Arts & Culture Capital Lab : Program Updates (Q1 & Q2 '21)

Arts & Culture Capital Lab : Program Updates (Q1 & Q2 '21)

In March 2020, the SECC hired Tiffany Mikell to lead creative entrepreneurship programs, now called the Arts & Culture Capital Lab (ACCL) including the development of a new funding initiative for artists: the Equitable Investment in the Arts (EIA) — a fellowship program designed to invest in local creatives as community wealth builders.

The EIA – Call for Project Proposals and rolling application process soft launched this past December 2020 and formally launched in January 2021. 

This is a high-level update on the EIA initiative and other ACCL Programs.  Rolling applications for ACCL’s 2021 Funding Cycles remain open until October 1, 2021

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Recent program updates were also shared live via a recent NICE Network event series: Funding Friday ( 

To address wide-spread knowledge gaps, identified during program design (ACCL Program Logic Model), within the sector related to fundraising, impact investing and other community wealth building principles — in addition to the one-year fellowship, ACCL launched and now implements two program pillars that complement the EIA Fellowship

  1. NICE Network 
  2. Community Artcelerator

A current and comprehensive Program Overview for SECC’s Arts & Culture Capital Lab (ACCL) can be found here

Micro-grants for EIA and the Community Artcelerator are awarded through 7 monthly funding cycles occurring between March 2021 – October 2021.  

To date, 72 EIASeedPOP Submissions/Applications have been submitted by Chicago-based artists. 

During the first 2 funding cycles (March and April 2021), $88,500 was awarded in micro-grants to 26 local artists/creative entrepreneurs, with projects anchored across 23 Chicago neighborhoods. 

ACCL Artcelerator – Funding Cycle 1 – 2021 (Project Support Period: May 5th – July 21st)

Get Engaged (Call to Action!)

  • Apply for ACCL’s 12-week Artcelerator (a prerequisite for the EIA Fellowship)
  • Step up and become an ACCL Workshop Facilitator, Funding Reviewer or Project Mentor
  • Learn more about ACCL’s Community Artrepreneurs with Active Projects