Chicago Arts and Culture Groups and International Collaborations
December 21, 2011 | Press Release | Culture, Equity, and the Arts in Chicago, International Connections Fund
International Connections Fund

MacArthur awarded $504,000 in new grants to 12 Chicago arts and culture organizations to conduct collaborations with arts groups in nine countries. The grants are the first of two rounds of support from the Foundation’s International Connections Fund, which will provide a total of $1 million in grants by the end of 2012.

“Chicago is a global city that benefits from relationships among local residents, the region’s vibrant arts and culture groups, and their counterparts outside of the United States,” said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “These grants will help Chicago’s arts organizations connect our City and its citizens to the world, enhance their creative and artistic work, and bring innovative and high-quality music, dance, art, and theater to Chicago audiences.”

The following organizations will receive International Connections Fund grants:

  • Aguijon Theater Company – A grant of $24,000 to develop a show in Cartagena, Colombia, and to showcase the work of three Spanish-language, Caribbean playwrights in Chicago
  • Chicago Humanities Festival – A $45,000 grant to collaborate with the Edinburgh-based Imaginate Festival to share programming and marketing approaches and exchange original theatrical productions that will be presented at the 2013 festivals in Chicago and Edinburgh
  • Chicago Jazz Philharmonic – A $30,000 grant in support of a multi-year conductor and composer residency and exchange with Metropol Orkest in the Netherlands
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater – A grant of $50,000 to participate in the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad with an original, hip hop interpretation of Othello that will be featured at the Globe Theatre’s Globe to Globe Festival
  • DanceWorks Chicago – A grant of $50,000 to adapt a DanceWorks production for a Mexico audience in collaboration with a dance group and a youth orchestra from Mexico City
  • Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance – A $50,000 grant to bring together artists and youth from the Alliance, Chicago West Community Music Center, and two community-based organizations in Brazil to collaborate on a series of art projects and performances by and for residents of low-income housing complexes in the Sao Paolo region of Brazil
  • International Contemporary Ensemble Foundation, Inc. – A grant of $50,000 in support of a collaboration between its musicians, Chicago-based composer Marcos Balter, and four emerging Brazilian composers to create and present four new contemporary music compositions in Chicago and cities in Brazil
  • Links Hall – A $20,000 grant for a performance series that will present original multi-disciplinary art work from emerging visual and performance artists from Chicago and Havana, Cuba
  • Lucky Plush – A $45,000 grant in support of contemporary dance and movement performances and workshops carried out in collaboration with three dance organizations in New Zealand
  • Museum of Contemporary Art – A grant of $50,000 for the theatrical adaptation of a short story by Mexican writer Juan Rolfo in collaboration with Cuban theater company Teatro Buendia, the Goodman Theatre, and Northwestern University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center
  • The Seldoms – A $40,000 grant for a dance exchange with WCdance company in Taiwan

Support from the International Connections Fund is available only to Chicago area nonprofit arts and culture organizations, and nonprofits with well-established arts programs, that have received a grant within the last three years directly from MacArthur or through the MacArthur Funds established at the Driehaus and Prince Foundations or through the New Communities Program directed by LISC/Chicago. Preference is given to proposals that support a new or expanded program, promote reciprocal exchanges to and from Chicago, and execute projects that are ready to implement rather than proposals for planning and exploration. The next round of grants will be awarded in the fall of 2012; proposals for the second round are due between June 1 and July 1, 2012. More information is available at

MacArthur Arts and Culture Loan Fund

In addition to these new grants, the MacArthur Arts and Culture Loan Fund will now be available at two financial institutions in addition to Urban Partnership Bank: American Chartered Bank and MB Financial Bank. The $1.5 million Fund provides small and medium sized arts and culture organizations with loans to address cash flow shortages and form long-term banking relationships. Existing MacArthur arts grantees with budgets between $250,000 and $3 million are eligible to apply for a loan through this program, which offers a standard line of credit as well as one-time cash flow “bridge” loans. More information about the program and how to apply is available at

Each year MacArthur provides $7 million in support to more than 200 arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and the region as an expression of its civic commitment to the place where the Foundation has its headquarters and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation made their home. Grants are designed to help sustain the cultural life of the city and region.

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