Arts & Culture Loan Fund Grant Guidelines


The Arts & Culture Loan Fund provides small and medium-sized arts and culture organizations with loans to address cash flow shortages and strengthen the financial capacity of its borrowers. The program is by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by IFF in partnership with Fiscal Management Associates (FMA). 

COVID-19 Response

Many arts organizations have experienced significant financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting performance cancellations and venue closures. Temporary changes have been made to the program in light of these circumstances. Those COVID-19 related changes are noted below. MacArthur will continue to monitor and evaluate these circumstances.


The objectives of the Arts & Culture Loan Fund are to:

  • Provide a financing mechanism to address the short-term cash flow needs of small and medium-sized arts and culture organizations.
  • Strengthen financial awareness and management by deepening organizations’ understanding of cash management tools and organizational budget cycles.
  • Help organizations build institutional credit history, so that they may continue to build relationships with lending institutions to meet future organizational financing needs.

COVID-19 Changes

In response to the impact of COVID-19 and to help arts organizations navigate an unexpected financial crisis, we modified the Arts & Culture Loan Fund to include organizations with larger budget sizes and increased the loan amounts.


Applicants to the Arts & Culture Loan Fund must:

  • Be a current general operating support grantee of MacArthur’s Arts & Culture program, either directly or through one of the MacArthur Funds at the Prince Charitable Trusts or the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
  • Have an annual expense budget in its last fiscal year between $250,000 and $5 million at the time of its loan application
  • Former grantees in the Culture, Equity, and the Arts portfolio (and the Arts & Culture portfolio) that exited the Driehaus, Prince, or MacArthur direct portfolio during calendar year 2019 or 2020 may be considered eligible for the expanded program as part of our COVID-19 response. Arts organizations with annual budgets of less than $10 million will also be considered.

How to Apply

To apply for a loan through the Arts & Culture Loan Fund, you must first contact FMA, a consulting firm that works with nonprofits to help them strengthen their financial management practices. A team of consultants is available to help you decide whether you are eligible to apply for a loan and to help your organization start the loan application process. FMA has the technical and financial expertise to help you prepare the needed financial documents to apply for the loan through any of the participating financial institutions and to provide financial assistance through the life of the loan (including renewals). MB Financial and IFF are the designated lenders for the Fund.

Please contact FMA for further information on how to apply. Applicants should not contact the participating lenders or MacArthur directly for loans through this program.

Program Design

Typically, the program makes available a standard line of credit with monthly interest payments and one-year terms. Loans range in size from $50,000-$100,000. The interest rate varies.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, loans may range in size from $50,000-$250,000 and are interest free through April 2021.

The MacArthur Foundation has partnered with Fifth Third Bank and IFF to underwrite and service the working capital loans as part of this Fund. The Fund is administered through a partnership among MacArthur and the following organizations:


The MacArthur Arts & Culture Loan Fund was established in 2009 as a joint program between MacArthur’s programs on arts and what is now Impact Investments. View results of an evaluation of the program from 2009-2016

Learn how Silk Road Rising and Chicago Artists Coalition developed long term strategies and made investments in their mission with help from loans and training with our partner organizations FMA and IFF in our Chicago Story, Nonprofits and the Art of Financial Stability.


Updated July 2020


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