Jacinda Bullie painting a mural


Artist Survey Anti-Oppression Practices

3Arts supports the agency and enterprise of artists who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts in the six-county Chicago area. By providing unrestricted awards, project funding, residency fellowships, peer mentorship, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and build momentum in their careers over time.

3Arts will explore how to gather meaningful artist survey data in a way that is aligned with its values, with a combined goal of learning about anti-oppression evaluation strategies, improving evaluation administrative and data analysis processes, and developing new evaluation tools that integrate anti-oppression frameworks.

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a group of artists outside at a table reviewing documents Community-Led Strategic Planning
photo: Kate Bowen

ACRE (Artists Cooperative Residency & Exhibitions)

Cooperative Workbook

ACRE is devoted to providing resources to emerging and underrepresented artists and nurturing a nationwide network of cultural producers. ACRE’s programs support this generative community with materials, equipment, expertise, conscientiously produced food, and opportunities to exhibit and share work.

Since 2020 ACRE has focused on designing an equitable, participatory decision-making structure. The creation of a Cooperative Workbook will serve as a foundational document for current and future participants by ensuring smooth transitions as ACRE continues to grow a diverse community of artists and volunteers, codifying organizational processes, articulating and reinforcing its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and 4) contributing to greater transparency in decision-making processes, roles, and expectations.

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a gallery with folx looking at paintings

Awakenings Art

Formalizing a new program model

Awakenings provides survivors of sexual violence with a trauma-informed, inclusive art-making experience that encourages healing.

After surviving the pandemic, Awakenings used an AWF grant to conduct a listening campaign with its survivor community to hear how their needs had changed. Survivors asked Awakenings for more artmaking and community-building opportunities. Awakenings developed a curriculum-based cohort program and engaged a group of survivors as a beta test of the concept and program idea. This grant helps Awakenings to take a singularly piloted program and redevelop it into a core cornerstone offering.

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a diverse group of youth dancers posing for the camera

Chicago City Theatre Company (Joel Hall Dancers & Center)

Rebuilding the Dance Center

Joel Hall makes and teaches dance rooted in Urban Jazz. It was founded and continues to showcase and celebrate the artistry of professional Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ performers.

With the shuttering of venues in 2020, Joel Hall moved its studio programs online and ended a costly lease at its historic dance studio space. Joel Hall secured a new home studio in Albany Park, which fell through after months of effort and expense. The delay in resuming in-person classes has diminished Joel Hall’s connection to its students and earned revenue. This grant will allow Joel Hall to reshape its operational strategy and relaunch programs based on student interest. It will also develop new data systems that allow it to better predict class demand.

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a bassist on stage outdoors

Intonation Music

Creating a space acquisition plan

Intonation works with youth to experience making music on their own terms in their own communities.

Intonation was recently given three weeks to vacate its Park District classroom and studio space, which is becoming a much needed shelter for migrant families. This is not the first time that Intonation has struggled with its space. During COVID, Intonation could not access its classroom, recording studio, and office for over 18 months, even to check the mail, which created issues with donors and cash flow.

Intonation will explore space options that ensure its longevity and integrates even more in its community, Students and parents will be a significant part of the space planning process.

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dancers in the midst of a movement exercise

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak

Spiral Body Technique Earned-Revenue Program

MS/MS advances the art of dance through experimentation with movement and is the creator of the Spiral Body Techniques (SBT) mode of teaching dance. SBT is grounded in body-positivity and trauma-aware pedagogical principles.

MS/MS is in the process of completing a beta trial of a dance instructor certification training program in SBT. MS/MS has found there is demand for this program. The grant will help MS/MS develop a business model and the infrastructure for SBT as an ongoing, earned income-generating project. Doing so will provide earned revenue to MS/MS while also contributing to the broader field of dance education.

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a theater with a packed audience

Sophia’s Choice aka Asian Pop-Up Cinema

Transition to a juried film festival

Asian Pop-Up Cinema seeks to foster an appreciation of diverse Asian cultures through film.

Asian Pop Up will explore expanding into a competitive film festival as it next stage of growth. Doing so involves inviting respected film industry experts to attend the festival to form juries that judge films and issue various film category awards. The jury model has the potential to attract larger audiences, more film industry stars, and more media publicity but also requires an expanded level of infrastructure. This grant will help Asian Pop Up fully evaluate the jury model to decide whether or not elevating the film festival to a competition festival is the correct decision at this time.

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Youth in uniform in the middle of the street, pointing in the air

South Shore Drill Team

Succession planning

South Shore Drill Team uses the power of performing arts to engage youth throughout their critical teenage years.

The executive director is stepping down in 2025, after 43 years in the position. The Development Director will also retire after 26 years. Several long-term funders are ending long-term funding to the organization. This project will allow South Shore to evaluate its operating structure and develop a plan to ease the staff transition by documenting key policies, procedures, and responsibilities and begin to cross-train staff.

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a woman wearing a shall

Still Point Theatre Collective

Succession planning from founding ED

Still Point Theatre Collective uses theatre-making tools to inspire compassion, raise important social justice issues, and reduce the stigmas associated with incarceration and disability.

This grant will help Still Point plan to transition leadership from its founding executive director. Still Point will analyze its current leadership and organizational structure and conduct focus groups with employees, board, and community partners to assess what model would be best for the future leadership of Still Point. Still Point is on the brink of incredible growth. It has a dedicated and visionary staff, a board representing the communities it serves, and new programming to help it more deeply fulfill our mission.

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an actor with a guitar on stage

Teatro Vista

Rethinking traditional marketing strategies

Teatro Vista is dedicated to multidisciplinary artists of color whose artistic expression on stage and beyond is rooted in the transformative power of telling and owning our own stories.

Teatro Vista wants to be less beholden to reviews to drive ticket sales. This project is an exciting venture into a new way of thinking about marketing and social media engagement for community theaters. Teatro Vista has done a lot of visioning around how to ignite their engagement strategies and they seem ready to embark on the plan they have put forward.

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two actors, a white man and a Black woman, embracing David Lovejoy and Venice Averyheart

Trap Door Productions

Moving to a repertory model of production

Trap Door is committed to seeking out challenging and obscure works.

Producing a standard four-show season is no longer sustainable for Trap Door, particularly because it wants to improve artist pay. This grant will allow the theater to explore whether a shift to a repertory season enables it to better support its artists financially and artistically.

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