Grants & Programs

STARTS Program - Short-term Teaching Artist Residency Program

The STARTS Program provides support of up to $4,500 to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations, schools, and school districts for short term residencies focused on hands-on learning experiences conducted by Illinois artists, companies, or ensembles.  Please Note: The GATA Prequalification process is not a requirement of this program.  

Examples of programs:

  • An elementary school engages a dance artist for four weeks to conduct 45 minute weekly sessions with each third grade classroom to integrate movement with their study of migration.
  • A theater artist works after school for two hours twice a week over five weeks with a language arts teacher to rehearse and direct a community performance of a one-act play written by students.
  • A public librarian engages a poet for six weeks to conduct a weekly writing workshop for senior adults which culminates in a public reading of their work.
  • A visual artist is brought in by a community center to work with a group of local teenagers for a total of 30 hours over a five-week period to research and design a mural to celebrate the town’s history.

Grant requests for fiscal year 2024 are for activities occurring by August 31, 2024.

This is an open deadline program.  Applications must be received no less than eight weeks before the project start date as identified in the application. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received and will be accepted until the funds are fully committed or by May 15, 2024.

Application Assistance

STARTS Program Recorded Webinar

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

To access the STARTS Program guidelines follow this LINK.

The electronic application is now available through Salesforce.

For further information about STARTS Program, contact Jerome Grand, Program Director by email: or by phone: 312-814-6766.

Contact Information