Neighborhood Access Program ‘Idea Submission’ deadline is Friday

The 2023 Neighborhood Access Program (NAP) application is now open. Idea Submission deadline is Friday, May 19 at 5pm CST.

The goal of this program is to support the cultural vitality of every Chicago neighborhood via grant programs and partnerships designed to be responsive to the complex needs of individual communities. This program will offer direct grants for all types of place-based arts and culture activities.

2023 Neighborhood Access Program Application

2023 Neighborhood Access Program Guidelines (PDF)

There are three ways that you can share your idea with us. You can either:

  1. Narrative: Provide a brief written description of your idea.
  2. Recording: Provide a 5-minute video or audio recording describing your idea. (Video does not need to be highly edited. iPhone videos are fine!)
  3. PDF/JPEG file upload: Provide a PowerPoint or other presentation with images and text describing your idea.

We want to hear about:

•  Why you want to do this project
•  What you hope to accomplish
•  Who will be involved
•  When and where it might take place

If you need assistance in another language, and/or if you are an individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation to apply please contact for assistance.

2023 NAP Program Info Sessions

The DCASE Cultural Grants team is excited to offer virtual info sessions for anyone interested in submitting an idea. The info sessions will give an overview of the NAP program, review what is needed to apply (not a lot) and give a brief introduction to the online application system.

View Info Session Recording from April 28, 2023

Office Hours

DCASE Grants Team member will be onsite to answer any questions about the Neighborhood Access Program and help folks apply. No appointment or RSVP necessary. Assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Monday, May 15, 2-4pm
1st Ward Office (1958 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2-4pm
Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Ave., Randolph Square)


Idea Submission Portal opensApril 24, 2023
Idea Submission deadlineFriday, May 19, 2023 5:00 PM CST – No Extensions will be granted
Notifications July 2023 – All applicants will be notified about if they have been selected as a finalist or not.
Proposal Material PreparationJuly & August 2023 – Finalists have 5 weeks to gather supporting documents
Finalists InterviewedSeptember 2023
Final NotificationsOctober 2023 – All finalists will be notified about if they have been selected for a grant or not.
Payments DisbursedDecember 2023 or February 2024 – Grants will be made in a single, one-time payment.
Grant PeriodOctober 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024. This is the time during which grant funds must be spent.

* Subject to change

Eligibility Criteria

Projects must have these elements:

•  Projects must have a primary goal to serve residents of a specific neighborhood or community.
•  Projects must engage neighborhood residents as participants or audiences between October 1, 2023 and December 31, 2024.
•  Lead applicant’s primary residence/address must be in the neighborhood where this engagement will take place.

The following entities may apply for a Neighborhood Access Program grant:

•  Any nonprofit organization, Special Service Area (SSAs) or Chamber of Commerce with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) status, including religious institutions that provide significant services to the community that are non-religious in nature.
•  National nonprofit organizations with a Chicago branch.
•  Individual artists, cultural producers or curators.
•  Individuals/collectives applying with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) status.
•  Low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs).

** Finalists will be invited to attend online seminars to assist them in gathering the required documents. An additional session will be scheduled for first-time grant writers.

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