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Application

Application closed for the 2022 cycle of Ignite Fund. Sign up for our newsletter to receive announcements and learn of upcoming deadlines.

Application Process

Applications for Ignite Fund grants will include:

For more details about application guidelines and requirements, please review the documents below.

Helpful Documents

Overview

The Ignite Fund supports the creation and public presentation of experimental, public-facing, and accessible visual arts-based work by Chicago-area artists and artist-led collectives.

The Ignite Fund prioritizes projects that:

  1. Center the visual arts in form and content
  2. Promote collaboration and connection to community
  3. Raise awareness around social justice issues
  4. Engage communities in the Chicago metropolitan area through process and/or participation
  5. Incorporate accessibility services in public presentations

The Ignite Fund provides two types of grants:

Artists may choose to apply for either (not both) a Project Grant or a Research & Development Grant.

Project Grants:

In 2022, up to 11 grants will be awarded at the $3,000 or $6,000 level.

Project Grants support the creation and implementation of new, public-facing works that engage audiences through process, presentation, production, or publication. The projects must make a meaningful impact and be ambitious, experimental, and visual arts focused.

Research & Development Grants:

In 2022, up to two grants of $1,500 each will be awarded.

Research & Development support the early stages of a new, public-facing project that may require time to be developed. The projects in development must make a meaningful impact and be ambitious, experimental, and visual arts focused.

Timeline

Application Opens: May 11, 2022 Info Session #1: May 18, 2022 Info Session #2: June 1, 2022 Office Hours Sessions: between June 3, 2022, and June 17, 2022 Application Deadline: June 24, 2022 Applicants Notified: August 2022 Grantee Announcement: September 2022 Grantee Gathering: Mid-September 2022 Grantee Cycle Ends: September 2023

Eligibility

Who can apply for Ignite Fund grants?

Individual artists and artist-led collectives (up to 4 people) are eligible to apply for Ignite Fund grants. Throughout the application process, individual artists and the main contact for an artist-led collective will be referred to as the Lead Applicant.

If you are applying as an individual artist, note that Ignite Fund grants are not intended to support the creation of new solo work as part of an individual’s ongoing practice, but are intended to support an opportunity to produce one-time art projects with strong public-facing components and the capacity to have an impact on communities.

If applying as an artist-led collective, your group can be either long-standing or formed specifically for this opportunity. Each collective must identify one Lead Applicant to serve as the primary applicant and grantee contact (*).

Lead Applicants must meet the following criteria:

(*) If you are applying as an artist-led collective, the Lead Applicant is the person designated by your group to be responsible for: the receipt, management, and distribution of the funds; handling all communications with Ignite Fund; and completing all necessary grant reporting.

What types of projects are eligible?

What type of projects will NOT be funded?

Info Sessions

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

Office Hours:

Artists interested in applying for an Ignite Fund grant can meet individually with Ignite Fund staff (on Zoom) to discuss their project and application. Meeting times are limited. Artists are encouraged to attend or view a recording of an info session prior to registering for an Office Hours meeting.

Selection Process

Proposals to the Ignite Fund are reviewed by a panel of jurors made up of four artists and/or professionals currently working in the arts and culture field, including one representative of another Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Criteria for review include the applicants’ past work and the strength, impact, and feasibility of the proposed project.

Selection Criteria (Project Grants):

Successful applicants will excel in the following:

Selection Criteria (Research & Development Grants):

Successful applicants will excel in the following:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Ignite Fund?

What kinds of grants are offered?

What do you mean by “meaningful impact?”

Does it cost anything to apply to the Ignite Fund?

How many grants are awarded each year?

Who is considered the Lead Applicant?

Who can apply for an Ignite Fund grant?

Lead Applicants (individual artists or primary contacts for artist-led collectives) must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Are there any additional eligibility requirements for artist-led collectives?

If applying as an artist-led collective, your group can be either long-standing or formed specifically for this opportunity. Each collective must identify one Lead Applicant to serve as the primary applicant and grantee contact. The Lead Applicant is responsible for: the receipt, management, and distribution of the funds; handling all communications with the Ignite Fund; and completing all necessary grant reporting. The Lead Applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

Is a grant from the Ignite Fund taxable?

Does everyone involved with the project need to identify as an artist?

How many proposals may I submit?

What type of projects are eligible?

What type of projects are NOT eligible?

Can web-based projects have scope beyond the Chicago area?

What are some examples of projects by individual artists versus collective-led projects?

Here are a few examples:

  1. The Lead Applicant is a photographer who wants to organize a public exhibition of their work. Are they eligible?

No, they are not. The Ignite Fund does not support work proposed by an individual artist to present their work.

  1. The Lead Applicant is a photographer who wants to organize a public exhibition of artwork by other photographers. Are they eligible?

Yes, they are. Although the Lead Applicant is the only curator of this event, multiple artists will be represented in the final public presentation.

  1. An existing artist collective wants to organize an exhibition and public discussion about the role of visual art in Chicago social justice movements. The collective has a record of exhibiting work as a collaborative group and plans to feature only its own members in the programming. Is this project eligible?

No. The collective only features its own members and does not include artists outside its collective.

  1. An existing artist collective wants to organize a panel discussion about the role of visual art in Chicago social justice movements. The collective will invite members from within and outside the collective to present on the panel. Is this project eligible?

Yes. Although the collective is hosting the panel and may include their own work, the project also features multiple artists and collaborators.

I want to work with an organization or institution as part of my Ignite Fund project. The organization is not able to pay artist fees or provide monetary support. Can I apply to cover costs?

My project involves working with students. Can I still apply?

How long is the grant period?

How much funding can I request?

In the Project Budget, can I include payment to myself?

How will payments be disbursed?

Why are applicants required to make their projects accessible?

Projects should emphasize accessibility so that a wide range of people can access the presentation of the project. Grantees are encouraged to be transparent about the accessibility services that are offered. Consider including any or all of the following accessibility services:

Does the Ignite Fund support work outside of the visual arts?

What does it mean for a project to be strongly grounded in the visual arts?

Do I need to have a confirmed venue to apply?

Can I apply for a grant to cover equipment?

Are there any reporting requirements for the grant?

Who is on the jury panel for Ignite Fund grants?

What does the panel evaluate in an application?

If I receive an Ignite Fund grant, am I considered a grantee of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts or 3Arts?

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