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Launched in 2010, Propeller Fund is administered jointly by Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago ( and Threewalls (Three-walls. org), and funded through a generous grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Who can apply? Visual artists, curators, or visual arts groups living and working in Cook County (with a requirement that projects are presented within 50 miles of Cook County). Students, incorporated businesses, and incorporated not-for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply for funding. Previous grantees are not eligible.

Propeller Fund provides money directly to artists, curators, and groups living and working in Cook County, IL and seeks to support projects that are:

Review process Proposals to Propeller Fund will be reviewed by a panel of jurors made up of five artists and arts professionals currently working in the visual arts field. Criteria for review include the excellence of the applicant’s past work and the strength, impact, and feasibility of the proposed project.

Independent // Informal // Self-organized // Long or Short-term Propeller Fund recognizes that small, informal, and self-organized operations constitute a large catalyst for the creative activity and vitality of the Chicago visual art world. These projects are responsible for much of the complexity and richness in the art community.

What types of projects ARE eligible? Visual arts projects produced by a temporary or permanent artist-run or alternative space Visual arts projects that employ unconventional organizational models Visual arts projects that are conceived and carried out by a group of individuals and/or collective(s) Visual arts projects with a strong public component

Propeller Fund exists to stimulate the growth of independent, cultural production throughout Chicago; to encourage varied models for production and presentation; to spread these activities to more diverse areas; to promote the public’s interaction with, and public recognition of such activities; and to spark ambitions beyond current formats. Propeller Fund will provide 15 grants at two levels: Five grants at $6,000 // Ten grants at $2,000


The two-tiered funding structure intends to provide substantial support for major costs—printing, rental, honoraria, material, shipping, and research time. The aim is to ensure that each project will reach completion and has the resources to live up to its ambitions.

Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice Inventive open-studio events or presentations Publications, including printed matter and online writing A public event, performance, or intervention (with multiple participants) Screening, lecture, concert, broadcast, or workshop series at multiple venues Site-specific or public and temporary presentations New media, audio, film, and video projects led by visual artists or arts groups Collaborative projects between the visual arts and other disciplines

In its first four years, Propeller Fund awarded 60 grants to a diverse range of work, including Dorchester Projects, ChicagoRICAN, and The Storefront (in 2010); Monsters and Dust, Revival, and The Happiness Project (in 2011); Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, A Day Without Public Art in Pilsen, The Franklin, and GLI.TC/H (in 2012); 3rd Language, Chicago Artist Writers, and Image File Press (in 2013).

3rd Language, Summer Workshop (2013 Propeller awardee)

DeFunct/ReFunct multimedia installation in conjunction with GLI.TC/H (2012 Propeller awardee).

The full list of projects can be found at

A NATIONAL NETWORK SoftSHOP, a project of the SHoP Fellowship


(2012 Propeller awardee). Culter ReProducers-Future Plan #3, Cultural ReProducers (2013 Propeller awardee)


What types of projects are NOT eligible? Projects proposed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Projects proposed by students Projects proposed by incorporated businesses Projects in which the lead artist/organizer lives outside of Cook County Projects in which all artists/organizers reside outside of Cook County Projects that are not accessible or presented to the public Projects that are artworks authored by a single artist or single collective Proposals for the express purpose of: renting studio space, professional development (classes, services), travel expenses, the purchase or rental of equipment, or hiring of services not otherwise associated with a public project that meets the above criteria For more information on eligibility and FAQs, please see

Since developing its first re-granting program with SouthernExposure in San Francisco, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has invested in the creation of a growing national network of regional re-granting programs—supporting Alternative Exposure (; The Idea Fund ( in Houston; Rocket Grants ( opportunities/rocket-grants/) in Kansas City, Missouri; Precipice Fund in Portland, Oregon (; and Propeller Fund. The Foundation aims to support the independent creative activity of artists by partnering with leading artist-centered visual arts organizations across the country. Organizations like Gallery 400 and Threewalls allow them to reach the sizable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and projects. To find out more about the network of regional re-granting programs beyond Chicago visit

APPLICATION To Apply, Applicants Must Submit: 700 word Project Description 500 word Bio/Resume/CV // If applying as a group, an additional 500-word bio/resume/CV per person Budget including expenses (i.e. production, travel, marketing) and any income Brief Timeline including milestones relevant to your project 150 word Expected Impact Statement Examples of past work by the applicant or proposed contributors and/or mock-ups that inform the planned project (no slides or VHS accepted) // A maximum of 10 images (800 x 600px, 180dpi) or 3 videos or sound files, maximum 5 minutes each // Annotated list of media: Artist Name, Title, Date, Medium(s), and description of relationship to proposed project

Application Due: August 1, 2014

Applications are submitted online at



Permit Number

Chicago, Illinois


U.S. Postage Paid



Several workshops will be held to explain how to write effective proposals, craft budgets, and navigate the online submission for Propeller Fund. Throughout the year, Propeller Fund offers professional development and networking opportunities to its grantees, including a mentorship and residency program, social gatherings and exhibitions, through its program space at Mana Contemporary Chicago.

119 N. Peoria #2D Chicago, IL 60607


The workshop is free and open to all. Information Sessions Wednesday June 18, 6pm Hyde Park Art Center 5020 S. Cornell Avenue

Wednesday July 2, 6pm Threewalls 119 N. Peoria St. #2C

1:00pm-3:00pm | Applying to Propeller // Introduction 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. 3:00pm-4:00pm | One-on-one // 15-minute sessions with Propeller staff 4:00pm | Keynote on community-engaged art in Chicago by artist Michael Rakowitz 5:00pm-7:00pm | Propeller 2012 awardees exhibition reception and launch of Mana Studio residency

Application Workshop and Mana Pilot Program Reception Saturday, May 24, Mana Contemporary, 2233 S. Throop St.

Have a question about applying? Staff members will be available for one-onJuly one meetings in June and July, Tuesday – Friday Saturday, from 11 AM to 13th 5 PM. Meetings Branch Projects must be scheduled at least one week in advanceNorth and are subject to availability. 3550 West Lawrence Avenue Please email to set up a meeting time. Propeller and Beyond: Ongoing opportunities for Propeller Fund grantees include: Pilot Program at Mana Contemporary Chicago, a one year free studio residency for the incubation of new projects; exhibition programs, socials, and webinar presentations from leading creative organizers at our exhibition/flex space, also at Mana; and mentorship with Chicago art administration professionals to help sustain ongoing projects.

A Grant through Gallery 400 and Threewalls Apply Now!

Deadline | August 1, 2014 2nd Floor Rear Festival, Permbulatory Parade with Enviornmental Encroachment Photo by Slaveya Minoka (2013 Propeller awardee)

Propeller Brochure  
Propeller Brochure