Evanston Arts Funding Resources

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The Evanston Arts Council gives financial support to local artists, arts organizations and art projects in three ways:

1. The Cultural Fund Grant Program (2019-2020 cycle opens February 1; deadline is April 1, 2019).

The Cultural Grant Program is an annual local granting program is used to support the work of Evanston artists, arts organizations and arts programming. The program uses general funds from the City of Evanston.  The program is administered by the Evanston Arts Council.  Grant applications are only accepted during the City’s scheduled grant cycle and deadline, which are published yearly.  More information about the program and the online application can be found here.

2. The Neighborhood Public Art Fund

The Neighborhood Public Art Fund monies are allocated to support the development and installation of public art in various Evanston neighborhoods.  These funds are intended primarily for permanent or semi-permanent installations, although at times temporary installations may be considered if the impact and public good is considerable and the project is compelling enough to warrant use of the funds. Procedures for application to the Neighborhood Public Art Fund are the same as the Arts Council Community Support Fund and are listed below.

3. The Arts Council Community Support Fund ($15,000 for 2019)

The Arts Council Community Support Fund monies are used to allow the Evanston Arts Council to support individual artists, special projects, programs or events or opportunities that arise during the calendar year that may not fit into the timing  the Cultural Fund Grants, or may not meet the criteria of those grants, which are more formal in nature.  These monies are allocated at the discretion of the Evanston Arts Council and are given on a first-come-first-serve basis throughout the calendar year until the fund is depleted. Procedures for application are below.  

Generally speaking, the Arts Council limits support to $1000 per request, although sometimes exceptions are made for projects that speak strongly to equity, inclusion and diversity, or that provide arts experiences and projects to underserved populations in Evanston.  The Arts Council will not give support that is greater than 50% of the project's total budget including cash and in-kind funding.  This is to encourage wide-spread support and collaboration.

The Neighborhood Public Art Fund and Arts Council Community Support Fund are ongoing funding opportunities that allow the Evanston Arts Council the flexibility to financially support innovative or special projects that come up throughout the budget cycle.

In order to apply for Neighborhood Public Art** or Arts Council Community Support Funds,
please follow this process:


1. Submit a cover letter of interest

2. Submit a proposal that contains the following:

a. Description of project, including materials, process, location, theme, etc.
b. Names and brief bios of primary project leads (lead organizer,
    lead artist, heads of organizations, etc.)
c. Detailed project budget. Note: You must specify whether you are
    requesting monies from the Neighborhood Public Art or the
    Arts Council Community Support Fund.

d. Amount requested from the Arts Council
e. Project timeline

3. Submit any supporting documents, such as sketches or renderings, previous work, letters of support or permission, etc.

4. If funds are allocated by the Arts Council, a final report will be required within 60 days of completion of the project.

5. Any promotion or programs for the project must include acknowledgment of the Arts Council with the wording, "This project/program was made possible in part with funding from the Evanston Arts Council."

These pieces should be sent by email to the Assistant to the City Manager, Paulina Martinez, at pmartinez@cityofevanston.org.   We will not accept hard copies of proposals.

Once received...

You will get an email confirmation and the proposal will be given to subcommittee members.  If passed through the subcommittee, you will be asked to appear before the full Evanston Arts Council to present your project.  The Evanston Arts Council meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Morton Civic Center.
The full process may take up to two months depending on timing.  Submission of a proposal does not guarantee approval and/or funding.  The Evanston Arts Council reserves the right to ask for clarification or modification of projects or to refuse any projects.
If you receive funding, the Evanston Arts Council requires a post-project presentation and final report that includes a narrative about the project process and a final budget.  Failure to submit these items may result in ineligibility for future funding or requests for reimbursement from the City of Evanston.

If you have questions about the submission process, please call Paulina Martinez at 847-859-7833or email at pmartinez@cityofevanston.org.

Thank you for your interest.  It’s a great day for the arts in Evanston!

** From time to time, the Evanston Arts Council may send out a Call to Artists to solicit a specific project for the community, based on strategic planning, community input or at the request of the City Council.