Make a Wave

Make a Wave is an artist-to-artist grant program that erases the traditional gatekeeper by inviting each of the previous year’s 3Arts Awards recipients to select another artist to receive a surprise award from 3Arts—in effect sending a wave through Chicago’s brilliant cultural core.

We send special thanks to our 2020 Make a Wave Partner, the Siragusa Family Foundation, and to the Reva and David Logan Foundation, who provided general operating support for this program. The 2020 Make a Wave grants to artists were $2,000 each.

2020 Make a Wave Partner

Siragusa Family Foundation Logo



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    Cam Be

    Film Director, Photographer, Musician, DJ, and Music Producer Make a Wave Artist

    Cam Be is a film director, photographer, musician, DJ, and music producer. His passion for filmmaking emerged during his studies at New York Film Academy and Columbia College Chicago. In 2012 Cam received an Emmy award for his role as …

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    Jacob Brooks El

    Dancer Make a Wave Artist

    A Chicago native, Jacob Brooks El began his ballet studies at the Chicago Academy of the Arts under Shell Benjamin, Randy Duncan, Guillermo Leyva, and the late Anna Paskevska. In 2006-08, he attended Columbia College Chicago's modern dance program. Brooks …

  • Andrea smiles kindly at the camera. Her green eyes pop on the multicolored background.

    Andrea Carlson

    Visual Artist Make a Wave Artist

    Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe, b. 1979) is a visual artist and writer who currently lives in Potawatomi land (Zhegagoynak/Chicago). Through painting and drawing, Carlson often draws objects and landscapes that cannot be possessed. Her current research activities include museum studies and …

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    Sydney Charles

    Actor, Activist, Art Maker, and Creator Make a Wave Artist

    Sydney Charles is an actor, activist, art maker, and creator. Selected theater credits include: The Color Purple (Drury Lane); Nina Simone: Four Women (Northlight Theatre); Flyin' West (American Blues Theatrer); and Lottery Day and Father Comes Home from the Wars …

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    Ashwaty Chennat

    Movement Artist and Educator Make a Wave Artist

    Ashwaty Chennat is a movement artist and educator whose interdisciplinary and cultural exchange work sows seeds for empathy-building experiences. She has directed and choreographed contemporary dance rooted in South Asian forms with Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, where she collaborated …

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    Jill Hopkins

    DJ, Musician, Comedic Essayist, and Radio Host Make a Wave Artist

    Jill Hopkins is the host of "The Morning AMp" on Vocalo Radio, 91.1FM in Chicago and the "Making Beyonce" podcast for WBEZ. She's also a pop culture critic with bylines at The A.V. Club, Chicago Reader, Consequence of Sound, …

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    Arti Ishak

    Multidisciplinary Artist and Community Organizer Make a Wave Artist

    Arti Ishak (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist (Actor/Director/Writer/Community Advocate) recently named a 3Arts Make A Wave Artist. Their short play Closure, which originally premiered as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series in collaboration with Muslim Writer’s Collective Chicago, is headed to …

  • Black African American woman with curly brown hair and earrings smiles face forward to the camera against a soft orange background

    Keisha Janae

    Teaching Artist, Choreographer, Improviser, and Movement Artist Make a Wave Artist

    Graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Dance program, Keisha Janae (KJ) has experience in performance, choreography, and teaching artistry. She is excited to be in her first season with Red Clay Dance Company and has also danced with BraveSoul Movement and …

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    Jon Veal

    Transdisciplinary Artist Make a Wave Artist

    In memoriam (September 25, 1992 - December 21, 2022):

    Rooted on the West side of Chicago, Jon Veal has forged a collaborative transdisciplinary practice that is informed by his relationships, meaning that the community and spaces that they reside in …

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    Regina Victor

    Director, Multidisciplinary Artist, and Arts Critic Make a Wave Artist

    Regina Victor (they/them/theirs) is a Black director, multidisciplinary artist, and arts critic. Presently they are Sideshow Theatre’s Artistic Director and one of Newcity’s “Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago”— two years running. Regina is the dramaturg for Jeannette …

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