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

2023

  • Catalan woman with dark hair, brown eyes, and a soft smile Pronouns: she/her

    Selva Aparicio

    Visual Artist HMS Fund Award

    From her earliest days, interdisciplinary artist Selva Aparicio (she/her) has honed a strong and deferential relationship with nature. Growing up in a boat-shaped house in the middle of the Serra de Collserola Natural Park in Catalunya, Spain, she was raised …

  • She her pronouns white presenting female. Hair is brown and usually in braids or a head wrap. Short & curvy sometimes in glasses raspy and aggressive voice.

    Jacinda Bullie

    Creative Instigator Community Award

    As a sage burning Muslim mom of three athletes, and partner to Chicago Public School math teacher and Hip-Hop lyricist, I know the importance of having access to healthy expression. These co-conspirator relations challenge toxic norms and encourage me to …

  • Beautiful, brown skinned, voluptuous woman with natural hair in a gold crown and against a black background.

    Rashada Dawan

    Singer, Actress, Mother Walder Foundation Award

    Rashada Dawan (she/they/them) is a native of the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago. When she was 3 years old, her mother was killed in a hit-and-run by a drunk driver. And because she was raised by her amazing father and …

  • Nancy is a pocha. A Mexican American Chicago woman with brown hair, brown eyes, dark eyebrows like a pair of wings, and Coca-Cola red lipstick. Pronouns: she/her/ella

    Nancy García Loza

    Playwright SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation Award in honor of Samuel G. Roberson Jr.

    Nancy García Loza (she/her/ella) is an award-winning, self-taught, and self-proclaimed pocha playwright rooted in Chicago, Illinois and Jalisco, México. Her play, Pénjamo: A Pocha Road Trip Story, is a new commission by the National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA), with major …

  • White woman with wavy blonde hair and blue/green eyes. Pronouns she/her

    Charlotte "Chuck" Gruman

    Accessibility Consultant, Designer, Advocate Walder Foundation Award

    Charlotte “Chuck” Gruman (she/her) is an accessibility consultant engaged in bridging the gap between performance and cultural spaces and the communities that wish to experience them. She is a graduate of the Theatrical Technical Design & Production program at Interlochen …

  • Black/African American man, bald, beard, brown eyes. Pronouns: He/Him

    Eric Hotchkiss

    Educator & Community-Focused Designer Alison Zehr Awardee

    Eric Hotchkiss (he/him) is an interdisciplinary designer, engineer, and educator based in Chicago. With a commitment to community design, his practice is a blend of artistry, collaboration, and transformation. Eric believes in the art of 'making' as a conduit for …

  • African American woman smiling in front of a white background.

    Donnetta "LilBit" Jackson

    Dancer, Singer, Actress, Entertainer Walder Foundation Award

    Donnetta "LilBit" Jackson (she/her) is a versatile dance performer, instructor, choreographer, and actress. Born and raised on the Southeast Side of Chicago, she began dancing at The Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre at the age of seven. At 11 …

  • White, Jewish woman with long brown hair and gray eyes. Pronouns she/her.

    Jenny Kendler

    Artist & Activist Chandler Family Award

    Jenny Kendler (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, naturalist, wild forager, and environmental activist based in Chicago and various forests. Her work aims to reconnect us to the natural world—and asks us to de-center the human, making space for the radical, …

  • Asian American woman posing in front of a white background.

    Rika Lin (aka Yoshinojo Fujima)

    Dancemaker Reva and David Logan Foundation Award

    Rika Lin (aka Yoshinojo Fujima) (she/her) is a shin-nisei, a part of postwar Japanese American diaspora, and an interdisciplinary performing artist, dancemaker, and Grandmaster in Fujima style Japanese classical dance. An active member of Asian Improv aRts Midwest, she is …

  • A twinkly brown-eyed African American man with short, curly black hair, a mustache and a beautiful grin.

    Avreeayl Ra

    Creative Being Stan Lipkin & Evelyn Appell Lipkin Award

    Avreeayl Ra Amen (he/him), born Arthur L. O’Neil in Chicago on May 21, 1947, has become a local legend in the rich, progressive Chicago avant-garde jazz scene, with a career spanning more than half a century. John Kelman of IndieJazz.com …

2023 Judges

Dance
Christy Bolingbroke
Vanessa Hernández Cruz
Pierre Lockett
Music
James Ian
Shawn Okpebholo
Monica O’Connell
Teaching Arts
Lawrence Blackwell
Mike Nourse
Jennifer Ridgway
Theater
Sheldon Epps
Sarah J. Hom
Marissa Lynn Jones
Visual Arts
Laura Anderson Barbata
Dejay B. Duckett
René Morales

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