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!


A Message to our Gala Supporters:

Thank you so much for your ongoing and steadfast support of the Luminarts Cultural Foundation. While we were looking forward to welcoming you to The Gala on April 18th, the event has been postponed due to growing concerns and uncertainty related to COVID-19 and current CDC guidelines. Luminarts’ core values center around supporting the community. It’s those values that guide our response during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

With that said, we look forward to applying all gala support to our fall event and hope you can join us in celebrating at that time. Should you have any questions, please contact Marlena Dzis, Development Director, at marley@luminarts.org or (312) 692-2379.

I hope you and your families stay well in these challenging times.


Jason Kalajainen
Executive Director

Join us for The Gala, Luminarts’ annual spring celebration, on Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at the elegant Union League Club of Chicago! This event will feature cocktails, performances by Luminarts Fellows, a sit-down dinner, and ways to support Luminarts’ mission of cultivating the next generation of world-class artists and Chicago’s vibrant arts community.

Kylie A. Krizek, Wintrust Commercial Banking
Matt R. Olaveson and Adam G. Vitale, Luminarts Board of Directors

Mark and Lynne Arizmendi | Peggy Boyer and Reed Parker | Mike and Cheryl Del Campo
Marilyn B. Dresser | Mary and Lionel Go | L. Jessica Jagielnik | Karen and Bob Jones | Myrna W. Kaplan
Gerould and Jewell Kern | Lindsay and Kyle Mackey | John and Carol McKinnon
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD | Emily F. Moreno | Hunt Tackbary and Mackenzie Madsen
Ken Norgan | Chris Taylor | Brian and Robin Velo | Doug Walker | Lucas Wood

Thank you to our 2020 Gala Sponsors!


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
BMO Private Bank
Mary and Lionel Go
Cherilyn G. Murer
Matt R. Olaveson and Adam G. Vitale
Brian and Robin Velo

Pat Gleason and William Blair
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
William Richards and North Star Family Office
Thompson Coburn LLP


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.






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
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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 Dziz, 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

Did you know? By contributing $150 or more you become a Member of the Foundation and will be invited to participate in the Foundation’s Annual Meeting and special events throughout the year. See below for a complete list of Membership Levels and Benefits!

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.

Membership Levels and Benefits

$15,000 Classical Voice Sponsor

Your contribution of $15,000 sponsors a Luminarts Fellow in the Classical Music Voice genre. Your gift at this level will make a significant impact on the career of an emerging artist.

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Fellow Sponsor, plus:

  • Opportunity to announce Classical Voice Fellow at Next Begins Now and Luminarts’ Spring Gala
  • Opportunity for a VIP post-Classical Music Voice Finals reception
  • Complimentary access to all Luminarts Live performances

$5,000 Fellow Sponsor

Your contribution of $5,000 sponsors a Luminarts Fellow in a genre of your choosing (Classical Music, Jazz, Creative Writing, and Visual Arts). Your gift at this level will make a significant impact on the career of an emerging artist.

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Project Grant Sponsor, plus:

  • The choice of a Fellowship genre to underwrite (Creative Writing, Visual Arts, Classical Music, or Jazz)
  • Invitation to the Annual Fellows and Fellow Sponsors Luncheon
  • Personal communication from and about the recipient of this sponsorship
  • Opportunity for private recital by a Luminarts Fellow
  • Personal meetings and conversations

$2,500 Project Grant Sponsor

Your contribution of $2,500 helps further support the outstanding work of our Luminarts Fellows by providing them with the opportunity to cover the costs of residencies, master classes, exhibition and performance expenses, material costs, publishing projects, professional travel, and more to further enhance their career development.

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Patron, plus:

  • Personal letter from a project grant recipient about their project and experience
  • Recognition in the Next Begins Now and Spring Gala Program
  • Feature in a Luminarts e-news flash

$1,000 Patron

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Supporter, plus:

  • A limited edition piece (signed and numbered) by a Luminarts Fellow in Visual Arts
  • Acknowledgement on the Luminarts website

$500 Supporter

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Member, plus:

  • Invitation to a complimentary VIP reception preceding the Visual Arts reception featuring Luminarts Fellows

$250 Advocate

All of the benefits of a Luminarts Member, plus:

  • Reserved seating at the Jazz Finals at Buddy Guy’s and the Classical Voice Finals at the Union League Club

$150 Luminarts Member

  • Invitation to participate in the Foundation’s Annual Meeting
  • Invitation to all Foundation programming
  • Invitation to Next Begins Now
  • Invitation to Luminarts’ Spring Gala
  • Recognition as a Member of the Luminarts annual Honor Roll

Questions or comments? Please contact Marlena Dzis, Development Director at marley@luminarts.org or (312) 692-2379.


Thank You to Our 2018 Donors

This list reflects gifts made between January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. 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.


Mr. Daniel Affetto
BMO Wealth Management
Mr. Frank M. De Vincentis
Mr. Tilden Cummings Jr.
Mr. Fred Drucker
Mr. Daniel N. Epstein
Mr. James R. Gillespie
The Harry and Jeanette Weinburg Foundation Inc.
Ms. Myrna W. Kaplan
Mr. Gerould W. Kern
Mr. Zach Leonard
Mr. William J. McGrath
Dr. Sally Metzler and George Dunea, MD
Ms. Cherilyn G. Murer
Ms. Kimberly A. Palmisano
Mr. William E. Richards
Mr. Stephen J. Schlegel
Mr. Hunt R. Tackbary

$2,500 – 4,999

Mr. Dennis Barsema
Mrs. Gretchen A. Burch
Mr. Barry R. Cesafsky
Michael Del Campo
Mr. Patrick J. Herbert
Mr. George Houlihan
Mr. Richard Jon Immesberger
Mr. Jason Kalajainen and Mr. Josh Shames
Mr. William S Wigoda and Ms. Linda J. Jakubs
Mr. Thomas F. Karaba
The Kentmere Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation
Mr. Jay Allen Morton and Mr. Michael J. Phillips
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney and Ann Saltz

$1,000 – 2,499

Ms. Susan Marie Aurinko
Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
Mr. Patrick F. Barron
Mr. Eric E. Boyd
Mr. Bruce W. Breitweiser
Mr. Richard D. Doermer
Mr. John L. Donnelly
Ms. Celine M. Fitzgerald
Mr. Jerome Gilson
Mr. Michael C. Goode
Mr. David L. Hanson
Mr. and Mrs. Jock G. Howland
Mr. George L. Jewell
Mr. James Fusaichi Kinoshita
Mrs. Elizabeth R. Kuhn
Ms. Diana Levin
Mr. Kerry James Marshall
Ms. Martha Jahn Martin
Mr. James P. Meyer
Mr. Matt R. Olaveson
Mr. Steven G. Schermerhorn
Shade Family Foundation
Ms. Joan M. Solbeck
Surgical Solutions, LLC
Mr. Thomas G. Teichgraeber
Ms. Josephine L. Washuk
Mr. David B. Whitehurst
Mr. Brian Worthington

$500 – 999

Mrs. Donna J. Aylesworth
Ms. Sherine S. Azzam
Mr. Bruce Jay Baker
Dr. Asad Bakir
Mr. William M. Beckemeier
Mr. Alva Crist
Ms. Catherine M. Cummings
Ms. Roxanne J. Decyk
Ms. Carol Doherty
Mr. Edwin Ellis
Mr. Craig Eyler
Ms. Stacy Fleming
Mr. Henry Fogel
Ms. Maria Gebhard
Mrs. Karen Hagberg
Ms. Katharine Louise Salvo Hamilton
Mr. Keith A. Hebeisen
Mr. David A. Helverson
Mr. Terry R. Hendrickson
Ms. Kimberlee S. Herold
Ms. Margaret Jahn
Mr. Rich Jernstedt
Ms. Karen M. Jones
Mr. Christopher P. Klimek
Mr. Robert D. Kreisman
Ms. Louise M. LaRue
Judge Benjamin S. Mackoff
Ms. Corinne Morrissey
Mr. William J. Nissen
Mr. Hugh J. Schwartzberg
Mr. Ronald Seliga
Mr. Joseph A. Sheils
Ms. Jane Stevens
Mr. Martin J. Stock
Mr. Russ Strobel
Mr & Mrs. Craig and Kay Tuber
Mr. William C. Vonder Heide
Mr. Milton M. Wood

$250 – 499

Ms. Sandra Williams Blakemore
Ms. Kimberly A. Brown
Mr. Charles Joseph Candiano
Mr. Kurt M. Carlson
Mr. Willie E. Carrington
Mr. Jeffrey O. Chen
Mr. Mark W. Coe
Ms. Janice A. Dale
Ms. Terri D’Ancona
Mr. Rhett Del Campo
Ms. Cynthia L. Doloughty
Ms. Kate M. Evert
Mr. Thomas L. Gahlon
Mr. Raul Galvan
Mr. James C. Goss
Mr. Richard L. Handley
Ms. Regina B. Harris
Mr. Brian T. Herbstritt
Mr. Bobbie Huskey
Mr. Sean Keck
Mr. John F. Lemker Jr.
Mr. Phillip Liederbach
Ms. Angela Janeen Lindberg
Mr. Jerry Manne
Mrs. Jessica Lara McCarthy
Mr. Barry Mendel
Dr. Sam Mikaelian
Mr. Matt Miller
Mr. James J. Morgan
Mr. Lawrence V. Morrison
Ms. Elaine Nekritz
Mr. Frank R. Niederman
Mr. Thomas F. Olenick
Mr. Frank P. Orzel
Mr. Staunton Peck
Ms. Elizabeth Anne Peters
Ms. Jessie Pullos
Ms. Usha Raj MD
Mr. Keith A. Reed
Ms. Nancy A. Ross
Dr. Emanuel Semerad
Mr. David M. Shade Jr.
Ms. Gloria Brooks Shapiro
Mr. Michael Silvaggi
Mr. Maol Murray Sloan
Mrs. Rebecca Wilson Stein
Mr. Lawrence A. Stein
Ms. Julianna Tancredi
Mr. Clark L. Wagner
Ms. Laura Wangrow
Dr. Lynn Werner
Mr. Robert D. Williams
Mr. Paul J. Wisner

$150 – 249

Mr. K. Stephen Anderson
Ms. Julia Antonatos
Ms. Heather Christine Barnfield
Mr. Rich P. Beem
Mr. James B. Begley
Ms. Joan H. Blumenthal
Msgr. Michael M. Boland
Ms. Peggy N. Boyer
Dr. Martin C. Burke
Judge Michael Thomas Caldwell
Mr. Kenneth Paul Caniglia
Mr. Erik Edward Cempel
Mr. Linton J. Childs
Mr. Thomas Robert Corsiglia
Mr. Christopher R. D’Andrea
Ms. Marilyn Beth Dresser
Mr. Patrick T. Driscoll
Ms. Gloria W. Evans
Ms. Amy Starr Feder
Ms. Kathleen M. Flanagan
Mr. Joseph Galli
Gibbons, Fortman & Associates
Mr. Patrick Gleason
Ms. Kimberly Gleeson
Ms. Kathy Hatseras
Mr. Thomas M. Hazlett
HBRA Architects Incorporated
Mr. Dennis Hughes
Mr. Matthew J. Iverson
Dr. Albert O. Jacobson PhD
Ms. Jessica Jagielnik
Mr. Charles H. Jesser
Mr. TJ Johnsrud
Mr. David J. Jolivette
Mrs. Lynn F. Jones
Ms. Janice J. Knight
Mr. Thomas Knudtson
Ms. Diane Kordecki
Mr. William N. Krucks
Mr. Timothy Larocca
Mr. Andrew W. Levenfeld
Mr. Ronald G. Lindenberg
Mr. Kyle A. Mackey
Ms. Julia D. Malloy
Mr. Douglas Marshall
Mr. Tony B. McGuire PE
Mr. Charles L. Milett
Rev. Craig Biddick Mousin
Mr. Robert L. Murphy
Mr. Bert C. Nicholson
Mr. John A. O’Connor
Mr. Michael D. Olesen
Mr. Neil J. Prendergast
Ms. Donna J. Prestel
Mr. Mark H. Prince
Mrs. Richard L. Prins
Mr. Daniel E. Reidy
Mr. Harry G. Robertson
Mrs. Solvig Robertson
Mr. Scott Roeth
Dr. Susan W. Rusch
Mr. Richard Ryan
Mr. John W. Schladweiler
Mr. Jason M. Schoettmer
Mr. Jeffrey S. Sharp
Mr. William M. Sneed
Mr. Lawrence G. Staat
Mr. Kristofer K. Swanson
Mr. Theodore Tabe
Mr. Oscar S. Tatosian
Mr. Stephen P. Thomas
Mr. Thomas P. Viskniskki
Mr. Dennis P. Walsh
Ms. I.B. Weil
Mr. Philip Weinstein
Dr. Sandra L. Williams
Ms. Brooke M. Wiseman
Mr. Richard Demarest Yant
Mr. Keith E. Yavitt