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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    Richard Costes

    Theater Artist and Accessibility Consultant Walder Foundation Awardee

    Richard Costes is a deaf actor of color who has also worked as a director, playwright, and accessibility consultant. Richard grew up near Youngstown, Ohio where he graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies. …

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    Laksha Dantran

    Bharatanatyam Artist HMS Fund Awardee

    Laksha Dantran is rooted in the forms of Indian classical dance and theater. Her choreography and direction focus on bringing out the natural expression of herself and the artists with whom she works. She has received critical acclaim as a …

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    Ivelisse Diaz

    Afro-Puerto Rican Dancer, Musician, and Educator Community Awardee

    Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Diaz was born and raised in Humboldt Park, the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. At the young age of five, she began studying Bomba under the mentorship of her beloved uncle Eli S. Rodriguez, a …

  • Black man with facial hair, large afro, mirrored sunglasses, a chain neckless, and a patterned shirt

    Damon Locks

    Musician, Educator, and Visual Artist Reva & David Logan Foundation Awardee

    Damon Locks is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, and vocalist/musician. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA in fine arts. Since 2014 he has been working with the Prison and Neighborhood Arts/Education …

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    Stephanie Diaz

    Actor and Puppetry Artist SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Awardee

    Stephanie Diaz is an actor and puppetry artist. Her acting credits include work in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, The Gift Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theater, and regionally at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Seattle Rep, Shakespeare …

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    Jumaane Taylor

    Tap Dancer Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Awardee

    Jumaane Taylor, a Chicago native, has been tap dancing since the age of seven and made his professional debut in 2001 with the tap company M.A.D.D. Rhythms. He has been part of the ensemble in Imagine Tap! (directed and choreographed …

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    Norman Teague

    Designer, Educator, and Artist Denise & Gary Gardner Awardee

    Norman Teague is a designer and educator who focuses on the complexity of urbanism and the culture of communities. He specializes in custom furniture design and designed objects that deliver a personal touch and/or function. Past projects have included consumer …

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    Bethany Thomas

    Singer, Actor, and Songwriter RH, Restoration Hardware Awardee

    Bethany Thomas is a performer known for her work in theater and as a genre-defying solo artist who's graced the stages of the majority of Chicago's rock venues. She is a regular contributor at The Paper Machete and has had …

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    Sam Thousand

    Musician, Curator, and Director Southwest Airlines Awardee

    Sam Thousand (formally known as Sam Trump) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/writer, producer/composer and a 3Arts Award recipient with 15+ years of experience in live performance art, curation, and self management. Since picking up the trumpet at age 7, his artistry …

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    S̶A̶N̶T̶I̶A̶G̶O̶ X

    Multidisciplinary Artist Chandler Family Awardee

    Santiago X, M.Arch, MFA is an Indigenous futurist and multidisciplinary artist specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation. He is an enrolled citizen of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koasati) and Indigenous Chamoru from the Island of Guam U.S.A …

2019 Judges

Barak adé Soleil
Anita Gonzalez
Leyya Mona Tawil
Jessica Bejarano
David Chavez
Carina Ho
Jesse Menendez
Teaching Arts
Lynne Childress
Jill LeCesne Potter
Fidel Verdin
Regan Linton
Evan Hatfield
Visual Arts
Myra Greene
Dustin Grella
Megha Ralapati

More Award Years