The Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) recently announced the launch of the Coney Family Fund Award, a $5,000 unrestricted grant recognizing a Black or African-American artist who demonstrates artistic excellence and a commitment to a sustainable practice and career development. Part of the organization’s MAKER Grant program, The MAKER Grant: Coney Family Fund Award is made possible through the generosity and vision of CAC member and supporter, Lester N. Coney and his children, Chanel and Javon Coney. Les Coney, Executive Vice President in Mesirow Financial’s Office of the Chairman, both philanthropically and as an art collector, has focused on supporting artists of color and improving racial equality and inclusion in the Chicago art community.
The Coney Family Fund Award will be given annually for the next five years with the potential to subsequently extend, and will provide an important opportunity for emerging artists in the Chicago community. By providing access to unrestricted capital, the award aims to help grantees take an important next step in their practice and grow the careers and visibility of Chicago-based Black and African-American contemporary artists.
The award will also be stewarded by Coney’s children, his daughter Chanel Coney and his son, Javon Coney.
“Allowing young artists the opportunity to showcase their work while helping establish and build their careers is something that my family and I are thrilled to be a part of…The arts have always been a part of my life as well as my children’s, providing a platform to express ourselves in various ways. The Coney Family Fund Award will help to ensure that young, Black or African-American artists can also continue to express themselves while pursuing their talent and passion for years to come.” – Lester N. Coney
image credit: Jeff Schear; Claire Demos