First in the City, Grants being awarded for Open Government and Art Initiatives.

(CHICAGO) This week, Alderperson Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) launched the “40th Ward Arts & Access Grants” as part of Chicago’s ward microgrant program. Passed during last year’s budget process, the program allocates $100,000 to each ward office to fund projects focused on enhancing communities. Ald. Vasquez’s 40th Ward is the first in the city to launch the microgrant initiative, which is open and accepting proposals from any non-profit or for-profit organization in two major categories:

  1. Open Government (OG) Grants – $80,000 to be awarded in total

Alder Vasquez seeks to partner with applicants who present ways to increase access to local government, including but not limited to:

  • Multimedia communication efforts
  • Visual/digital/print content creation
  • On-the-ground canvassing and organizing of marginalized or access-challenged communities
  • Language access
  • Other proposals to increase community access to government

“As someone who was born and raised in an immigrant family here in Chicago, I am painfully aware of the lack of public awareness and comfort in interacting with our local government. The Open Government Grants Program is focused on opening up access. If anyone puts forth a proposal to better connect people to the 40th Ward Office, we want to fund that and set a new standard for Chicago ,” Ald. Vasquez said of OG grants. 

  1. Lincoln Avenue North Arts (LANA) and Cultural Programming Grant – $20,000 to be awarded in total

Alder Vasquez seeks to appropriate grant funding to develop the Lincoln Avenue North Arts District ( LANA), stretching from Western to Catalpa along Lincoln Avenue, through a mural/art installation program, where artists from marginalized communities are compensated and celebrated for their vision. 

“Similarly, the arts have helped many learn to express themselves and be heard by the larger community. As we seek to develop the Lincoln Avenue North Arts District, we want to put artists from marginalized communities at the center of it in a way that uplifts different experiences and is intentionally inclusive. ”