Propeller Fund 2017 Workshop

Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Threewalls announce the eighth year of Propeller Fund granting opportunities for visual artists and groups in Cook County, IL.

Application Deadline: August 5, 2017

Propeller Fund awards $50,000 per year to artists and groups for collaborative, public-oriented projects that are independent and self-organized.

Propeller Fund Application Workshop
Saturday, June 3, Gallery 400, 400 S. Peoria St.

1-3pm | Applying to Propeller
Introduction to and tips on writing a compelling proposal, budgeting, navigating the online system, and juror’s point of view. Presenters include previous Propeller Fund awardees and jurors.

3-4pm | Breakout Sessions with Propeller Grantees
Focused sessions with Propeller grantees and staff on specialized topics:
*Websites + Publications with Meg Duguid + Michael S. Thomas (The Visualist)
*Partnering with Communities with Patricia Nguyen (Axis Lab)
*Producing Media Projects with Kerry Richardson + Steve Ciampaglia (
Plug-In Studio)
*Workshops + Community Education with Phillip Lambert (And Then There Was BLAK)

These programs are free and open to all.

See the Propeller Fund 2017 Application Brochure for more details.

Propeller Fund 2017 Information Session #1

Join us at the first Propeller Fund application info session for the 2017 grant cycle at Roman Susan in Rogers Park. Propeller Fund grants $50k a year to public, collaborative, and artist-led projects and initiatives in Cook County.

Information workshops give tips on how to write effective proposals, craft budgets, and navigate the online submission for Propeller Fund for the August 5 deadline.

Roman Susan
1224 W Loyola Ave
Wednesday, June 21 | 6PM

Free and open to all.

See the Propeller Fund 2017 Application Brochure for additional details.

Propeller Fund 2017 Information Session #2

Join us at the final Propeller Fund application info session for the 2017 grant cycle at Produce Model Gallery in Pilsen. Propeller Fund grants $50k a year to public, collaborative, and artist-led projects and initiatives in Cook County.

Information workshops give tips on how to write effective proposals, craft budgets, and navigate the online submission for Propeller Fund for the August 5 deadline.

Produce Model
1007 W. 19th St.
Tuesday, July 11 | 6PM

Free and open to all.

See the Propeller Fund 2017 Application Brochure for more details.

Propeller Fund 2017 Deadline: August 5

Propeller Fund 2017 Deadline: August 5

Applications open on May 15

Launched in 2010, Propeller Fund is a grant administered jointly by Gallery 400 and Threewalls, and funded through the generosity of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Propeller Fund provides $50,000 per year directly to artists and groups living in Cook County, IL for collaborative, public-oriented, artist-led projects that are independent and self-organized. Monetary awards—in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $6,000—are disbursed in direct funds to projects.

See the Propeller Fund 2017 Application Brochure for more details.

Artist Resources

We invite you to browse the archive of opportunities below for resources that we find most helpful in the categories of funding and residency opportunities.

Local Grant Opportunities

National Grant Opportunities

  • A Blade of Grass is an annual fellowship that includes project support for artists who are working in leadership roles and in partnership with communities to enact social change.
  • Artadia awards grants on a rotating basis to visual artists in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Barbara Deming Memorial Inc. Fund awards artist support grants to individual feminist women in the arts.
  • Creative Capital helps artists realize specific projects while building their capacity to sustain their careers for the long-term.
  • Harpo Foundation offers grants for visual artists; new work project grants for organizations; Native American fellowships; and Emerging Artist Residency Fellowships.
  • MAP Fund supports performance projects by artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchy across the American landscape.
  • Puffin Foundation awards grants to artists working in a variety of disciplines, with an emphasis on supporting art that educates the public on topical issues.
  • The Soros Equality Fellowship supports emerging midcareer professionals who will become long-term innovative leaders impacting the racial justice field.
  • Sustainable Arts Foundation awards grants to individual artists and writers with children.

Local Residencies 

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an artist-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists and to creating a generative community of cultural producers.

Arts + Public Life hosts individual artists through the Artists-in-Residence program. This program is open to Chicago-based artists and groups whose work explores issues of race, politics and culture.

Chicago Artists Coalition BOLT Residency is a highly competitive, juried, one-year artist studio residency program offering contemporary emerging artists the opportunity to engage the Chicago arts community and its public in critical dialogue about contemporary art.




2015 Awardee Fielding at Hyde Park Art Center Open House


Project Fielding Resistant Architecture at the Hyde Park Arts Center Open House 
Friday, April 21. 4-6 pm

Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S. Cornell Ave.

(Part of Open Engagement 2017)

Created during a recent workshop led by Project Fielding, Resistance Architecture is an adaptable structure intended for political encampment; responsive to our current political climate; and can be erected in direct response to the needs of long-term protesters. For this open house, Project Fielding teachers Sara Black, Amber Ginsburg and Miriam Stevens invite you to engage with the structure’s physically adaptive features and to enter the structure for a short workshop where we discuss and draw upon our own resistances. Project Fielding is a collective of women and gender non-conforming carpenters who lead power tool workshops and design/build projects for builders of all levels.

2011 Awardee Territory Leads Youth Empowerment Walking Tour

Walk In Our Shoes
Saturday, April 22, 12-1:30pm
Meets at CTA Kimball Brown Line Station
3400 W. Lawrence
(Part of Open Engagement 2017)

See the city through the eyes of young people, and discover community-based youth empowerment strategies through an interactive walking tour led by Territory Urban Design Team. The tour includes site visits and placemaking activities exploring social justice issues through urban design, activism, performance, and social enterprise. The tour is designed by young people who live and learn in in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. Full tour route and site list to be determined by design team.

2016 Awardee Lavender Menace Occupation at Salonathon

Lavender Menace Occupation Participatory Bathroom Installation
Monday, April 24, 9pm
Beauty Bar
1444 W. Chicago Ave. 
This event will center around a site specific installation of lavender menace posters within in the bathroom of long standing performing arts series, Salonathon. The installation will include the participation of bar patrons by allowing them to respond to a text prompt directly on the wall of the bathroom, adding to the context and the environment of both the gathering and the existing art installation. Salonathon is a home for underground, emerging and genre-defying art. Founded by Jane Beachy and co-curated by Jane Beachy, Joe Varisco and Will Von Vogt. This event is free and open to the public, but is 21 & over.

Propeller Fund Seeks Archiving Intern

Propeller Fund Archivist

Volunteer Staff/Internship position

Propeller Fund, Threewalls & Gallery 400

Time commitment: 2 days/per week for at least three months

The Propeller Fund, a Chicago-area grantmaking organization for visual artists, seeks a part-time, temporary intern to assist in archiving grantee projects and building the organization’s online presence. Propeller is looking for someone who is organized, a self-starter, and interested in documenting the activities of socially engaged artists in Chicago. The archiving intern will compile materials and documentation from the projects of grantees, highlight this work on Propeller’s website and social media outlets, and help archive funded projects from previous years. Under the guidance of Propeller staff, the intern will assist in work that ranges from special projects and research to clerical support.

Duties include:

o  Ongoing archival work related to grantee activities

o  Researching and compiling photographic, written, and media content

o  Scanning and archiving printed material and ephemera

o  Documentation of grantee events and programs, as needed

o  Drafting website copy

o  Reviewing, editing, and updating the website

o  Managing contact with grantees to ensure accuracy and thoroughness

o  Creating a monthly grantee feature (interview, press clipping, campaign, media content) to be highlighted on Propeller Fund website and monthly newsletter

o  Work with Propeller Fund staff to develop social media strategy for sharing grantee activities

o  Updating social media platforms


o  Desirable skills include a high degree of organization, attention to detail, ability to work independently, and strong writing and communication skills

o  Knowledge of WordPress, Photoshop, Excel and social media platforms preferred

o  Internships require a commitment of 10-12 hours per week and are typically a semester in length. A major in art history or fine art is not required. All internships are unpaid.

o  Applicants must have their own computer

o  Position reports to Michael Moore, Grant Administrator at Threewalls and Erin Nixon, Grant Administrator at Gallery 400

Please send letter of interest and resume to Application deadline: April 30. Position starts June 2017.

Propeller Fund Open House

Propeller Fund Open House
Friday, April 21, 2017
Various locations throughout Chicago – See program
Propeller Fund presents a series of discussions, performances, presentations, and more in multiple neighborhoods across Chicago. Now in it’s eighth year, Propeller Fund is a Chicago-area granting organization that supports artist-led, collaborative, public-oriented projects that are independent and self-organized. From Humboldt Park to Austin, from the Northside to Bronzeville, and from public spaces to online, these artist-led interventions, workshop series, collectively organized exhibition spaces, websites, and media projects constitute a large catalyst for the creative activity and vitality of the Chicago art world.

Propeller Fund was imagined to provide funds directly to visual artists and collaboratives in order to stimulate the growth of independent cultural production throughout Chicago; to encourage more varied models of art production and presentation; to spread artistic activities into more diverse areas; to promote the public’s interaction with and public recognition of such activities of our city; and to spark ambitions beyond current formats. To date Propeller has awarded a total $350,000 to 103 projects. Propeller Fund is administered by Gallery 400 at UIC and Threewalls and supported through the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program.

Propeller Open House Program

  1. 2nd Floor Rear
  2. Hume Chicago
  3. 3242 W. Armitage Ave.
  4. 10am-12pm

2nd Floor Rear is an annual DIY festival of art in experimental contexts, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant community of alternative art spaces. 2nd Floor Rear Director Katie Waddell leads a conversation with artists, staff, and collaborators of the festival about its developments and future challenges to introduce an idea-generating workshop for grassroots arts organizers, organizations and collectives. The group discussion will stem from the questions: As justice-conscious artists and organizers, how do we not only adapt to changing tides, but embrace them by consolidating our values, revising our way of doing things, and ultimately become even more valuable to the artists, communities, and missions we serve? How do we make our work sustainable in the long-term, while sustainability seems impossible? How do we meet our organizations’ needs and keep our projects alive while putting justice, equity, and transparency into practice?

  1. Axis Lab
  2. 1120 W. Argyle St.
  3. 3-4pm

Axis Lab is a community engagement platform curating cultural programming within Chicago’s historic Southeast Asian corridor, Argyle Street, to incite equitable and inclusive development with its immigrant and refugee community through the intersection of food, design, and arts education. Axis Lab organizers offer a visual presentation of past and upcoming projects which center around themes of equitable development and social justice for the Asian community on Argyle. Such projects include working with local restaurant owners, community members, and policymakers to facilitate a variety of programming related to food, creative production, urban design, and curating participatory spaces. The latter half will be a sensorial workshop entitled Scents of Home, which is part of a series of pop-up events for Sống, a cookbook and archival project of the Vietnamese American community in Chicago. The Scents of Home workshop will serve as an interactive preview to the book, in which participants will explore Vietnamese food through scent as a mnemonic aid.

  1. Out of Site
  2. UIC Halsted Blue Line station and environs
  3. Peoria Street, between Van Buren and Harrison
  4. 5-7pm

Out of Site curates cutting edge unexpected encounters in public space, supporting contemporary performance artists to create new work that engages directly with the public. Out of Site will present public performance pieces by Joshua Kent, Janet Schmidt, and Sara Zalek which focus on community justice. Kent’s performance takes the symbolism and poetics of “Bread and Roses”, a phrase of historical and cultural significance, originating in the Union movement. Schmid’s pedestrian dance project encourages community engagement through movement. Zalek’s interactive dance performance questions the illusion of freedom in our contemporary society. All of these works will actively engage the audience in a dialogue on economic justice (Kent), community exchange (Schmid), and the illusion of freedom and justice (Zalek).

Friday, April 21

Sara Zalek, 5-7pm – UIC Halsted Blue Line station

Joshua Kent, 5-7pm –  400 S. Peoria St.

Saturday, April 22

Janet Schmid, 5-7pm – UIC Halsted Blue Line station

  1. Lavender Menace Occupation
  2. Art and Exhibition Hall
  3. 1st, 3rd, and 5th floor bathrooms
  4. 400 S. Peoria St.
  5. April 21-23

The Lavender Menace Occupation (LMO) was developed from the lavender menace poster project: a series of posters and other text based artworks that utilize letterpress printing, hand papermaking, and laser cut text, to address queer visibility politics, while creating art objects that are easily distributed through an invisible network of participants. LMO creates a site specific installation of posters within the bathrooms of UIC’s Art and Exhibition Hall.

  1. Radius
  2. 88.9-FM and online at
  3. April 21-23, 12-7pm CST

Radius is an experimental radio broadcast platform located in Chicago. Radius provides artists with live and experimental formats in radio programming to support work that engages the tonal and public spaces of the electromagnetic spectrum. During Open Engagement Radius premieres Episode 78: Norman Long, featuring the three-part series Calumet Project, which invites us to contemplate how soundscapes define our sense of community and focuses our attention on a landscape’s diversity, restoration, and resilience.

Maps with event program and schedule can be found at Gallery 400 (400 S. Peoria Street), Threewalls (2738 W. North Ave), and downloaded here: Propeller Open House Program