A neighborhood economic development initiative by SECC

What is ACCL?

The SECC Arts & Culture Capital Lab (ACCL) is a neighborhood initiative anchored by the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) with founding partners, The Joyce Foundation and the Illinois State Treasurer Charitable Trust, focused on the intersection of economic development and arts and culture initiatives.

A Capital Lab for Artists & Creatives?

Our focus is supporting capacity building and increasing pathways to economic self sufficiency for artists and creative entrepreneurs currently living in and serving Chicago neighborhoods.

This focus ensures that artists can master the complexities and ambiguities of both making art and developing their careers in the 21st century. Our program offerings include:

  • Business Workshops
  • Micro-granting
  • Seed to Growth Stage
  • Industry Connections
  • Creative Placemaking
  • Technical Assistance
  • We believe an artist is an asset that exists in every neigborhood.
  • Every Chicago neighborhood deserves a thriving cultural district.
  • Community Artrepreneurship is our driving principle.

ACCL Program Details

ACCL is working to increase support for culturally diverse groups of artists (including but not limited to music, theatre, film, dance, other performing arts, painting, sculpture, printmaking, fashion, photography, and other visual media) and to prepare more artists of color to enter the local creative entrepreneur network.

Our goal is to support community and economic development through the arts while advancing hubs of creativity and innovation in divested neighborhoods of Chicago.

Neighborhood Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship (NICE) - Resource Center

NICE is a program that expands upon SECC’s role as a Neighborhood Business Development Center -- focusing on artists and creatives specifically, while strategically closing knowledge gaps and providing skills in multiple areas of marketing, business and social media.

Equitable Investment in the Arts (EIA) - Seed Grant Initiative

EIA is a one year fellowship for local artists and arts organizations seeking funding and support with creative place-making and creative industry projects in Chicago neighborhoods with previous under investment. Up to $20K is awarded to projects that have a tangible outcome and have the potential increase community wealth.

Call for Project Proposals (CFP) for the EIA Seed Grant Initiative are now open.

Neighborhood Enhancement Grant

This initiative awards grants to neighborhood organizations that support beautification projects to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods and allow us to work together as community partners for the improvement of all our areas.

Learn more about the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant here.

Get Engaged

ACCL is creating collaborations between arts and culture agencies/commissions and other key sectors to co-design, invest, and deliver on equitable development while addressing structural barriers for artists of color and ethnic diversity of the arts in the region.

We’re actively recruiting strategic partners, as well as growing our Creative Entrepreneur Network. Send us a note or sign-up for updates. We look forward to hearing from you.

Get in touch