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The Individual Artist Support (IAS) Initiative from the Illinois Arts Council was created to help Illinois artists realize a career goal, take advantage of a professional opportunity, or for the production and presentation of an artistic project.

General Program Information

The IAS Initiative encompasses two different tracks.  Artists may apply to one track only.:

  • Track 1: Individual Artist Professional Development (IA-PD) seeks to support professional development opportunities related to an individual artist’s career. Grant amounts for IA-PD are $500 or $750 with no cash match required.
  • Track 2: Individual Artist Project (IA-Project) seeks to support individual creative artists in the production and presentation of an artistic project. Grant amounts for IA-Project are $1,500 or $2,500, and a 25% cash match is required.

Each track has specific limitations and requirements. Please read the entire guidelines thoroughly to determine which track best suits your goals . Artists may submit one application only. Awards will be equal to the amount requested by the applicant.

Artistic Disciplines

Artists who work in the following artistic disciplines are eligible to apply for funding.

  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • Design Arts
  • Crafts
  • Photography
  • Media Arts (includes film, video, audio, and computer art)
  • Literature (includes creative non-fiction*, fiction, and poetry)
  • Interdisciplinary
  • New Performance Forms
  • Ethnic & Folk Arts

*Creative non-fiction is distinguished from analytical, journalistic, technical, and scholarly/academic writing by its strong narrative literary quality as found in personal essays and memoirs.  The Illinois Arts Council’s Individual Artists Support Program does not accept applications to support scholarly/academic, analytical, journalistic, and technical writing

Note: Applications for Track 2: IA – Project  will be accepted from creative/originating artists only (i.e. choreographers, composers, playwrights, visual artists, etc.).

Fiscal Year 2013 Project Dates:

Professional Development Support:  All activities must occur and be completed within January 1, 2013 and August 31, 2013

Project Support:  All activities must occur and be completed within January 1, 2013 and August 31, 2013.

*For projects with public presentations, exhibition openings, CD and publication releases after August 31 and up to November 15, you must contact the appropriate Program Director before submitting an application.

For more information about informational workshops and webinars, click here.

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Applications for the Bloomington Handmade Market are open now through September 15! Visit to get more info and to apply.

The fall event will take place on Saturday, November 10 from 10am-5pm at the Bloomington Convention Center, located downtown at 3rd and College in Indiana.

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Last weekend the Mafia had a booth at Edgefest, handing out information on our group, the DIY Trunk Show in November, and hosting some free craft demos so people can get their craft on right there in the street.  The weekend was a success, in spite of a huge storm shutting down the festival early on Saturday.  The booth sustained only one casualty during the storm… the tent broke under the hurricane-type winds.  However!  Mafia member David Melis found a replacement part for the tent for only $10 and it will be fully functional again!

Our booth also had a small sampling of wares for sale from members Cinnamon Cooper, Lucy Clasen, David Melis, and Michelle Kaffko.  The table of wares drew a lot of people into the tent who, when they learned this kind of awesome stuff will be at about 150 different tables at the DIY Trunk Show in November, scrambled for more info and marked their calendars right then and there!

For more photos from the event, check out our Facebook page.

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July 22 is the big day when applicants will find out if they were accepted, rejected or put onto the wait-list for the DIY TRUNK SHOW.

We received over 250 applications and we have around 150 crafter booth spaces to fill.

So the jury process is going to be tough. We are looking at creativity, style, design, uniqueness, how your product is represented in the photography you submitted, price points, and how you filled out the application.

So good luck to all that applied and we are so excited to jury all these fabulous applications……..

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This piece was inspired by a Radiohead line, “there’s always a siren singing you to shipwreck” I call it “Sirens” for short. It is 16″ tall and 12″ wide. ~Staci~

(I love, love this piece and stole it from Rest in Pieces Mosaic Parlor’s Facebook page. It’s pretty much amazing!)


Hi! We are The Chicago Craft Mafia! What’s your name?
Staci Sterenberg

What’s Your Business Name?

Rest in Pieces Mosaic Parlor

Where are you located?

Chicago, IL

What’s Your Website?

What medium do you work in primarily?

mixed media mosaic (repurposed materials, glass, found objects)

What kinds of products do you make?

I make small mosaics in silhouettes
including skulls, hands, eyes, owl, matroyshkas, as well as larger one of a
kind pieces made from reclaimed ceramic and glass items.

Mosaic Skull Wall Art $90

Price range of your products?

My prices range from $25.00 and up!

How did you get started with crafting and this business?

I took a mosaic class in 2005, and I’ve been working with these materials ever since.

Is your craft full-time for you? If not, what else do you do to make ends

I have three distinct jobs! A mom, and elementary art teacher, and

an artist (not necessarily in that order).

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not crafting?

I like to hang
with my kids when I’m not working in my studio and just be in their world.

What is the best advice that you can give to a crafter who’s first that are just starting out?

There is no one right way to go about being a crafter because personal
creativity is the engine that runs you. Stay true to your aesthetic,
but be open to trying new things that excite you and tie into your
product line. Most importantly, remember your own value and be sure to
pay yourself when pricing your products so you can put money back into
your products and put some money in your pocket!
Thanks so much Staci!
To follow Rest in Pieces Mosaic Parlor on Facebook CLICK HERE!
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Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30pm, is another fabulous Chicago Craft Mafia networking event!  Our topic du jour will be search engine optimization (SEO).  Are you maximizing all that you can do to draw customers to your fantastic online shop?   Learn some great tips on how to improve the visibility of your website during searches!

Leading our discussion will be Jennifer Rapp-Peterson, founder of IndieMade and Heidi Gustad of Hands Occupied.

Heidi Gustad runs Hands Occupied, a blog about crafting, the handmade community, inspiration, independent crafters, and candy. Heidi works with companies like Michaels Stores, Pop Rocks, PB2 peanut butter, Just Born (the creators of Peeps and Mike & Ike’s) and Mars’ Historic Division to share their products with her readers. She has been featured on The Handmade Gift Guide, Craft, Offbeat Bride, Craft Gossip, and Dollar Store Crafts, and is the Candle Making Editor for Craft Gossip.

Jennifer Rapp Peterson is a business-minded creative type—equal parts right-brain and left-brain. The former software consultant–turned–greeting card publisher, children’s book illustrator, and award-winning toy inventor – having launched a successful line of toys (Food Chain Friends) – before turning her focus on providing robust websites for indie entrepreneurs.

We hope you’ll join us for an evening of socializing, talking shop, and sharing a snack or two with your fellow crafters at Beans & Bagels on Montrose.

Hope to see you at the Racket!

CRAFT RACKET – Summer 2012

Tues. July 17th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

Beans & Bagels

1812 W. Montrose

Chicago IL

(right under the Montrose stop on the Brown Line)

Cost: FREE!

Please RSVP by emailing

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Miguel Mendez, the owner of Helium at 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave. in  Chicago, is going to have part of Helium Gallery available for artists to exhibit their work during Ravenswood Artwalk on September 29th & 30th.
The jewelry category is full, but there is still space available for handmade non-jewelry mediums including painting, photography, apparel, textiles, housewares, decorative art, soap, candles, sculpture, mixed media, collage.
If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact Miguel Mendez to confirm space availability.
The deadline for payment is Friday July 6th.
Here are the details:
• All spaces are indoors, each space measures 8 feet wide and 5 feet deep, and the cost is $100 for the 2 day event.
• Electricity IS included in the cost, also your name or business name will be printed on the big banners on the front of the building.
• All work exhibited must be hand made by the participating artist–absolutely no buy/sell.
• Artists are responsible for bringing their own display, table and chair. All displays must fit into the space provided.
• Artists must be present both days for the duration of the show. Show hours are 11am-6pm both days.
This should be a great opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of The Ravenswood Artwalk. Also this year the boundaries are Lawrence and Irving Park Road and there will be outdoor tents and activities at both ends of the walk, so Helium should be close to the North hub and hopefully get a lot of traffic :)
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There’s only 1 WEEK LEFT to apply to this year’s DIY Trunk Show! My, how time flies. Still procrastinating? Here’s a little motivation!


1. This show is seriously on schedule to be the BEST DIY Trunk Show EVER!!

2. We’re taking over the entire auditorium. This means more Vendors, more customers and more excitement in general!

3. Wishbone will be serving up yummy delights this year!  Who can resist that?!

4. Last year’s Vendors reported record sales! Cha-ching

5. Because everyone else is doing it. Duh!

SO HURRY UP AND APPLY ALREADY! Click Here or go to: for the application.

Good Luck!

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Just 9 more days to apply to the DIY Trunk Show! Click HERE for the application. Once you’re done, you should definitely check out the folks at Ravenswood Remix!

This is a unique event aimed to unite and connect forward thinking individuals while promoting the sale of re-purposed arts, furniture, jewlery and anything else under the sun.

To display and sell your art and goods at Ravenswood Remix™, you must use recycled, found or re-purposed materials in the creation of your goods.

BOOTH PRICING: $225 for 10′x10′

Plus $25 City of Chicago Vending License which includes both Saturday & Sunday. There are also a limited number of premium space upgrades available for an additional $100.

To apply, register for a free account with Zapplication and submit your application, five images of your work and a $20 application fee by July 29, 2012.

Paper applications are available upon request by sending an email to

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