News Flash


Posted on: February 19, 2019

Elgin Cultural Arts Commission announces the start of two new art programs

painted utility box

The Elgin Cultural Arts Commission (ECAC) will roll out two new art programs this year: Neighborhood Public Art Grants and Utility Box Wrapping. Both programs were included in the Public Art Plan approved by city council in June 2017. 
Neighborhood Public Art Grant Program
The Neighborhood Public Art Grant program is available to all Elgin registered 501(c)3 neighborhood organizations. The program is intended to give the residents of the community a voice in determining the art in their neighborhood and to help further showcase their identity. Two awards of up to $3,250 are available for 3D projects. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on May 6, 2019 at City Hall.

The ECAC will review and score applications and award recipients will be notified in June of 2019. The ECAC will review Neighborhood Public Art Grant applications to ensure aesthetic quality, design integrity, and to determine that the work is appropriate to the setting, architecture, and social context. Artwork should be of exceptional quality and enduring value to the city of Elgin and will be scored on impact and innovation, narrative support, feasibility, and the appropriate relationship to the function of the site. 

Applicants are required to submit additional documentation such as a narrative proposal, artist resume, design illustration, budget, work samples, supporting materials, references, and a statement of intent. Residents of the applicant neighborhood are invited to the May 13 ECAC meeting to voice support or dissent for the proposed project.  Applications can be found online at

Utility Box Wrapping Program
The Utility Box Wrapping Program is available for artists to have their artwork printed onto vinyl and applied to traffic signal and other utility boxes located in downtown Elgin. Utility box wrapping is a program in place in several cities across the world. The program not only deters graffiti but also helps to create a destination and further the idea of placemaking in Elgin. The ECAC intends to wrap two boxes this year; staff has identified nine boxes that are possible locations in downtown Elgin.

The ECAC will vote on the first box to wrap at the April 8 meeting with the second box being determined at the August 12 meeting. Once wrapped, these utility boxes will be included on Elgin's online public art map. Applications are open to all artists at all levels, worldwide, but preference will be given to Elgin-based artists. Selected artists shall receive an honorarium of up to $1,500. Artwork will be approved by the ECAC once the application has been submitted. The ECAC will review applications to ensure aesthetic quality, design, integrity, and to determine that the work is appropriate to the setting, architecture, and social context. Artwork shall consist of exceptional quality and have an enduring value to the City. After approval, the application will remain on file for two years.

Artists interested in applying should visit the website: Businesses may sponsor a particular box by selecting from the artwork available for that location. To sponsor a box and see the existing applications for that location, contact Cultural Arts Manager, Amanda Harris
To learn more about both of these programs and all things cultural arts, visit For questions or concerns contact Cultural Arts Manager Amanda Harris at 847-931-6019 or

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