The Grilled
Cheese Grant

An annual community-funded emerging artist grant based in Milwaukee, WI

By artists, for artists


The Grilled Cheese Grant (GCG) is an annual community fundraising event and visual artist grant that provides financial support for undergraduate seniors and emerging artists in Wisconsin. The Grilled Cheese Grant was created in 2016 as a secondary platform for graduating seniors from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) to receive financial support for their senior exhibition projects outside of their institution. In 2024, GCG expanded by opening applications to include emerging visual artists not associated with MIAD or UWM working within Southern Wisconsin.

At the Grilled Cheese Grant, attendees donate $10 or more to receive a grilled cheese sandwich made with cheese and bread provided by local community organizations. In addition to grilled cheese, all attendees receive a ballot to cast their vote for one of five selected finalists, chosen through an application process by a jury of creative professionals. Each selected finalist exhibits work as part of the one-day event.

The funds raised prior to and during the Grilled Cheese Grant are totaled and awarded to the selected finalists in the form of an artist/project grant to support their proposed projects. The grant amounts are determined by the money raised during the event. Selected finalists receive the largest portion of funds and a percentage is retained by GCG organizers, collaborators, and partners for future programming support. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds each year are donated to a non-profit organization.

The winners and results of the The Grilled Cheese Grant are announced at the event and on the GCG website & social media after all votes are tallied and all funds are totaled. The selected finalists are ranked first through fifth place based on collected votes. Grant award amounts are based on the total funds raised and each finalist’s proposed budget is considered when funds are awarded. The Grilled Cheese Grant aims to fully fund the first place winner’s exhibition project and partially fund all other projects. Awardees receive financial support for their proposed projects and community recognition and exposure for participating in the exhibition and event.

The Grilled Cheese Grant is voluntarily organized annually by a small group of MIAD graduates. Organizers include Rachel Hausmann-Schall, Alyssa Anderson, Joe Acri, Sal Nicholson, Alyssa Kaboskey, and Margaret Griffin.

The Grilled Cheese Mailing List