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

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.

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. The next deadline to apply is October 15, 2019.

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


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




Mary and Lionel Go
Luminarts Board of Directors


Please join the Luminarts Cultural Foundation for its signature fall celebration, Next begins Now! This event will feature world-class performances, studio visits, and readings by Chicago’s exemplary young artists in Classical Music, Creative Writing, Jazz, Visual Arts, Dance, Fashion, and Architecture. It is scheduled to take place in-person at The Arts Club of Chicago with an elegant dinner and cocktails and will be broadcast simultaneously the night of the event. Proceeds from Next begins Now will support Luminarts’ mission of providing the resources needed for outstanding, emerging 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. Ticket information coming soon. To view sponsorship opportunities, please click HERE.


Presenting Sponsor

Innovation Sponsors

Mary and Lionel Go &

Creativity Sponsors


Myrna W. Kaplan

Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD

Cherilyn G. Murer

William Richards &

Impact Sponsors

Chartwell Insurance

Scott Fortman – Gibbons, Fortman & Associates

Thompson Coburn LLP

Thank you to our Host Committee!*

Matt R. Olaveson, Chair

Mark and Lynne Arizmendi
Sarah de Blasio
Mike and Cheryl Del Campo
Mr. Michael J. Dompke
John and Connie Donnelly
Celine Fitzgerald
Mr. and Mrs. C. Luther Fors, II
Scott and Edie Fortman
David Helverson
L. Jessica Jagielnik
Karen and Bob Jones
Myrna W. Kaplan
Kylie A. Krizek
Susan Lape and Tim Bowling
Lindsay and Kyle Mackey
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
Cherilyn G. Murer
Ken Norgan
Stephen J. Schlegel
Doug Walker
Rebecca Woan

*As of May 26, 2021

The 2020 Next begins Now digital program may be found HERE.



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
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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 Marlena Dzis, Development Director, at (312) 692-2379.
  • To make a gift via check, please send your check, made out to “Luminarts Cultural Foundation” to:

Attn: Marlena Dzis
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 Marlena Dzis, Development Director, at marley@luminarts.org or (312) 692-2379.

Thank You to Our 2019 Donors

This list reflects gifts made between January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Luminarts sincerely apologizes for any omissions or spelling errors. Please contact Marlena Dzis, Development Director, at 312-692-2379 or marley@luminarts.org with any corrections.


Paul M. Angell Family Foundation
BMO Wealth Management
Mr. Tilden Cummings Jr.
Mr. Frank M. De Vincentis
Mr. Richard D. Doermer
Ms. Myrna W. Kaplan
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
Mr. Jay Morton and Mr. Michael Phillips
Ms. Cherilyn G. Murer
Mr. William E. Richards
Wintrust Wealth Management

$5,000 – 9,999

Ms. Roxanne J. Decyk and Dr. Lew Watts
Mrs. Mary and Mr. Lionel Go
Mr. Richard and Mrs. Stacie Immesberger
Ms. Linda J. Jakubs and Mr. William S. Wigoda
Mrs. Karen and Mr. Robert Jones
Mr. Gerould and Mrs. Jewell Kern
Ms. Kimberly A. Palmisano
Mr. Stephen J. Schlegel
Edward S. Sprague Foundation
Hon. Rhoda Sweeney Drucker and Mr. Fred Drucker
Mr. Hunt Tackbary and Ms. Mackenzie Madsen
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Incorporated
Mrs. Helen Zell

$2,500 – 4,999

BTC Trust Company of South Dakota
Mrs. Gretchen Anne Burch
Mr. Mike and Mrs. Cheryl Del Campo
Ms. Celine M. Fitzgerald
Mr. Scott and Mrs. Edie Fortman
Mrs. Becky and Mr. Raul Galvan
Mr. Michael C. Goode
Mr. Patrick J. Herbert
Mrs. Mary and Mr. Brian Herbstritt
Mr. Thomas Karaba and Ms. Marsha Hoover
Mr. James F. Kinoshita and Ms. Merrillyn J. Kosier
Mr. Zach Leonard
Mrs. Lindsay and Mr. Kyle Mackey
North Star Investment Management Inc.
Mrs. Julianna and Mr. Tom Tancredi
Thompson Coburn LLP

$1,000 – 2,499

Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Mr. Norman J. Beles
Mr. Eric and Mrs. Karen Boyd
Ms. Peggy N. Boyer and Mr. Reed Parker
Mr. Bruce W. Breitweiser
Dr. Muhammad Munir Chaudry
Mrs. Terri D’Ancona
Mrs. Constance and Mr. John L. Donnelly
Mr. James R. Gillespie
Mr. Jerome Gilson
Mrs. Marilynn and Mr. Ronald Grais
Mr. David Hanson
Mr. David A. Helverson and Mr. Stephen Alvey
Mr. and Mrs. Jock G. Howland
Mr. Jason Kalajainen and Mr. Joshua Shames
Mrs. Mary Keefe Reddin and Mr. Christopher Reddin
Ms. Diana Levin
Mr. Kenneth Lorch
Mr. Kerry James Marshall
Ms. Martha Jahn Martin and Mr. Lee Martin
Metzner Family Foundation
Ms. Emily F. Moreno
Mr. Matt R. Olaveson and Mr. Adam G. Vitale
Ms. Audrey Ratner
Ms. Nancy A. Ross and Mr. Philip Dodson
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Viki Ryan
Mr. Richard Ryan
Mr. Steven G. Schermerhorn
Shade Family Foundation
Mrs. Amy Shade and Mr. David Shade Jr.
Ms. Joan M. Solbeck
Supera Family Foundation
Mr. Thomas G. Teichgraeber
Ms. Pallavi Verma
Mr. Douglas K. Walker
Ms. Josephine L. Washuk
Mr. David and Mrs. Mary Whitehurst

$500 – 999

Mr. Mark and Mrs. Lynne Arizmendi
Mr. Dhamitha  Arsakularatna and Ms. Sandra Djordjevic
Ms. Susan Marie Aurinko
Mrs. Donna J. Aylesworth
Ms. Sherine S. Azzam
Mr. Bruce Jay Baker
Mrs. Norma and Mr. William Beckemeier
Mrs. Rebecca and Mr. Richard Beem
Ms. Kimberly A. Brown
Mr. Greg Cameron and Mr. Greg Thompson
Ms. Ellen Cantrowitz
Mrs. Marcia and Mr. Barry Cesafsky
Mr. Jeffrey O. Chen and Ms. Victoria Cheng
Ms. Marion Clemens
Mrs. Alexis and Mr. Craig Eyler
Dr. Lisa Freeman and Dr. Doug Rose
The Philip M. Friedmann Family Charitable Trust
Mr. Joseph Galli
Mr. Steven  Goodwin
Mr. James C. Goss
Mrs. Karen  Hagberg
Mr. Keith A. Hebeisen
Mr. Terry R. Hendrickson
Ms. Willa Igligzen
Ms. L. Jessica Jagielnik
Mr. Paul Kassel
Mr. Robert D. Kreisman
Mr. John F. Lemker Jr.
Mrs. Carol and Judge Benjamin Mackoff
Mrs. Jessica Lara McCarthy
Mr. Lawrence V. Morrison
Ms. Corinne S. Morrissey
Mr. William and Mrs. Patricia Nissen
Mr. James V. Noonan
Mr. Ken Norgan
Ms. Elizabeth Anne Peters
Mr. Seaton Tinsley Preston III
Mr. Chauncey H. Robinson
Mrs. Ann and Mr. Sid Saltz
Mr. Hugh J. Schwartzberg
Mr. Ronald  Seliga
Ms. Gloria Brooks Shapiro
Mr. Maol Murray Sloan
Ms. Ellen Soren
Mrs. Susan and Mr. Martin Stock
The Strobel Family Charitable Fund
Mr. Theodore Tabe
Ms. Ana Tannabaum
Mr. Oscar S. Tatosian
Mr. Charles W. Teel Jr.
Mrs. Mary Toohey
Mrs. Kay and Mr. Craig Tuber
Mr. John P. Vaile
Mrs. I.B. Weil
Mr. William Weinstein
Mr. Clayton Wilson
Ms. Diane Woods
Mr. Richard Demarest Yant

$250 – 499

A. N. & Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation
Mr. James B. Begley
Ms. Sandra Williams Blakemore
Ms. Stephanie Anne Capps
Mr. Linton J. Childs
Mr. Mark W. Coe
Mr. Edward L. Cooper III
Mr. Alva Crist
Ms. Cynthia L. Doloughty
Ms. Marilyn Beth Dresser
Ms. Merilee Elliott
Ms. Kathleen M. Flanagan
Mrs. Patricia and Mr. Thomas Gahlon
Mr. Richard L. Handley
Ms. Regina B. Harris
Ms. Kathy Hatseras
Mrs. Bobbie Huskey
Mr. Richard P. Hyland
Ms. Peggy Jones
Mr. Glen Knight
Mr. William N. Krucks
Mr. Phillip Liederbach
Ms. Julia Liu
Ms. Marilyn Pearl Loesberg
Mrs. Susan and Mr. Allen Lynch
Mr. Jerry  Manne
Mr. Douglas  Marshall
Mr. John Q. McKinnon
Dr. Sam Mikaelian
Mr. James J. Morgan
Mrs. Mary and Mr. Frank Niederman
Mr. Thomas F. Olenick
Ms. Nina Owen
Mr. Joel Rabb
Mr. Timo Rehbock
Mrs. Solvig  Robertson
Ms. Laurel Anne Rundle
Mr. Michael Schuette
Dr. Emanuel  Semerad
Mr. Zane Smith
Mrs. Joan L. Stansberry
Ms. Jane  Stevens
Mr. Clark L. Wagner
Mr. Paul J. Wisner
Mr. Milton M. Wood

$150 – 249

Mr. Andrew  Adam
Mr. K. Stephen  Anderson
Mrs. Julia and Mr. Larry Antonatos
Ms. Julie Z. Baskes
Mr. Robert D. Becker
Mr. Thomas C. Bitsky Sr.
Msgr. Michael M. Boland
Mr. Jeffrey William Bruner
Dr. Martin C. Burke
Judge Michael Thomas Caldwell
Mr. Kenneth Paul Caniglia
Mr. Erik Edward Cempel
Mr. Thomas Robert Corsiglia
Mr. Christopher R. D’Andrea
Ms. Sarah de Blasio
Mr. Matthew Ryan Farrell
Ms. Amy Starr Feder
Ms. Sally Feder
Mr. William C. Glynn
Ms. Marsha Feder Goldstein
Mr. James C. Green
Mr. Lewis B. Greenblatt
Mr. Thomas M. Hazlett
Mr. Michael  Hensler
Ms. Kimberlee S. Herold
Mr. Dennis Hughes
Mr. Matthew J. Iverson
Dr. Albert O. Jacobson PhD
Mr. Charles H. Jesser
Mr. David J. Jolivette
Mrs. Lynn F. Jones
Mr. Christopher and Mrs. Melissa Klimek
Ms. Janice J. Knight
Ms. Diane  Kordecki
Mr. Timothy  Larocca
Ms. Louise M. LaRue
Mr. Andrew W. Levenfeld
Mr. Ronald G. Lindenberg
Mr. Lee E. Martin Jr.
Mrs. Michele and Mr. Neal McCrillis
Mr. Tony B. McGuire PE
Mr. Charles L. Milett
Mr. Dennis Minkel
Ms. Kimberly Moran Irizarry
Rev. Craig Biddick Mousin
Mr. Bert C. Nicholson
Mr. John A. O’Connor
Mr. Michael D. Olesen
Mr. Frank P. Orzel
Mr. Anthony C. Pescatore
Mr. Shaun and Mrs. Nora Powers
Mr. Neil J. Prendergast
Mr. Mark H. Prince
Mrs. Richard L. Prins
Ms. Kathleen A. Redding
Mr. Daniel E. Reidy
Mr. Harry G. Robertson
Mr. Scott  Roeth
Mr. John W. Schladweiler
Mrs. Karen A. Schlueter
Mr. Paul W. Shade
Mr. Jeffrey S. Sharp
Mr. Jonathan F. Siedlecki
Ms. Joan Slavin and Mr. Chuck Marcotte
Mr. William M. Sneed
Mr. Lawrence G. Staat
Mr. Kristofer K. Swanson
Mrs. Peggy and Mr. James Swartchild
Mr. Stephen P. Thomas
Mr. William C. Vonder Heide
Mr. Dennis P. Walsh
Mrs. Lynn  Werner
Ms. Brooke M. Wiseman
Mr. Keith E. Yavitt
Ms. Linda Zuker