Culture, Equity, and the Arts: Chicago International Connections Fund

Please Note:

MacArthur is closely monitoring the rapidly-evolving impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Given the unavoidable implications for international travel, we will suspend the International Connections Fund (ICF) program. Applications to ICF will not be accepted in 2020. We expect to use funds from our 2020 ICF program to assist in the Chicago response to COVID-19.


To encourage a greater sharing of experiences and international learning, MacArthur has established a fund to help eligible non-profit arts and culture organizations advance their work by collaborating with peer organizations from Tribal Nations, U.S. Territories and other countries.

Eligible Organizations

The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding from the MacArthur Foundation under this initiative:

  • A nonprofit organization* in the Chicago area that is currently a grantee of the MacArthur Culture, Equity, and the Arts direct portfolio, or
  • A nonprofit organization* in the Chicago area that is currently a grantee of the MacArthur Funds established at the Driehaus Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts.

*Eligible nonprofit organizations are those with 501(C)(3) designations that are not private foundations.

Selection Criteria

The following factors will be given particular weight: 

  • New or expanded programs rather than programs that are core to the organization or that have been ongoing for several years.
  • Reciprocal artistic exchanges to and from Chicago (rather than in only one direction).
  • Projects that are ready to implement (i.e. partner is identified, budget drafted, timeline created) rather than proposals that are in the early planning stages or proposals to support planning.
  • Likelihood of raising sufficient funds to successfully implement the project. 
  • New applicants to the International Connections Fund (ICF). Prior ICF recipients are eligible to apply provided they are current grantees of either the MacArthur direct Culture, Equity, and the Arts  portfolio or the MacArthur Funds established at the Driehaus Foundation  and the Prince Charitable Trusts, but please note if you received a grant during the last two International Connections Fund cycles (2018-2019 or 2019-2020) it is very unlikely that MacArthur will fund your proposal.
  • ALAANA (African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, or Native American) arts organizations.

The following definition is what will be used to identify an ALAANA arts organization:

  • An ALAANA organization is one whose primary intentions, practices and mission are by, for, and about ALAANA artists, cultures and communities. (The word "for" refers to the intention of the organization to perpetuate, promote, and present art that is representative of an ALAANA culture and people and/or is given form by ALAANA artists.)
  • All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply - identifying as an ALAANA arts organization is not a requirement.

Application Process

The Foundation is using an online application system. Applications will be accepted between 9:00 a.m. on April 17, 2020 and 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2020Only applications entered through our online system will be considered.  

Submit an application ›

Indirect Cost Policy

Effective January 1, 2020, it is the policy of the Foundation to provide an indirect cost recovery of 29 percent of project costs. Under this policy, the maximum total ICF grant amount is $64,500. This amount includes a maximum of $50,000 for project costs, plus a 29 percent indirect cost recovery on the portion of the project that is funded by MacArthur.

Guidelines for applicants ›

Required Reports

The number of years of reporting will depend on the progress of the exhange. At the conclusion of the grant period, a successful applicant will be expected to submit a written report describing the activities funded by the grant and what was learned or accomplished through the use of the grant funds.  In addition, we encourage the submission of any audio, video, photos, or press related to your exchange.

Fund Restrictions

  • Grant funds must be used in accordance with applicable law.
  • Any travel or expenses associated with the grant including hotels and other accommodations, must be reasonable and necessary to accomplish the grant purpose(s) and for the travel to the countries explicitly identified in the grant application.


International Connections Fund FAQs ›



Updated March 2020

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