CHICAGO, IL -- If there was ever a time to recognize and support individuals and organizations using design for civic good, it’s now. Designing a Better Chicago, a collaborative initiative organized and supported by NeoCon® and theMART, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the Design Museum of Chicago, is now accepting nominations for its second annual Design Impact Grant Program.

The 2021 initiative will provide $25,000 in project-specific grants to individuals and organizations using design or design principles to directly address pressing issues in Chicago communities.

Launched in 2020, the Design Impact Grant shines a light on Chicago’s extraordinary design legacy -- the local talent, assets and community that have long supported civic good through design. Last year, Designing a Better Chicago was thrilled to offer this grant to two exceptional organizations -- Chicago Mobile Makers and Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired. It also recognized seven additional projects for their outstanding work, ideas and efforts in the Chicago community. The Design Impact Grant monies are generously funded by NeoCon and theMART.

Nominations are required for this invitation-only program and are due by midnight on March 12, 2021. Winners will be selected by the advisory committee in Summer 2021. Grant guidelines and a detailed timeline are available here. Additional information about Designing a Better Chicago can be found at