The bounty can be used to support the making of an artwork, "professional development" (like a residency or training), or an instructional project that benefits kids, seniors, or people with disabilities.
Winners are picked by DCASE staff and a "panel comprised of artists, arts administrators and advocates representing a broad range of the community."
The weirdest thing about it? The awards are announced in June and July, and the money goes out in July and August, but it has to be spent by the end of August (except for the teaching projects, which have until the end of the year). It's basically a reimbursement program.
Who qualifies? Chicago residents over the age of 18 who are "professional, practicing artists or creative professionals" in visual art, music, dance, theater, performance art, interdisciplinary art, literature, fashion or industrial design, architecture, film, social practice, and food.
Who doesn't? Students, hobbyists, non-U.S. citizens (unless they have permanent alien status), and, apparently, anybody with an unpaid parking ticket. "DCASE will not be able to provide grant funds to any individual or organization that has outstanding debt with the City of Chicago."
The application form is online here. You have to register to get a look at it, but if you've got a project that qualifies, it's probably still doable. They don't want to know anything that'll take you more than 2,000 characters to describe.