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


  • None

    Barak adé Soleil

    Dance Maker & Interpreter Denise & Gary Gardner Awardee

    Barak adé Soleil makes dance, theater, and performance art. An award-winning creative practitioner, he has been engaging diverse communities within the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, and West Africa throughout his career. He is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an …

  • A headshot of Jo has long blonde hair swept back and down over her shoulders. She has blue eyes and wears square framed black rimmed glasses, a black top with long crocheted black earrings.

    Jo Cattell

    Theater Maker Perkins Coie Awardee

    Jo Cattell (theatre maker) is a leading voice in the convergence of live theatre and immersive technologies. Her work has appeared at Sundance Film Festival, the BBC, Sky Television, Cirque du Soleil, and multiple US and London theaters. She is …

  • None

    Alexandria Eregbu

    Interdisciplinary Artist Allstate Awardee

    Alexandria Eregbu is an independent curator and teaching artist whose practice spans across art, music, storytelling, education, and justice in order to consider and produce forums that dignify the humanities. 

    As a self-prescribed ‘art-thropologist,’ Alexandria is most invested in acknowledging …

  • None

    William Estrada

    Multidisciplinary Artist Community Awardee

    William Estrada grew up in California, Mexico, and Chicago. His teaching and art making practice focus on addressing inequity, migration, historical passivity, and cultural recognition in historically marginalized communities. He documents and engages experiences in public spaces to transform, question, …

  • None

    Jess Godwin

    Singer/Songwriter RH, Restoration Hardware Awardee

    J (aka Jess Godwin) is an audiovisual artist and mentor currently based in Brooklyn. A proud recipient of a 2016 3Arts Award, she uses music, storytelling, and visuals to translate and transform her worldview. She has created hundreds of videos …

  • None

    Candace Hunter

    Installation Artist Chandler Family Awardee

    Candace Hunter (chlee) creates collage, paintings, installations and performance art. She tells stories. Through the use of appropriated materials from magazines, vintage maps, cloth, various re-used materials, she offers the new landscape of materials  back to the viewer with a …

  • None

    Ayako Kato

    Dancer & Choreographer Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

    Described as “moving everyday sculptures, artfully cast in naturalness” (Luzerner Zeitung, Switzerland), Ayako Kato is a kinetic philosopher/poet, originally from Yokohama, Japan. Since 1998, Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape has been pursuing contemporary experimental dance/choreography/improvisation in deep collaboration with over 80 …

  • None

    Maggie Popadiak

    Theater Artist Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

    Maggie Popadiak has been the Associate Director of Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) since 2007, during which time she has directed and choreographed for Learning CurveGod’s Work, I Will Kiss These Walls, Home/Land, Feast, Remember Me Like This …

  • None

    Tomeka Reid

    Composer & Cellist Southwest Airlines Awardee

    Recently described as “a new jazz power source” by the New York Times, cellist and composer Tomeka Reid has emerged as one of the most original, versatile, and curious musicians in Chicago’s bustling jazz and improvised music community. Her …

  • Korean American woman with dark curly hair falling over her shoulders and wearing a black top stands looking at the camera in front of a brick wall

    Aram Han Sifuentes

    Fiber Artist Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee

    Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they) is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to claim spaces for immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing …

2016 Judges

Peter Taub
Joan Gray
Mark Burford
Birdie Soti
Carmen-Helena Téllez
Teaching Arts
DeAnna Dodds Cummings
Miko Lee
Paul Teruel
Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Tim Rhoze
Nikkole Salter
Visual Arts
Patric McCoy
Gordon Sasaki
Eugenie Tsai

More Award Years