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Cultural Fund Grant Program

Grants to Illinois Nonprofits and CBOs
for Arts Programs and Operational Support

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Evanston Arts Council

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $3,000 to Illinois nonprofit and community-based organizations to support the arts in eligible locations. Priority will be given to BIPOC organizations, as well as to programs and projects that serve underserved populations. Grant funds may be used for art programs and projects, capacity building, or operating support. Collaborations that bring the community together are encouraged. Applicants must be based in or serving Evanston.

Evanston’s vision for its Cultural Fund Program is to activate the assets of the community to develop Evanston as an arts hub and destination. Given the impact of the pandemic, there is just one granting category in the Cultural Arts Program this year.

The Arts Council strongly encourages the development of broader participation by Evanston’s diverse cultural community through collaborative efforts among artists, arts organizations, and the greater community. 

The applicant organization must demonstrate its efforts to realize the Equity in the Arts Goals set by the Arts Council. The goals are to:

  • Promote equity and inclusion throughout the arts in Evanston, regardless of gender, race, ethnic background, age, ability or sexual orientation.
  • Ensure that the cultural arts programs the Council supports reflect the diversity of the Evanston community.
  • Make the arts accessible to all people, including those with disabilities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166384

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum grant request is $3,000, although the actual grant award may be less than that.

Term of Contract:

All grant fund expenditures must be incurred between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community arts organizations are invited to apply, as well as those with 501(c)3 status (for-profit entities, religious entities, and organizations not working with the arts are not eligible).

The City will not fund:
- Capital improvements or construction costs
- Organizations whose activities occur in non-accessible venues
- Purchase of permanent equipment
- Grants in excess of 25% of the organization’s prior year operating income
- An existing deficit from a previous year or project
- Activities not open to the general public
- Scholarships or fundraising events
- Personal expenses such as child care and unrelated wages lost due to proposed project commitment
- Applicants that submit incomplete applications
- Applicants that are taxing bodies (including schools, libraries and park district)
- Organizations that are not located in Evanston or whose project service areas are not Evanston
- Food or drinks

Pre-proposal Conference:

The City of Evanston will host two workshops:

Tuesday, March 2, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Join by Zoom video
Join by phone: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 995 7050 8447
Passcode: 406322

Thursday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Join by Zoom video
Join by phone: 312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 969 2964 1641
Passcode: 585881

Pre-Application Information:

2021-2022 Application Cycle open from February 15 to April 1, 2021.

Important Dates:
- February 15, 2021: Grant Cycle Opens
- March 2, 2021: 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Virtual Cultural Funds Grant workshop (attendance optional)
- March 4, 2021: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Virtual Cultural Funds Grant workshop (attendance optional)
- April 1, 2021: Submission deadline
- May 8, 2021: Reviewing panel meets virtually
- June 8, 2021: Arts Council allocates funds to grant recipients
- June 30, 2022: Grant monies to be spent
- July 31, 2022: Final report due

The City of Evanston is launching a new technical assistance program, which will match prospective applicants with coaches. Please fill out the interest form at

Webinar recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Questions should be directed to

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