Applications are now open for the city of Chicago’s first artist-in-residence program for its INVEST South/West Initiative.

The new program, which will focus on Austin and three other Chicago neighborhoods, will leverage art and creativity as part of a broad and integrated community and economic development plan to re-activate neighborhood cores that have historically served as focal points for pedestrian activity, shopping, services, transportation, public spaces and quality-of life amenities for local residents.

The pilot program is open to professional artists/artist teams who live or work in Chicago who have a demonstrated commitment to working with and for the benefit of the public.

Artists who live and work within INVEST South/West neighborhoods are encouraged to apply. Each artist-in-residence project scope should include public engagement, capstone plan development and documentation at a cost of $30,000. The budget for each capstone project, including additional artist fees for oversight and implementation, will be $150,000 and is dependent on community and city approval of the project.

“We are incredibly excited to see the artworks and creative strategies our city’s talented artists will bring to this project – working in close collaboration with community members,” Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said in a statement.

“This program addresses the need for urgent cultural investment in neighborhoods on Chicago’s South and West sides – and furthers our ongoing commitments to equity and access to the arts through financial grants, artist commissions and cultural events.”

Artists will lead a community engagement program to create and build upon neighborhood-specific cultural plans then deliver a plan for a capstone public art project. In addition, the artist will provide a series of recommendations that will guide the future development of creative projects in neighborhoods.

Depending on the nature of the capstone project, each artist-in-residence will be engaged for one to two years; the program represents an over $700,000 investment in arts programs and cultural infrastructure in these neighborhoods.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on July 26. Each artist or artist team must submit an entirely digital application.

For more information and to apply visit