The 2023 Ignite Fund application is now closed. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive updates about our 2023 grantees and the 2024 Ignite Fund cycle.

Application Process

Applications for Ignite Fund grants will include:

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

Helpful Documents


The Ignite Fund supports the creation and presentation of experimental, innovative, public-facing, and accessible visual arts-based projects 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. Center the Chicago metropolitan area through process and/or participation
  4. Have accessible 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 2023, 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 projects that engage audiences through process, presentation, production, or publication. The projects must be ambitious, experimental, and visual arts focused.

Research & Development Grants:

In 2023, 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 be ambitious, experimental, and visual arts focused.



Who can apply for Ignite Fund grants?

Individual artists and artist-led collectives (up to 6 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 five 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, community focus, and feasibility of the proposed project.

Selection Criteria (Project Grants):

Successful applicants will excel in the following:

*We encourage you to review our Accessibility page, which includes examples, resources, and providers.

Selection Criteria (Research & Development Grants):

Successful applicants will excel in the following:

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