StARTS Program - Short-term Artists Residencies

Illinois Arts Council Agency

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Deadline: May 15, 2022

Grant amount: Up to US $4,500

Fields of work: Artist Residencies

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Government Entity

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Exhibitions

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: Illinois


NOTE: 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 the deadline above. 

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.

Request Amount

Request amounts are calculated based on the information entered in the Budget form of the application. Minimum request amount is $250 for any type of residency. Maximum total request amount is $4,500 for any type of residency.

All applicants are eligible to request 75% of the residency costs and may increase that percentage when the following conditions are met:

  • Add 5% if it is the first time the applicant has worked with the artist, company, or group.
  • Add 5% if the artist will provide a professional development or teacher training session for residency staff and/or community members. This item must be listed as part of the artist contract.
  • Add 5% if the artist’s home-base is at least 100 miles from the residency site.

Additional percentages can be added up to, but not exceed, the $4,500 request limit.

Cash Match Requirements

The applicant must provide a cash match to cover the remaining portion of the residency costs from sources other than the state of Illinois, including the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligibility Requirements
    • Applicants must be tax-exempt (501c3) organizations registered as not-for-profit corporations in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State, or units of government (i.e. a school, school district, park district, library, etc.) or institutions of higher education.
      • Refer to the Proof of Eligibility page on the IACA website for specific details and verification requirements.
    • The artist, ensemble, or company selected to conduct the residency must be based in Illinois; individual artists must be Illinois residents; companies and ensembles must claim Illinois as their home base of operations with the majority of its members residing in Illinois.
    • All required application materials must be submitted no less than eight weeks prior to the residency start date. 
  • Project Requirements
    • Proposed residency project must meet an identified educational need and expand the artistic opportunities for the selected core group of learners.
    • Proposed residency project requires a minimum of five hours, up to a maximum of thirty hours of artist contact time with the core group of learners.
    • Minimum hourly wage for an individual residency artist is $50 per contact hour. Artists may negotiate higher hourly fees. Companies and ensembles should negotiate fees appropriate for the art form and the number of artists participating, at no less than $50 per contact hour.
    • Residency artist must provide the residency site with a reasonable list of supplies, tools, equipment, and materials needed for the residency.
    • Proposed residency must be documented in a manner that can be made available for public review/viewing. 
  • Applicants may submit requests for up to two projects within the designated IACA funding period. 
    • Each residency project requires a separate application.
    • Applications must involve different residency artists and different groups of learners.
    • Priority will be given to the first application received and subsequent applications will be considered as IACA funding allows. 


  • Program restrictions
    • Artists currently employed by the applicant/residency site in any capacity are not eligible to be the residency artist.
    • Residency artists cannot be enrolled in any degree or certificate-granting programs.
    • Funds cannot be requested for ongoing projects, workshops, or classes.
    • Participants may not be charged for any activity related to the residency program. 

This page was last reviewed September 20, 2021 and last updated July 19, 2021