Grantee Profile

Chicago Public Media

Grants to Chicago Public Media

  • $625,000

    2016 (Duration 5 years)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Chicago Public Media, established by the Chicago Board of Education in 1943, is a community-supported, public service broadcasting institution. Its primary function is to operate the public radio station WBEZ. WBEZ produces its own original content, such as the popular show Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, a weekly news quiz, and Curious City, which investigates listeners’ questions about the city of Chicago. It also serves as the NPR provider in Chicago. In addition to radio programs, Chicago Public Media uses a broad range of media platforms to serve and connect audiences, including websites, social media, podcasts, and mobile applications for on-demand streaming. Via radio, Chicago Public Media reaches 600,000 people each day within a 100-mile radius of downtown Chicago, including northern Illinois, northwest Indiana, southeast Wisconsin and southwest Michigan. It reaches additional audiences online (45,000 per month) and through its mobile apps (1,100 per month). This award recommends renewed general operating support to Chicago Public Media.

  • $300,000

    2012 (Inactive Grant)

    Journalism & Media

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — This grant will support the purchase of the license of WRTE Radio Arte (90.5 FM) by Chicago Public Media. Radio Arte was established in 1997 to provide non-commercial news and music for the growing Latino population of Chicago. It was developed and has been operated since that time by the National Museum of Mexican Art. Radio Arte will be incorporated into Chicago Public Media and renamed Vocalo 90.5 FM. Chicago Public Media will preserve the community and youth-focused programming that has become Radio Arte’s signature, and ensure that the station remains a non-commercial, participatory media resource for Chicago’s Latino community.

  • $500,000

    2011 (Inactive Grant)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In support of general operations (over five years).

  • $1,000,000

    2008 (Inactive Grant)


    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — To support Vocalo, a new radio station and web project (over three years).

  • $345,000

    2006 (Inactive Grant)

    Arts & Culture in Chicago

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In support of general operations (over five years).

  • $120,000

    2003 (Inactive Grant)

    Arts & Culture in Chicago

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In support of general operations (over three years).

  • $500,000

    2002 (Inactive Grant)

    Arts & Culture

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — To support capital expenditures, including facility and technology improvements (over two years).

  • $125,000

    1996 (Inactive Grant)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — For "This American Life," a national radio program (over two years).

  • $140,000

    1996 (Inactive Grant)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — In support of general operations (over four years).

  • $150,000

    1995 (Inactive Grant)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — To support the production of a new weekly radio program that combines high-quality radio journalism with the performing arts.

The MacArthur Foundation awarded Chicago Public Media $3,805,000 between 1978 and 2017.

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Chicago Public Radio offers a six-month series of personal stories, investigative reports, interviews, analysis, photo essays and community events about young people and juvenile justice in Illinois. More