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Joyce Awards

Grants to USA Artists and Arts Organizations in
Great Lakes Cities for New Works by Artists of Color

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Joyce Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of $50,000 to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin individual artists and arts organizations for the production and creation of new works by artists of color. LOIs are due prior to submission of a full application. In the past, the program supported projects in the Great Lakes cities of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Joyce Awards, the only program supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities, aims to strengthen cross-cultural understanding by bringing diverse audiences together.

Each award supports an artist in the creation and production of new work and provides the commissioning organization with the resources needed to engage potential audiences, new partners, and their surrounding communities at large. Past Joyce Awards have spanned the visual and performing arts and have fostered exciting, new collaborations between artists and institutions. A distinct feature of funded projects is the requirement that artists and host institutions include a robust community engagement strategy in their project plan. In many of the awarded commissions, this intensive interaction with community goes on to inform and shape the culminating artwork.

Strong projects demonstrate artistic merit, innovation, resonance with timely local or national themes or concerns, and a plan for community engagement.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180457

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Foundation grants cash awards of $50,000 each.

Term of Contract:

Strong LOIs demonstrate the likelihood of full execution within 18 months of receiving an award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Joyce Award proposals may be led by artists living and practicing anywhere in the world. There is no restriction in regards to art discipline or medium. As Joyce Awards support the commission of new works, an artist’s proposed project should not have moved past the ideation stage. Hallmarks of past Joyce Award recipients include artists whose work:
- Demonstrates artistic excellence as well as new thinking or approaches while being firmly grounded in the history and evolution of an art form and the discourse which surrounds it;
- Is as artistically and intellectually relevant as it was rigorous;
- Engages with and was informed by the stories and concerns of diverse communities; and
- Creates opportunities for community access and learning from the ideation stage through the culminating production.

Arts organizations physically located or doing substantial work in the metropolitan areas of the six cities where Joyce Awards are made, may submit an application. The most compelling applications have come from organizations that:
- Evidence the capacity to support an artist or group of artists through the commission and presentation of original art work;
- Are most likely to use the proposed project and collaboration with the prospective artist to foster deeper connections with surrounding communities, existing and potential institutional partners and local civic leadership;
- Display the ability to harness additional funds to ensure a project’s completion within an 18-month timeframe; and
- Can design and execute a robust community learning, engagement plan and audience development strategy that will ensure the community’s awareness of and access to the project from development through completion.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the 2020 Joyce Awards is April 12, 2019. Full proposals are due June 12, 2019, upon request of the Joyce Foundation. Recipients will be notified by December 20, 2019.

Letters of inquiry must precede any formal grant proposal to the Joyce Foundation; formal proposals are accepted by invitation of the foundation after review of the LOI. Applicants are encouraged to download the formal grant proposal before completing it online.

Letters of inquiry should be submitted at least six to eight weeks prior to the proposal deadline for a given grant cycle. Program officers endeavor to respond in a timely manner and to advance all grant proposals expeditiously. However, program officers have discretion in scheduling review of letters of inquiry.

Applicants should anticipate the application process to take approximately four to six months from the initial submission of the letter of inquiry to the receipt of funding.

Application Information:

Additional information:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

If you have questions regarding the online application process, please email

The Joyce Foundation
321 North Clark Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60654


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois;   Indiana;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Ohio;   Wisconsin