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 open to arts organizations that are grantees of MacArthur or the MacArthur funds at the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.


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.


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

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

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.

The MacArthur Foundation has partnered with MB Financial 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 a recently completed 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 May 2019

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