Southern Arts Fund

The Southern Arts Fund (SAF) encourages arts programming and education by distributing grants to artists and community organizations throughout Southern Illinois. Individual artists, nonprofits, governmental organizations, and educational institutions are invited to submit project proposals that demonstrate a strong public service or community outreach component.

The 2023 Southern Arts Fund is made possible by funding from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and regional donors.



The Southern Arts Fund aims to address the following:

  • Expand access to and availability of public art projects and arts funding in the region
  • Encourage sustainable arts and cultural programming by community organizations and public outreach initiatives by artists throughout Southern Illinois
  • Promote regional collaboration between artists, organizations, and communities

2024 Southern Arts Fund: Apply Now

$50,000 to be Distributed to Individual Artists or Arts Organizations 

Applications are open for 2024 Southern Arts Fund! Recipients of Southern Arts Fund (SAF) include individual artists and nonprofit organizations from Southern Illinois that propose events and programs with a significant community outreach component. 

This year, Southern Arts Fund is distributing $50,000 with individual grants up to $3,500. All SAF projects and programs are open to the public and aim to bring diverse arts and cultural experiences to the region. Applications will be reviewed and recommended for grant consideration by a panel of judges from various regional organizations and professional backgrounds. 

Applications must be submitted electronically and will be accepted between November 15 through January 24, 2024.

All funds must be used by August 31, 2024.

Those who have received grant funding in the past may apply again, but a more rigorous match from the organization will be required, making funds more available for first-time recipients. 

If you have questions about the application or need assistance, please contact Artspace 304 at or call 618-457-5100.

Artspace 304 will be scheduling Zoom workshops to provide guidance and answer questions for those wanting to apply. Dates to be announced in December.


2024 Southern Arts Fund Zoom Informational Session

Wednesday, December 13th 

5:00PM – 6:00PM

For Zoom details, please reach out via email:

 Join Artspace 304 for an informative Zoom, followed by a Q+A session on Wednesday, December 13th!
We’ll walk through the application process, break down the matching policy, and explain the judging criteria.
This session is great for first-time grant writers and returning awardees!

2023 SAF Grantees

This year, SAF distributed more than $40,000 to artists and organizations throughout Southern Illinois, with projects in more than 7 counties.


  • A Gift of Love Charity
    Mindful Art for Children
  • Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern Illinois
    Juneteenth Block Party
  • Bret Gowin
    It Takes a Village – Tamms Mural
  • Cade Bursell
    All Species Puppet Parade
  • Carbondale United
    Exploring the History of Racial Justice
  • Henry Dieters
    Standard Issue
  • Legacy Training, Inc.
    Summer Dance Workshop Series
  • Lisa Marie Malloy
    Cairo Youth Media Arts Workshop
  • Megan Smith
    Camp Create
  • Robert Ketchens
    Black Female Leaders – A Painted History
  • Shawnee Hills Arts Council
    Youth Drama Camp
  • SI CABE (Southern Illinois Culture and Art in Bilingual Education)
    Latin Summer Nights
  • Southern Illinois Irish Festival
    Irish Music Festival and Celtic Fair
  • Stone Soup Shakespeare Theater Company
    Stone Soup Sharkespeare 13th Tour
  • Village of Alto Pass
    Cinco De Mayo
Juneteenth Block Party

Juneteenth Block Party is Friday, June 16 from 5-9pm on Jackson Street in Carbondale, from Marion Street to Gum Street. The theme for Juneteenth this year is Getting to Know Your Roots. There will be a Juneteenth Themed Paint Party, arts, food vendors, and entertainment.

Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern Illinois

Latin Summer Nights

SI CABE presents Los Condenados Huastecos on July 29th at 6pm. Juan Rivera & his Trio will play an outdoor, community concert in downtown Carbondale at the Town Square Pavilion, with an ethnomusicological educational component.


Cairo Youth Media Arts Workshop

This summer workshop will focus on training Cairo youth in the tools of media-making and video production with hands-on learning. The aim is to connect children, ages 10-12 years old, with local history through recording interviews with Cairo community members.

Camp Create

Camp Create is five one-week summer camps for ages 5-12, focusing on art and community engagement. Each camp will have a different theme including: Interior Design, Sewing, Mythical Creatures, Comic Book Creation, and Cardboard Communities. Camp Create will be hosted by Wander Community Art Studio in Du Quoin.

Wander Community Art Studio



All Species Puppet Parade

The Beloved Puppetistas hosted the ninth All Species Puppet Parade on April 22 in Attucks Park. Three community workshops were held in Carbondale to make puppets from recycled materials prior to the parade. At the Earth Day celebration, attendees were able to make masks, enjoy the parade, and listen to live music. Photo by the Beloved Puppetistas 

All Species Puppet Parade

Irish Music Festival and Celtic Fair

The Irish Music Festival and Celtic Fair took place Lenus Turley Park on April 29. This free music festival showcased traditional Irish music with an exhibition of bagpipes from all over the world provided by Sean Folsom. Local vendors will also provide arts, crafts, food, and drinks.

Irish Music Festival and Celtic Fair

Stone Soup Sharkespeare 13th Tour

Stone Soup Shakespeare will tour Pericles in communities in Southern Illinois and throughout the Midwest for free from September 5 – October 8, schedule coming soon. Stone Soup Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, invites the entire audience to travel on the sea with Pericles as he finds love, danger, family, and home. Our cast of five take on all the characters that Pericles comes across, using puppets, music, and movement to offer a story of adventure as epic as Game of Thrones with a slightly more consistent ending.

Stone Soup Shakespeare

Cinco de Mayo Festival

This Cinco de Mayo Festival took place in Alto Pass on Saturday, May 6 with music, dance, food, entertainment, and kids activities.



It Takes A Village, Tamms Mural

This mural will depict a plat map of Tamms, IL in the early 1800’s when the Village was known as Idlewild. The map will be surrounded by the faces of past and present residents of Tamms that made great contributions to the Village. Located on Front Street, this mural is a collaboration by Bret Gowin and the Village of Tamms.

Summer Dance Workshop Series

Led by Legacy Training, this project will provide dance training to 15-20 students, ages 8-12, that attend Meridian School District 21st Century Community Learning Center’s STEM program, on August 5 from 10am – 2pm, 2023, to make STEAM.

Legacy Training, Inc

Mindful Art for Children

Mindful Art for Children Workshops’ mission is to help adolescents ages 8 – 12 use art as a tool to develop insight into their emotional development.

A Gift of Love Charity

Youth Drama Camp

This two-week free Youth Drama Camp will be held at Anna Arts Center. Campers will work on acting exercises, improvisation and use of their imagination to bring stories to life. They will learn set design, lights, sound, make new friends, and develop self-esteem.

Anna Arts Center

Black Female Leaders, A Painted History

This mural will honor the accomplishments of African American female leaders, located on the exterior wall of the African American Museum in Mounds, IL.

Standard Issue: One Each, An Original Military-themed Musical

This workshop is to perform the original musical Standard Issue: One Each at Marion Cultural and Civic Center. The production with live vocals and acting on stage will be open for public feedback by veterans, mental health and arts professionals.

Exploring the History of Racial Justice

This is a trip to the Equal Justice Institute in Montgomery, Alabama for At-Risk Youth led by Carbondale United. The Equal Justice Institute, a nonprofit organization committed to ending mass incarceration and challenging racial and economic injustice.

Carbondale United




  • African American Museum of Southern Illinois
    Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
  • Art for All
    Marion Summer Art Program
  • Cade Bursell
    All Species Puppet Parade
  • Cairo Historical Preservation Project
    Spirit of Ward Chapel at AME Church
  • Carbondale Main Street
    Brown Bag Concerts
  • Carbondale Park District
    Jazz in the Park
  • Carbondale United
    Chicago Mass Choir Performance at the Cairo Heritage Gospel and Blues Festival
  • Cobden High School – ESL Club
    Ballet Folclorico Dance Team
  • DeSande R
    The Door of No Return & The Struggle Before Greatness
  • Douglass School Art Place
    Hands in Bridgewood
  • Legacy Training, Inc.
    Just a Vocalist: The Art of the Music Business


  • Madeline Deiters
    Kre8ive Fine Arts Ground and Wall Mural
  • Michael Faris
    A History of Racism
  • Phillip Carrier
    Sculptural Bridges at Touch of Nature Trails
  • Project Human X
    Project Human X Art Festival
  • Robert Ketchens
    A Painted History Mural
  • Sandra Pfeifer
    39 Counties: Save Democracy Tour
  • Shawnee Hills Arts Council
    Hansel & Gretel Revisited
  • Southern Illinois Artist Collective on Race, Equity, and Unity
    A Response to the Legacy of Racial Terrorism in America: A Fine Art Show
  • Southern Illinois Culture and Art in Bilingual Education (SI CABE)
    Latin Summer Nights
  • Stone Soup Shakespeare Theater Company
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream Tour

SAF Partners

The Southern Arts Fund (SAF) is made possible through the Illinois Arts Council Agency’s Community Arts Access program. The SAF is administered by Artspace 304, with significant funding support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, and regional donors. 

Thank you for supporting our mission to increase opportunities in the arts throughout Southern Illinois!