Chicago Arts and Culture Groups Receive Grants for International Collaborations
November 15, 2018 | Press Release | Chicago Commitment, Arts & Culture in Chicago, International Connections Fund

MacArthur today announced grants to 10 Chicago arts and culture organizations for diverse artistic exchanges in eight countries, including Haiti, Qatar, Russia, and South Africa. An additional grant will support an organization that specializes in assisting the international performing arts community address the challenges artists face obtaining visas to visit and perform in the United States.  

“Collaborating with international peers helps Chicago’s cultural organizations create new work that inspires, entertains, challenges, and transports audiences,” Chicago Commitment Director Tara Magner said. “These artistic partnerships foster learning and build meaningful engagement that unites communities, locally and internationally.”

This year’s projects cover a range of disciplines, including contemporary dance, film, puppetry, the visual arts, and more. The following organizations will receive International Connections Fund grants:

Auditorium Theatre – $25,000 for community outreach for the world premiere of new dance collaborations between Malpaso Dance Company in Havana, Cuba and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago;

Blair Thomas & Company – $50,000 for a mini-festival of U.S.-based artists at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (World Puppetry Festival) in France and a mini-festival of French artists at the 2019 Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival;

Comfort Station NFP – $50,000 to collaborate with Brazil’s Projecto Ativa to create exhibitions, performances, and public art designed to engage residents and explore themes of the African diaspora and contemporary Latin American identity;

Fund for Innovative Television/Media Burn Archive – $50,000 for American and Russian filmmakers to collaborate on a film using archival footage to question official and unofficial historical narratives from both cultural perspectives;

Links Hall – $50,000 for a collaboration with artists and dance companies in Haiti and New Orleans to trace the paths of Chicago’s founder, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, and the Great Migration through dance;

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture – $50,000 to facilitate an exchange of artists between Puerto Rico and Chicago that elevates the Puerto Rican arts tradition through exhibitions and programming and stimulates economic development in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria;

Natya Dance Theatre – $50,000 for a collaboration with an Indian dance master on a new theatrical dance work combining classical and contemporary elements of Indian dance for performances in Chennai, India and Chicago;

Old Town School of Folk Music – $50,000 for the creation of a hip-hop and jazz ensemble with emerging musicians from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood and Soweto Township in Johannesburg, in partnership with the Wits School of Arts at the University of Witswatersrand in South Africa;

Puerto Rican Arts Alliance – $50,000 to collaborate with the Center for the Advanced Studies on Puerto Rico in San Juan to help rebuild the artistic vitality of the island and create more economic opportunities for artists as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria;

Tamizdat – $100,000 over three years to help International Connections Fund grantees address the challenges arts organizations face in obtaining visas for foreign artists to perform in the United States, and to facilitate cultural exchanges; and

Video Game Art Gallery – $50,000 to create a virtual reality game focused on citizen journalism and a related exhibition in collaboration with Northwestern University in Qatar’s Media Majlis and Innovation Lab.

MacArthur provides more than $9 million each year in support to more than 300 arts and culture groups in Chicago and the region as part of its enduring commitment to the city. The Foundation's International Connections Fund was initiated in 2008 to enable Chicago arts organizations to facilitate cultural exchanges with new partnerships and creative projects to benefit Chicago arts organizations, their international collaborators, and their audiences. International Connections grants are limited to Chicago-area nonprofit arts and culture organizations that are current grantees in the MacArthur arts and culture portfolio or through the MacArthur Funds established at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts. 

For 40 years, the Foundation has been committed to Chicago, its people, and its diverse neighborhoods, investing $1.3 billion in over 1,500 organizations and individuals across the metropolitan region – more than in any other place around the world. MacArthur supports Chicago nonprofits, leaders, and communities by strengthening organizations, contributing to civic partnerships, investing in vital communities, advancing influential and diverse leaders, and cultivating creative expression and art.

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