Arts of Life to Receive $20,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Artist Ted Gram-Boarini working in the studio

Artist Ted Gram-Boarini working in the studio
Artist Ted Gram-Boarini working in the studio.

Arts of Life has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Artist Enterprise Program. This project advances the professional development of artists with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Chicago-land. Arts of Life’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Arts of Life,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Arts of Life is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”

“This program focuses on heightening the visibility of our artists as professionals throughout Chicago and beyond,” said Executive Director Denise Fisher. “With the investment of the National Endowment for the Arts, our artists will continue to grow professionally while also participating in public exhibitions and partnerships.”

With the generous support of The Coleman Foundation, the Artist Enterprise Program (AEP) launched in 2017 with the creation of three professional development tracks (educator, curator, and career artist) and the launch of the Circle Contemporary Gallery which hosts 13 exhibitions annually. In addition, notable exhibitions made possible through the AEP include the Chicago Cultural Center, Art on theMART, and the upcoming 2021 EXPO. As a result of these efforts, annual art sales for the organization have increased by 300% to date.

“I want our studio artists’ work to be recognized alongside their peers in the broader community,” said Vincent Uribe, Director of Exhibitions and External Relations. “The work stands on its own and the Artist Enterprise Program is helping that work get the visibility it deserves.”

For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.