The Luminarts Cultural Foundation cultivates Chicago’s vibrant arts community by supporting exemplary young artists through its competitive programs that offer financial awards, artistic opportunities, and mentoring that bridge the gap between education and career.


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Founded in 1949 as the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation (CAF), Luminarts Cultural Foundation was created by members of the Union League Club of Chicago as a separate, not-for-profit organization. Deeply rooted in the Union League Club of Chicago, Luminarts strengthens the cultural community of Chicago by upholding the club’s century-long tradition of advocating for the arts. Luminarts is dedicated to encouraging our city’s outstanding young artists so that their emerging talent might be heard in performance halls, read within libraries and homes, and exhibited in galleries, museums, and the hallowed walls of the Union League Club.

News & Events

Be sure to subscribe to our email list and receive updates regarding program announcements, Fellows, events, and the monthly Luminarts Letter!


Luminarts welcomes talented young artists of all social, economic and cultural backgrounds. As a young visual artist, musician, vocalist, or writer from the Chicago area, we invite and encourage you to compete for grants, creative opportunities, and to become Luminarts Fellows.

Non Discriminatory Statement and Commitment to Equity

Luminarts is committed to ensuring equity within its programs and welcomes applicants, artists, audience members, and supporters regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, class, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or citizenship status.

Luminarts works directly with artists, jurors, and attendees to make accommodations as needed and holds events at various spaces which are accessible. To request accommodations for Luminarts’ programs or events, please contact Jason Kalajainen at info@luminarts.org or (312) 435-5961.

Luminarts Fellowship Opportunities

The Luminarts Fellowship includes programs in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Classical Music, and Jazz. In order to be eligible to apply for the Fellowship Program applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30, live or reside within 150 miles of the Chicago Loop, and be currently enrolled in, or graduated from, a degree program, conservatory, or other professional artist development program.

Luminarts also offers extensive opportunities for Luminarts Fellows through Fellow Project Grants to support special residency opportunities, lectures, workshops, mentorship, and facilitated conversations that provide valuable insights into building a successful career in the arts and strengthening our community of participating artists.

Fellow Project Grants

Luminarts Fellows are eligible to apply for Fellow Project Grants; available only to Luminarts Fellows to support career development opportunities, such as residencies, master classes, exhibition and performance expenses, material costs, publishing projects, professional travel, and more.

While these grants can be used for a broad array of career development opportunities. Applicants must demonstrate how the funding will support this development, and how the funded experience will in turn benefit the Chicago community. Applicant requests for funding may not exceed $2,500 and the total request must be no more than 50 percent of the total expenditure. Project Grants will be reviewed twice per year. Deadlines to apply are October 15 and March 15. Fellows will be notified about the status of their proposal within four weeks of the application deadline.

For questions about project grants and eligibility click below or contact the Foundation at info@luminarts.org or call (312) 435-5961.

Frequently Asked Questions


Ambassador Award

Luminarts Fellows are eligible to apply for $2,500 awards in support of being ambassadors for the Luminarts Cultural Foundation beyond the Chicago region.

The Luminarts Cultural Foundation will accept funding proposals from Luminarts Fellows who have significant projects (performances, exhibitions, readings, etc.) in major markets outside of the Chicago area whereby they will highlight the Luminarts Cultural Foundation’s support in tandem with their outstanding talent.

While the available funds should be of benefit to the Luminarts Fellow, a primary goal of this funding is to raise awareness of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation outside of the Chicago region. In accordance with this, awards will be distributed based on the following criteria:

Ambassador Guidelines

  • Location of the Luminarts Fellow’s project
  • Anticipated number in attendance at event
  • Anticipated marketing/media for the event
  • Luminarts prominence in event materials
  • Luminarts prominence in promotion and media
  • The use of social media to promote the project and the Luminarts Cultural Foundation and the potential number of people reached


For questions about Ambassador Awards and eligibility click below or contact the Foundation at info@luminarts.org or call (312) 435-5961.

Frequently Asked Questions


Introducing the Chicago area’s most talented, emerging young artists. Join us in celebrating their exceptional creativity and work.



Next begins Now is sold out! 

Any tickets purchased will be put on a wait list. Payment will not be processed until a seat becomes available. For those unable to purchase tickets, donations are welcome and appreciated and may be made via the form below. Any questions may be directed to marley@luminarts.org.


Emily and Daniel North
Luminarts Board of Directors


Saturday, October 1, 2022
6 – 9 PM

The Arts Club of Chicago
201 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL

Cocktail Attire


Join us for a special Next begins Now celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Luminarts! The event will feature world-class performances, studio visits, and readings by Chicago’s most outstanding, emerging artists, as well as an elegant dinner and cocktail reception.

Proceeds from Next begins Now will enable the Foundation to distribute core Fellowships of $10,000 or more per artist and provide the life-changing resources needed by exemplary, young artists to launch a professional career in the arts.

For updates, please visit luminarts.org/nbn or contact Marlena Dzis, Development Director, at marley@luminarts.org or (312) 692-2379. To view sponsorship opportunities, please click below.

Presenting Sponsors

Innovation Sponsors

Mary and Lionel Go

Emily and Daniel North

Matt R. Olaveson and Adam G. Vitale

Creativity Sponsors

Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD

Cherilyn G. Murer

William E. and Sandra Richards &

Impact Sponsor

J Alexander Cestero and Brian Walsh

Jason Kalajainen and Josh Shames

Dan and Anita Mauro

Metropolitan Capital

Shade Family Foundation

US Bank


Mary and Lionel Go, Host Committee Co-Chairs

J Alexander Cestero and Brian Walsh
Oliver Camacho
Mike and Cheryl Del Campo
Jane and Bob Clark
Shawn and Jenni Clark
Mr. Michael J. Dompke
John and Connie Donnelly
Roxanne Decyk and Dr. Lew Watts
Dr. Ardena Flippin, MD
Mr. and Mrs. C. Luther Fors II
Scott and Edie Fortman
L. Jessica Jagielnik
Karen and Bob Jones
Myrna W. Kaplan
Lindsay and Kyle Mackey
Anita and Dan Mauro
John and Carol McKinnon
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
Gary F. Metzner
Cherilyn G. Murer
Ken Norgan
Matt Olaveson and Adam Vitale
Michelle Popa
Alyssa and Brian Quinlan
William and Sandy Richards
Tope Sadiku and Aaron-Michael Sapp
Ralph Senst and Karen Zelden
Roz Skozen and Bo Wheeler
Steven Smutny and Eran Miller
Doug Walker
Dillon J. Wallace



Union League Club of Chicago
Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago
Union League Boys And Girls Clubs
Alliance of Artists Communities
Hyde Park Art Center
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Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Artists Coalition Logo
Oxbow Logo_White_2018
Ryan Opera Center Logo_ web
Architecture Logo_ web__


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The Luminarts Cultural Foundation provides grant funding to local organizations through developed core partnerships that align with Luminarts’ mission. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, letters of inquiry, or other unsolicited monetary requests.

If you have questions about Luminarts and its partnerships please contact info@luminarts.org.


The Luminarts Cultural Foundation cultivates Chicago’s vibrant arts community by supporting exemplary young artists through its competitive programs that offer financial awards, artistic opportunities, and mentoring that bridge the gap between education and career.

Interested in making a gift to Luminarts?

  • To make an online contribution via credit card, please click here.
  • To make a gift over the phone, please call Alex Benjamin, Development Director, at (312) 692-2379.
  • To make a gift via check, please send your check, made out to “Luminarts Cultural Foundation” to:

Attn: Alex Benjamin
Development Director, Luminarts Cultural Foundation
65 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3598

Are you a member of the Union League Club of Chicago? If you are a Union League Club of Chicago Member and would like to use your ULC Member Number to make a contribution please contact Luminarts at (312) 435-5961 or info@luminarts.org to provide your ULC Member Number and contribution amount.

Questions or comments? Please contact Alex Benjamin, Development Director, at alex@luminarts.org or (312) 692-2379.

Thank You to Our 2021 Donors

This list reflects gifts made between January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. Luminarts sincerely apologizes for any omissions or spelling errors. Please contact Alex Benjamin, Development Director, at 312-692-2379 or alex@luminarts.org with any corrections.

Visionaries $20,000+

Mr. Tilden Cummings Jr.
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
Robert and Penelope Steiner Philanthropic Fund

Champions $10,000 – 19,999

Mr. James O. Berry
BMO Wealth Management
The Fitzgerald Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Lionel and Mary Go
Ms. Myrna W. Kaplan
Mr. and Mrs. Kyle and Lindsay Mackey
Ms. Cherilyn G. Murer
Mrs. and Mr. Emily and Daniel North
Mr. William E. Richards and North Star Family Office
U.S. Bank
Mr. Douglas K. Walker

Partners $5,000 – 9,999

CIBC Private Wealth Management
Mr. Frank M. De Vincentis
Ms. Roxanne J. Decyk and Dr. Lew Watts
Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Cheryl Del Campo
Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Edie Fortman
Mr. Michael C. Goode
Hindman Auctions
Karaba Hoover Family Foundation
Ms. Leslie McMillan
Mr. Jay Morton and Mr. Michael Phillips
Mr. Matt R. Olaveson and Mr. Adam G. Vitale
Ms. Kimberly A. Palmisano
Mr. Stephen J. Schlegel
Hon. Rhoda Sweeney and Mr. Fred Drucker
Mr. Hunt R. Tackbary
TAWANI Foundation
Mrs. Helen Zell

Benefactors $2,500 – 4,999

Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Lynne Arizmendi
Mr. and Mrs. Eric and Karen Boyd
Mrs. Gretchen Anne Burch
Chartwell Insurance Services
Mr. and Mrs. John and Connie Donnelly
Mrs. and Mr. Kylie and Steve Finno
Mr. David A. Helverson and Wells Fargo Advisors
John R. Halligan Charitable Fund
Ms. Linda J. Jakubs and Mr. William S. Wigoda
Mrs. and Mr. Karen and Bob Jones
Mr. Jason Kalajainen
Ms. Martha Jahn Martin
Mr. and Mrs. John and Carol McKinnon
Mr. Brian O’Dea
Ms. Alyssa Quinlan
Mr. Joel Rabb
Shade Family Foundation
Mrs. and Mr. Julianna and Tom Tancredi
Mr. Oscar S. Tatosian
Thompson Coburn LLP
U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management
Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Robin Velo

Patrons $1,000 – 2,499

Ms. Susan M. Aurinko
Ms. Peggy N. Boyer
Mr. Bruce W. Breitweiser
Mr. J. Alexander Cestero
Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry
Mr. Linton J. Childs
Mr. and Mrs. Brock and Catherine Cummings
Ms. Julie M. Danis
Ms. Julia Doherty
Mr. and Mrs. Gregg and Wendy Elstien
Ms. Stacy L. Fleming
Dr. Ardena L. Flippin, MD
Dr. Lisa Freeman and Dr. Doug Rose
Mrs. Karen Hagberg
Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin and Mr. Daniel Levin
Mr. Keith A. Hebeisen
Mr. and Mrs. Brian and Mary Herbstritt
Mr. George L. Jewell
Mrs. and Mr. Jennifer & Curt Krizek
Ms. Diana Levin
David Maleh and Morgan Stanley
Mr. Kerry James Marshall and Ms. Cheryl Lynn Bruce
Mrs. and Mr. Anita and Dan Mauro
Ms. Margaret McCoy
Ms. Mara Mills Barker
Ms. Corinne S. Morrissey
Mr. Ken Norgan
Ms. Jeanne Olofson
Mr. Randy Reeves
Mr. Richard Ryan
Ms. Joan M. Solbeck
Ms. Ellen Soren
Ms. Jane Stevens
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Linda Teichgraeber
Ms. Elissa Tenny
Mrs. and Mr. Kay and Craig Tuber
Mr. and Mrs. David B. and Mary Whitehurst

Supporters $500 – 999

Ms. Theresa Allen
Ms. Penny Anixter
Mr. and Mrs. William and Norma Beckemeier
Ms. Rebecca Bonagura and Mr. Jack Lape
Ms. Terri D’Ancona
Mr. and Mrs. Craig and Alexis Eyler
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Patricia Gahlon
Ms. Ginger Griffin
Mr. David L. Hanson
Mr. Andrew Robert Harrison
Mr. Terry R. Hendrickson
Mr. and Mrs. Jock and Victoria Howland
Ms. Karen Kane
Mr. Paul Kassel
Ms. Linda Kinzelberg
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Sharon Knudtson
Mr. Robert D. Kreisman
Ms. Susan Lape and Mr. Tim Bowling
Mr. John F. Lemker Jr.
Ms. Margot Levin
Judge Benjamin S. Mackoff and Mrs. Carol Mackoff
Mr. Jerry Manne
Dr. Sam Mikaelian
Mr. and Mrs. Jaime and Anna Moreno
Mr. and Mrs. William J. Nissen
Mr. Gregg Peck
Mr. Seaton Tinsley Preston III
Ms. Nancy A. Ross
Ms. Temitope D. Sadiku and Mr. Aaron-Michael Sapp
Mr. Hugh J. Schwartzberg
Mr. Ronald Seliga
Supera Family Foundation
Mr. Greg Thompson and Mr. Greg Cameron
Ms. Pamela Vargas and Mr. William Weinstein
Ms. I.B. Weil

Advocates $250 – 499

Ms. Julia Antonatos
Mr. Scott Bachmann
Mr. James B. Begley
Mr. John H. Berchem
Ms. Sandra Williams Blakemore
Ms. Marion Clemens
Mr. Mark W. Coe
Ms. Laurel Dettman
Ms. Cynthia L. Doloughty
Ms. Marta Farion
Ms. Nancy Golding
Mr. Richard L. Handley
Ms. L. Jessica Jagielnik
Mr. TJ Johnsrud
Ms. Sheila Keeshin
Ms. Diane Kordecki
Ms. Terri Lind
Mr. Ronald G. Lindenberg
Ms. Tanya Lux
Mr. Allen J. Lynch
Ms. Dorene Marcus
Ms. Elvia Moreno
Ms. Emily F. Moreno
Mr. James J. Morgan
Ms. Theodora Nicolandis
Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Mary Ellen Niederman
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. and Judi J. Olenick
Dr. Elaine E. Olson
Mrs. Solvig Robertson
Dr. Susan W. Rusch
Ms. Joy Sandler
Ms. Elisabeth Schmidt
Ms. Linda Schwartz
Ms. Sally Seraphim
Mrs. Joan L. Stansberry
Ms. Ana Tannebaum
Dr. Claudia Tellez
Mr. Mark Tunney
Mr. Clark L. Wagner
Ms. Elizabeth Ward
Ms. Brooke M. Wiseman
Ms. Paulette Wolf
Ms. Carole C. Wood
Ms. Linda Zuker

Members $150 – 249

Ms. Myrna Bartelstein
Mr. Robert D. Becker
Mr. Douglas Bening
Mr. and Mrs. D. Jeffrey and Joan Blumenthal
Msgr. Michael Boland
Dr. Martin Burke
Mr. Kenneth Paul Caniglia
Mr. Kurt M. Carlson
Mr. Erik Edward Cempel
Dr. Rowland Chang
Mr. Thomas Robert Corsiglia
Mr. Christopher R. D’Andrea
Ms. Sherry Eagle
Mr. Winton Etz
Ms. Amy Starr Feder
Ms. Kathleen M. Flanagan
Mr. Michael W. Franke
Mr. James R. Gillespie
Mr. William C. Glynn
Mr. Lewis B. Greenblatt
Ms. Sue Gross
Mr. Thomas M. Hazlett
Ms. Kimberlee S. Herold
Mr. Dennis Hughes
Mr. Matthew J. Iverson
Dr. Albert O. Jacobson PhD
Mr. Charles H. Jesser
Mr. David J. Jolivette
Mr. Stephen Joyce Jr.
Mr. James F. Kinoshita and Ms. Merrillyn J. Kosier
Mr. William N. Krucks
Mr. Timothy Larocca
Mr. Andrew W. Levenfeld
Mr. Douglas Marshall
Mr. Dennis Minkel
Rev. Craig Biddick Mousin
Mr. Bert C. Nicholson
Mr. Michael D. Olesen
Mr. Frank P. Orzel
Mr. Neil J. Prendergast
Mr. Mark H. Prince
Mr. Daniel E. Reidy
Mrs. Lynne Thomsen Rinkoski
Ms. Ellen Blumberg Rubert
Mr. Richard L. Rundle
Mr. John W. Schladweiler
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey and Elizabeth Sharp
Mr. Jonathan F. Siedlecki
Mr. Steven D. Smutny
Mr. William M. Sneed
Mr. Lawrence G. Staat
Mr. Taylor Stein
Hon. Jo Ann C. Stevenson
Mr. Kristofer K. Swanson
Ms. Peggy Swartchild
Mr. Stephen P. Thomas
Mr. George M. Thomas
Ms. Eolin Tweedie
Ms. Andrea Vitale
Mr. Harold J. Wiaduck Jr.
Dr. Sandra L. Williams
Mr. Mario Wilson
Mr. Keith E. Yavitt