Grants & Programs

StARTS Program - Short-term Artists Residencies

The StARTS Program provides grants of up to $2,000 to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations, schools and school districts to conduct short term residencies with Illinois artists in any artistic discipline. StARTS Program will support an artist, company, or ensemble to work on-site between five and thirty hours over no more than a six week period.

Applicants may apply for a short-term residency with any professional artist who is currently a resident of Illinois or an Illinois-based company or ensemble. 

  • Each project must be designed by the selected artist and applicant organization to provide a creative, hands-on learning experience for a consistent core group of participants. 
  • The proposed project must meet a specific community or curricular need identified by current staff, and expand the artistic opportunities for the targeted core group of participants.
  • Performances for large audiences must be linked with specific activities for the smaller core group of participants.
  • Funds cannot be requested to support employees as artists for StARTS projects.
  • Artists currently employed by the applicant in any capacity are not eligible to be the project artists.  

Examples of programs:

  • A dance artist conducts weekly workshops for four weeks with third graders to integrate movement with their study of migration.
  • A theater artist works after school with a language arts teacher to direct a community performance of a one-act play written by students.
  • A visual artist is engaged by a community center to work with a group of local teenagers to research, design and create a mural to celebrate the town’s history.
  • A poet is brought in by a librarian to conduct a weekly writing workshop involving adults that culminates in a public reading of their work created over six weeks.