Last October, Julius and I were out of town nearly every week. My emails were out of control, many of them going unread and without notice. As I started cleaning up my inbox late in the month, one email in particular caught my eye. It was a reminder that the city of Chicago was hosting the last of 4 grant writing workshops for artists and non-profit art organizations that afternoon. I glanced at the time, wrapped up my workday, and left the office just a few hours after reading the email to head to the workshop.

As I learned more about the program, I found myself overwhelmed with excitement at the prospect of receiving support for the purposes of artist development. Over the next few weeks Julius and I researched opportunities that would align with my long-term goals as an artist and I drafted my first grant application (ever), submitting it the night before it was due. Trust me, I’ll never wait until the week of to start a grant application again… I lost a lot of sleep that week.

Late January, I received news that I would be going to LA for the ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo and receive formal guitar lessons and vocal training as an emerging artist. This project is partially supported by an Individual Arts Program (IAP) from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts! While I have been afforded several opportunities to blossom as an artist since Julius and I moved to Chicago, I am looking forward to becoming even more active in the music community here.

Special thanks to DCASE for supporting my growth as an artist, family and friends who have prayed for and encouraged me to pursue this opportunity, and Jon and Jenny Lauriat who recorded my video auditions!


P.S. If you’re an artist or performer of any kind local to the city of Chicago, there’s still time to apply for Cycle 2 of the IAP Professional Development grant! The deadline is May 15th and you can learn more about it and the Creative Projects grant here.