Grants & Programs

Individual Artist Support: General Information

Artistic Disciplines

Artists who work in the following artistic disciplines are eligible to apply for funding. 

  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Design Arts
  • Crafts
  • Photography
  • Media Arts (include film, video, audio, and computer art)
  • Literature (include creative non-fiction, fiction, and poetry)
  • Interdisciplinary
  • New Performance Forms
  • Ethnic & Folk Arts

Note: Applications for the IA - Project Track will be accepted from creative/originating artists only (i.e. choreographers, composers, playwrights, visual artists, etc.).  


Each track has specific limitations and requirements.   Please read the entire guidelines thoroughly to determine which track best suits the nature of the proposed project.  Artists may submit only one application.  Applications submitted to the incorrect track will be rendered ineligible. Awards will be equal to the amount requested by the applicant.

  • The Individual Artist Professional Development track (IA-PD) seeks to support professional development opportunities related to an individual artist’s career.
  • The Individual Artist Project track (IA-Project) seeks to support individual creative/originating artists in the production and presentation of an artistic project. 

The table below outlines details for each track:

Track Professional Development (IA-PD) Artists Project (IA-Project)
Focus Professional Development opportunities related to an artist's career Completed project culminating in a public release, presentation, performance or exhibition by a creative/originating artist.
Example Projects Artist residency as related to the development of your career, e.g. writer’s workshop or retreat Costs associated with marketing and distribution of a manuscript/book published within the past twelve months
  Attendance at  conferences, symposia, and/or workshops   Exhibitions / Exhibition catalogues 
  Demo reel production Media Arts Post -Production  
  Documentation of artwork  Music Studio Recording 
  Duplication costs of manuscripts or media (film, video, audio, etc.)   Performances/Readings  
  Website development for individual artist   Web-based artist project

Does Not Support Applicant compensation Applicant compensation
  Apprenticeships or Mentorships Apprenticeships or Mentorships
  Capital purchases, capital improvements, construction, or purchase of permanent equipment Capital purchases, capital improvements, construction, or purchase of permanent equipment
  Enrollment in higher education classes or programs Enrollment in higher education classes or programs
  Presentation of classes or workshops Presentation of classes or workshops
  Vanity Press publishing Vanity Press publishing
  Website development for a specific project Website development for artists
  Out of state and International travel Out of state and International travel
   international projects international projects
   Collaborative projects Attendance at  conferences, symposia, and/or workshops 
    Artist Residencies
Project Dates 2/1/12 - 8/31/12   2/1/12 - 8/31/12
Request Amount  $500 or $750  $1,500 0r $2,500
Cash Match  No

Yes - 25% of request amount
$375 cash match required for a $1,500 request
$625 cash match required for a $2,500 request

Review Process Reviewed & approved by IAC Program staff, the Executive Director and the Council Applications that meet all eligibility requirements will be reviewed in two rounds, first by discipline specific panelists who will make selections to forward to a multi-disciplinary panel of in-state experts who will make final recommendations. These recommendations will be approved by the Council. 
Deadline  eGrant Application: 10/27/11, 11:59:59 pm Work Samples and other required materials - postmarked or hand - delivered by 4:30PM 10/28/11  eGrant Application: 10/27/11, 11:59:59 pm Work Samples and other required materials - postmarked or hand - delivered by 4:30PM 10/28/11
Notification Date Late January 2012 Late January 2012


  • *Cash match contributions are dollars from sources other than the IAC or other state of Illinois revenue sources that support the proposed project.  Additional sources of a cash match may include: proceeds from expected ticket sales, other grant sources, and applicant personal income.
  • NOTE: Projects that are being sponsored and/or supported by a current IAC FY2012 grant to an organization cannot be supported through the Individual Artist Support Program. If you have questions about this, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate IAC Program Director to discuss your proposal prior to submitting an application.

Collaborative Application (allowed in IA-Project only)

An artist may submit an application for support of a project that involves the joint creation of a single work of art or a body of works of art by the applicant artist and up to two (2) other artists.  Only one artist of the collaborative team may be the applicant.  The applicant must play a principal artistic role in the proposed project and is responsible for all legal and contractual issues related to the grant. All other collaborating artists must meet the requirements listed in the “Eligibility” section.  Any artist who indicates they are part of a collaborative team must demonstrate an ongoing record of collaborative work with the collaborating artists as named in the application.


All applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be citizens of the United States or holders of permanent resident alien status,
  • Be legal residents of the state of Illinois for the twelve months prior to the application deadline and throughout the grant period.

Applicants must submit a copy of one of the following items at the time of application:

  • Illinois driver’s license which includes the date issued and expiration date (photocopy entire front and back);
  • State of Illinois identification card which includes the date issued and expiration date; (photocopy entire front and back);
  • Illinois state income tax forms for the most recent year;
  • Illinois Voter Registration card

The following individuals are not eligible to apply:

  • Individuals enrolled in any degree or certificate granting program (including high school, bachelor, or master degree programs) at the time of application or during the award period. (Ph.D. candidates need to have completed their course work by the application deadline to be eligible);
  • Recipients of an IAC Individual Artist Support Initiative Professional Development (IA-PD) or Artist Project (IA-Project Grant) in FY2011.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following:

  • Clarity of activity as indicated in the application narrative;
  • Impact  - Potential of the proposed activity to advance the applicant’s work and career as indicated in the application narrative, artistic resume, and artist/cultural statement;
  • Feasibility - Evidence of the applicant’s ability to carry out the activity, as indicated in the application narrative, budget, and artistic resume;
  • Quality of the applicant's work as demonstrated by the work samples submitted. 


Submission Notification

eGrant provides an electronic notification of application submission.  In addition, applicants will receive notification via email of receipt of their application and required materials from the Illinois Arts Council within four weeks of the application deadline. Receipt of application will not be acknowledged by phone.

Decision Notification

Applicants will be notified of the Council's decisions on their applications via email by late January 2012. 

Impact of the state's fiscal crisis of fiscal year 2012 IAS Grants

As you should be aware, the state of Illinois is experiencing an ongoing fiscal crisis. This crisis may affect the amount of funding available for grant awards.  As it did in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, we expect the state’s financial situation to continue to impede the timely payment of its bills and obligations, including Illinois Arts Council grants. 

Although payments from the State Comptroller’s Office will, more than likely, run several months behind schedule, grantees are legally obligated to complete their proposed activities as outlined in their grant agreements.  Activities must be completed within the time frame and by the manner specified in the grantee’s application even if the grantee has not received the IAC funds awarded for this activity.

While we believe this is a valuable individual artist support program and we want artists to take advantage of these resources, we strongly advise potential applicants to thoroughly understand the possible implications for them of the verities of this initiative. If you are awarded an IA-PD or an IA-Project grant you need to be throughly aware of the almost certain and potentially significant delay in receiving grant funds.  For example, in FY2010 and in FY2011 many grants to individuals were delayed well over six months.

Therefore grantees should ensure they have access to available resources (monetary and otherwise) with which to fully complete the funded activity in the timeframe and manner specified before they receive the actual grant award.

Taxability of Awards

 The Internal Revenue Code provides that the full amount of an Individual Artist Support Initiative award is taxable to its recipient. If applicants have any questions about their own income tax liability, contact the Internal Revenue Service or tax counsel.