Grants & Programs

Artist Fellowship Program

The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) is now accepting applications for the 2023 Artists Fellowship Program. The program's intent is to enrich and strengthen the state of Illinois by supporting accomplished Illinois artists who are the foundation of Illinois' creative environment. The Artist Fellowship Program recognizes exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career by providing awards to support continued artistic growth.

The IACA will provide a limited number of $15,000 awards across the following discipline categories: Crafts, Digital Arts, Ethnic & Folk Arts, New Art Forms and Visual Based Arts

​A limited number of $1,500 Finalist Awards will also be given.

In the next application cycle (FY25), the discipline categories of Literature (Poetry, Prose, Scriptworks) Media Arts, Music (Compositional Music, Improvisational Music) and Performance-Based Arts (Choreography, New Performance Forms) will be reviewed.

To be considered, applicants must:

  • Be current legal residents of the state of Illinois and have been for the twelve months prior to the application deadline
  • Have created a substantial, independent body of work over at least a five year professional arts career
  • Have made a recognized contribution to their discipline through public presentation of their work
  • Demonstrate a high-aesthetic level of artistic ability with a strong consistency of expression throughout their professional arts career
  • Provide evidence of continued commitment to serious and exceptional aesthetic investigation in his or her chosen medium

This is not a project-specific grant. The Artist Fellowship Program is meant for artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage beyond emerging.

Applying artists must upload or link to work samples. Work samples submitted via a link (ex. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) must be public and without password protection.

Deadline: November 3, 2023, 11:59 pm. 

Application Assistance

In FY22 we transferred to a new online system that is different than the SlideRoom system used in previous years. If you are a first time applicant to IACA you must create your applicant account within Salesforce to complete the application. This can be found on the "Applicant Information" tab in the system and then clicking the "New" button.

To help you navigate the new system there is a recorded webinar on the IACA Workshops and Webinars page.

We also have several opportunities for you to connect with IACA staff for questions on the program or the platform:

Artist Fellowship Program Webinar, pre-registration is required:

Drop-in session for questions on the program or online platform, there is no pre-registration for the drop-in session. To join, click on the link at the meeting time:

To access the Fellowship Program Guidelines, follow the link:

To access the Fellowship Program Application, follow the link:

For specific information on this program contact:

Contemporary Crafts, Ethnic & Folk Arts, and New Art Forms:
Susan Dickson
Program Director      
Phone: +1 (312) 814-6740

Photography and Sculpture:
Jackie Banks-Mahlum
Program Director
Phone: +1 (312) 814-4990

Digital Arts, Visual Arts:
Danielle Heal
Program Director
Phone: +1 (312) 793-1060

Contact Information