3Arts, Inc.

aka 3Arts   |   Chicago, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

3Arts, Inc.

EIN: 36-1867637


3Arts is a nonprofit organization that supports Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists who work in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. By providing cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development, and promotion, 3Arts helps artists take risks, experiment, and build momentum in their careers.e

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Esther Grimm

Main address

200 West Madison Street Floor 3

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Arts and culture

Visual arts

Performing arts



Show more subject areas

Population served info

Women and girls

Ethnic and racial groups

People with disabilities

NTEE code info

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists are not equitably represented or supported as valued members of the nation’s professional creative workforce. This lack of diversity and depth in the perspectives and genres that are reflected in our sector hinders our collective ability to alter the course of oppressive dominant narratives and structures, including systems based on patriarchy, white supremacy, and ableism.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

3Arts Awards

The 3Arts Awards express our gratitude to Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and Deaf and disabled artists for their indisputable contributions to the health and vibrancy of our city. Every year, ten artists receive unrestricted $30,000 awards in dance, music, teaching arts, theater, and visual arts. Artists may use the award in any way that makes a difference to their lives and careers, including paying off debt, purchasing equipment, hiring collaborators, producing new work, and saving for the future.

3Arts awardees are selected through a nomination and jury process. More than 100 artists are nominated annually by at least 35 anonymous local nominators who are knowledgeable about the breadth of artists working in neighborhoods across the metropolitan area. Five national, discipline-based panels of judges convene to select ten awardees from the pool. 3Arts requires judges to disclose conflicts of interest as part of the selection process.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Ethnic and racial groups
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollars paid to artists

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Women and girls, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

3Arts funds artists through several programs. This metric tracks our awards, residencies, 3Arts projects, and response grants. 3Arts is certified by Working Artists and the Greater Economy.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Women and girls, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

3Arts grants to artists through several programs. This metric tracks our annual awards, residencies, 3Arts projects—and, as of 2020, a new award category and emergency response grant fund.

Total number of awarded residencies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Women and girls, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Some fellowships initially awarded in 2020 were postponed due to the pandemic. These will be fulfilled when residency locations reopen.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

3Arts’s Response: Seeking to Shift the Status Quo.

3Arts advocates for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and d/Deaf and disabled artists through career-spanning programs designed to help them build momentum in their careers, including unrestricted cash awards, project funding, residency fellowships, professional development workshops, and promotion. Through this mission, 3Arts aims to model integrity and authenticity in its work and community. It strives to advance a fluid, open, and responsive approach and attitude to support artists. Those artists support the wellbeing of the city in which they live through their work.

1. 3Arts aims to be a trusted ally and responsive to the evolving conditions of artists
2. 3Arts adopts a human-centered approach to grantmaking, acknowledging each artist’s unique circumstances and practice
3. 3Arts regularly supports artists who are on the frontlines of shifting culture at every stage of their careers
4. Once artists receive awards from 3Arts, they become part of a larger network of practitioners with opportunities for additional support throughout their careers
5. 3Arts centers artists as co-leaders

3Arts helps artists gain traction in their careers through consistent programs that take place over time. By offering multi-year support, 3Arts seeks to help raise the profiles of Chicago artists (locally and beyond). This helps artists obtain opportunities and resources that advance their professional practices and personal security.

3Arts artists grow in their artistic practices by: Making and exhibiting/presenting new work; Expanding their audiences; Demonstrating artistic growth and/or risk-taking within their practices. 3Arts artists strengthen their careers by: Establishing connections to new donors and patrons; Advocating for themselves and their work;
Leveraging 3Arts’ resources to receive other financial support; Gaining knowledge about marketing, fundraising, audience building, and financial planning. 3Arts artists build community with Chicago peers by: Connecting with artists in the 3Arts network; Collaborating with and hiring other artists; Advocating for other artists; Becoming more knowledgeable about artists working in disciplines different from their own. 3Arts artists are part of an ongoing and multifaceted support network that: Recognizes and holds them in high esteem; Invites them to be partners and leaders in decision-making; Ensures they are paid fair and equitable wages; Encourages them to advocate for and hold 3Arts accountable. 3Arts artists are recognized for their work in Chicago and beyond.

3Arts has four full-time staff members—our Executive Director, Director of Programs, our Director of Development and Partnerships, and our Manager of Administration and Programs. This staff oversees and supports the processes and policies that result annually in 20 awards, the creation of 20 new art works, 10 residency fellowships, four professional development programs, and myriad organizational partnerships, along with 40-50 informal coaching sessions, and an annual awards celebration.

3Arts utilizes both contributed income and our own operating funds to put our mission into effect. Each year the interest and dividends from our investment portfolio, along with an approved, purposeful draw on the principal, help us match support from donors. We employ our investments to grow the impact of our mission, while striving to raise and preserve enough funds so that 3Arts can weather economic tumult and maintain our dynamic, multi-year program structure.

We survey our artist stakeholders annually to gauge the effects of our services. We also create individual case studies to track them through our programs and collect demographic and geographic data to learn whether we are living up to our mission. This input allows us to keep pace with artists’ needs, assess the reach of our organization, and swiftly refine our programs and policies as needed. A deeper survey takes place every three years and results in a cumulative study that we share freely on our website. We also assess our 3AP program and its community impact and share the results in the annual 3AP Impact Study. Every professional development program includes a survey that our staff reviews for suggestions of improvement.

Since 2007, 3Arts has supported more than 1,800 artists across all program areas, representing 69% women artists, 71% artists of color, and 19% Deaf and disabled artists working in the six-county metropolitan area, and distributed $5.8 million through our grantmaking. In the past five years (2017-2021), 3Arts has supported artists living in 93 local zip codes: 47 within the city limits, 32 in other Cook County neighborhoods, and 14 in surrounding counties (DuPage, Lake, and Will).

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


3Arts, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31
Financial documents
2021 3Arts 2021 Audited Financial Statement 2020 3Arts Audited Financial Statements
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 746.33 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.9 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2021 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 16% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

3Arts, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

3Arts, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

3Arts, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of 3Arts, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $729,216 -$1,216,658 $1,322,741 $540,837 $1,337,988
As % of expenses 63.0% -112.5% 108.2% 10.5% 62.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $723,706 -$1,222,168 $1,317,121 $535,790 $1,335,173
As % of expenses 62.2% -112.4% 107.3% 10.4% 62.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,300,440 $1,113,048 $1,511,439 $5,500,602 $2,551,186
Total revenue, % change over prior year 86.0% -14.4% 35.8% 263.9% -53.6%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 17.3% 22.2% 18.9% 3.4% 9.3%
Government grants 1.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.1%
All other grants and contributions 45.0% 52.1% 63.0% 92.4% 64.4%
Other revenue 36.5% 25.7% 18.1% 4.2% 21.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,158,211 $1,081,483 $1,222,403 $5,159,435 $2,149,704
Total expenses, % change over prior year 17.4% -6.6% 13.0% 322.1% -58.3%
Personnel 25.3% 29.8% 31.8% 7.9% 23.7%
Professional fees 17.6% 17.2% 14.0% 2.6% 5.5%
Occupancy 4.0% 4.4% 4.0% 1.1% 2.4%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 44.4% 39.8% 38.1% 86.4% 62.7%
All other expenses 8.7% 8.8% 12.1% 2.1% 5.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,163,721 $1,086,993 $1,228,023 $5,164,482 $2,152,519
One month of savings $96,518 $90,124 $101,867 $429,953 $179,142
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,260,239 $1,177,117 $1,329,890 $5,594,435 $2,331,661

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Months of cash 0.8 1.9 0.4 0.9 2.1
Months of cash and investments 101.2 96.0 97.6 24.9 65.7
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 98.5 92.0 94.4 23.6 64.1
Balance sheet composition info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Cash $77,057 $168,979 $37,873 $376,887 $379,774
Investments $9,690,599 $8,482,685 $9,904,419 $10,309,702 $11,381,069
Receivables $11,954 $0 $161,109 $352,500 $301,170
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $36,672 $36,671 $36,671 $38,979 $40,946
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 50.0% 65.0% 80.4% 88.5% 91.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.8% 0.1%
Unrestricted net assets $9,529,532 $8,307,364 $9,624,485 $10,160,275 $11,495,448
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $265,024 $355,024 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $265,024 $355,024 $485,024 $807,524 $566,024
Total net assets $9,794,556 $8,662,388 $10,109,509 $10,967,799 $12,061,472

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Esther Grimm

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

3Arts, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

3Arts, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Katie Dowling


Amy Cochran

Remberto Del Real

Cheryl Desir

Katie Dowling

Alice DuBose

Whitney Hill

Thomas Holt

Erica Hubbard

Erica Kubly

Lisa Yun Lee

Kimberly Manuel-Dickens

Masum Momaya

Rose Parisi

Jason Qiara

Katy Simmons

Mike Siurek

Mel Smith

Scott Wang

Acasia Wilson Feinberg

Katie Mohrfeld

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/2/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/02/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.