Overview

Grant-making is a critical component of Illinois Humanities’ Envisioning Justice program. Through this grants program, Illinois Humanities partners with individuals and groups throughout the state to use the arts and humanities to encourage conversations about the impact of mass incarceration and uplift community-based approaches to collective care, public safety, and accountability.

Since 2017, Illinois Humanities has provided more than half a million dollars in grants to Illinois-based individuals and organizations to develop arts- and humanities-based experiences for populations interested in addressing the disproportionate policing and incarceration of marginalized communities. In addition to providing pathways for understanding the causes of mass incarceration and its impacts, many of the projects we support invite us to grapple with questions about more just possibilities and inspire us to work together to build more affirming, engaged, and empowered communities.

Event attendees painting as a group
Image from Carbondale Public Library event funded through the 2020 Envisioning Justice grants program.

What we fund

Envisioning Justice offers project-based funding for individuals, organizations, and organizational partnerships.

Grants for individuals

Grants for organizations

Grants for organizational partnerships

Envisioning Justice-funded projects are centered around a spectrum of topics, mediums, and disciplines. Illinois Humanities has supported documentary, podcast, and media production; prison education programs; conferences; public performances; and local community dialogues. You can find more information about past work this program has funded below.

Learn more

Visit our FAQ for answers to common questions. If you are interested in learning more about the current grant opportunities below or would like feedback on proposal ideas, reach out to program manager Tyreece Williams at tyreece.williams@ilhumanities.org.

Please sign-up for the Envisioning Justice Digest and the Illinois Humanities newsletter to receive updates about Envisioning Justice and our other grants and programs.

Statewide Grants for Individuals

These project grants support individuals using the arts and humanities to encourage conversation about mass incarceration and illuminate community-based approaches toward justice.

Amount: Maximum $5,000 for individuals

The deadline to apply for an Envisioning Justice grant was September 21, 2022. Applications are currently closed. 

Statewide Grants for Organizations

These project grants support organizations using the arts and humanities to encourage conversation about mass incarceration and illuminate community-based approaches toward justice.

Amount: Maximum $6,000 for single organization

The deadline to apply for an Envisioning Justice grant was September 21, 2022. Applications are currently closed. 

Statewide Grants for Organizational Partnerships

These project grants support two or more organizations to collaborate on work using the arts and humanities to encourage conversation about mass incarceration and illuminate community-based approaches toward justice.

Amount: Maximum $12,000 for partnering organizations

The deadline to apply for an Envisioning Justice grant was September 21, 2022. Applications are currently closed. 

Frequently Asked Questions