Grants & Programs

StARTS Program - Short-term Artists Residencies

The StARTS Program provides support of up to $4,500 to eligible Illinois not-for-profit organizations, schools, and school districts for short term residencies focused on hands-on learning experiences conducted by Illinois artists, companies, or ensembles.

Examples of programs:

  • An elementary school engages a dance artist for four weeks to conduct 45 minute weekly sessions with each third grade classroom to integrate movement with their study of migration.
  • A theater artist works after school for two hours twice a week over five weeks with a language arts teacher to rehearse and direct a community performance of a one-act play written by students.
  • A public librarian engages a poet for six weeks to conduct a weekly writing workshop for senior adults which culminates in a public reading of their work.
  • A visual artist is brought in by a community center to work with a group of local teenagers for a total of 30 hours over a five-week period to research and design a mural to celebrate the town’s history.

Grant requests for fiscal year 2020 are for activities occurring by August 31, 2020.

This is an open deadline program.  Applications must be received no less than eight weeks before the project start date as identified in the application. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received and will be accepted until the funds are fully committed or by May 15, 2020.

To access the StARTS Program guidelines follow this link:

The electronic application is now available through the Illinois eGrant System.

NEW Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act 

  • Before submitting an application through the Illinois Arts Council Agency’s eGrant system, applicants must first complete a validation process through the State of Illinois’s Grantee Portal to obtain a pre-qualification status. The IACA will not be able to consider an application for funding until the applicant has completed this step.
  • Pre-qualification through the Grantee Portal is required for all organizations, units of government, and schools and school-affiliate organizations applying for grant funding from the IACA.
  • To obtain a pre-qualification status, go to the Grantee Portal (
  • Refer to the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act/GATA page on the IACA website for specific details.

For further information about StARTS Program, contact Jerome Grand, Program Director by email: or by phone: 312-814-6766.