MacArthur today announced it is investing $24.3 million over five years to continue its support for Chicago-area arts and culture organizations through renewed partnerships with the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Through these partners and directly, MacArthur provides general operating support for more than 300 theaters, dance companies, music organizations, film and media groups, museums, zoos, and conservatories. All the arts organizations MacArthur supports are engaged in some combination of performance, education, community building, and exhibition. Current grantees range from Albany Park Theater Project, a multiethnic youth theater ensemble; SkyART, a visual arts programing initiative in South Chicago; to Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago's longest-standing Puerto Rican cultural center; and the DuSable Museum of African American History.
"Our support for Chicago's creative sector is designed to help arts organizations create meaningful performances, exhibits, and experiences, and the flexibility to innovate and experiment," MacArthur President Julia Stasch said. "We know the arts improve the quality of life and strengthen the fabric of communities. They fuel individual expression, help develop identity and potential, and allow people to connect to each other."
MacArthur continues to award grants directly to Chicago's largest arts and culture institutions, with budgets over $2 million.
"We are honored and delighted that the MacArthur Foundation has renewed the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince for a fourth term," said Benna B. Wilde, program director of arts and culture at the Prince Charitable Trusts. "This partnership will have provided $32 million over 20 consecutive years of multi-year operating support for the wonderful Chicago mid-sized arts organizations working in all arts forms, in all parts of the city. It's an amazing record."
"This partnership provides important and hard-to-find general operating support as well as professional development and capacity-building opportunities to some 200 small organizations in Chicago, helping them build stronger, more sustainable organizations," said Kim Coventry, executive director of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. "Since 2000, the first year of our partnership with MacArthur, these organizations have received a total of more than $20 million, much of it in the form of multi-year grants that provide stability, which is particularly important for emerging organizations."
In addition to ongoing general operating grants, the Foundation supports collaborations between Chicago arts and culture grantees and arts groups in other countries through the International Connections Fund (ICF). Applications for these grants are open from April 20 until May 4, 2018.
In Chicago, the nonprofit arts and culture sector generated $3.2 billion of economic activity and supported more than 85,000 jobs in 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, according to MacArthur-supported research by Americans for the Arts.
MacArthur is the largest private funder of arts and culture in Illinois, awarding more than $9 million in grants annually to Chicago-area arts groups. MacArthur has supported arts organizations in Chicago since 1979, awarding $310 million through more than 2000 grants.
The Foundation's long-standing support of the creative sector is one of the ways it expresses its commitment to Chicago, its people, and its diverse communities. MacArthur also supports Chicago nonprofits by strengthening organizations, contributing to civic partnerships, investing in vital communities, and advancing influential and diverse leaders.