paper

    Luis Romero is a visual artist born in Mexico, raised in Puerto Rico, and currently living and working in Chicago. He completed his MFA in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BA …

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    Jamie Topper


    Jamie Topper is an artist whose practice spans public sculpture, ecological design, and music. She has designed and built museum exhibits, public sculptures and installations that engage the public in noticing and appreciating environmental phenomena and sound.

    As a musician, …

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    Eddie Torres


    Eddie Torres co-founded Teatro Vista with Henry Godinez in 1990 and served as the company’s Artistic Director until 2013. His recent theater credits include the California premiere of Water by the Spoonful and the World Premiere of The Happiest Song …

2010 Judges

Aaron A. Flagg
Michael Orlove
Daniel Bernard Roumain
Teaching Arts
Antonia Contro
Bonnie Metzgar
Mark Ingram
Sydney Sidwell
Lou Bellamy
Olga Sanchez
Ralph Flores
Visual Arts
Clare Kunny
Valerie Cassel Oliver
Faheem Majeed

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