Chicago Organizations to Form International Connections
July 15, 2008 | Press Release | Arts & Culture in Chicago, International Connections Fund

MacArthur awarded $325,000 in new grants to help diverse Chicago organizations increase their international connections with 16 countries. The grants are the first from the Foundation’s International Connections Fund, which will provide a total of $1 million in grants over the next year.

“These eight organizations plan international projects ranging from artistic collaborations to improved cross-cultural understanding through community development,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. “Their work covers many fields and many countries. What they share is a commitment to building international connections and advancing Chicago’s growing role as a global city.”

The following organizations will receive grants from MacArthur’s International Connections Fund:

  • Art Institute of Chicago – A grant of $40,000 will support a cultural exchange with Nigerian scholars and dignitaries for the Institute’s exhibition, Benin-Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria. Scholars will participate in lectures and performances at the exhibition’s only North American venue.
  • Chicago Children’s Choir – A grant of $40,000 will support the Choir’s 55 singers and nine staff members as they represent Chicago on a summer tour of the Republic of Korea.
  • Chicago Human Rhythm Project – A grant of $50,000 will support an exchange with the Beijing Contemporary Music Institute’s dance ensemble and the China Performing Arts Agency to allow 14 dancers to attend CHRP’s Chicago summer festival of tap, Rhythm World.
  • Facets Multimedia – A grant of $50,000 will support Media Bridge: Global Exchanges in Youth Filmmaking, a curating and screenwriting initiative for 13 youth ages 15 to 19 from Chicago and 13 youth from India, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, Ghana, and Portugal.
  • Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights – A grant of $45,000 will support leaders from five lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations operating in global areas of conflict and oppression – Guatemala, Nigeria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Iraq – to participate in a Human Rights and Organizational Leadership Development Fellowship in Chicago.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporations – A grant of $42,500 will help the Chicago Sunday Parkways Stakeholders Committee, which includes representatives of five New Communities Program neighborhoods, connect with civic leaders in Ecuador to learn about efforts to better use public space to promote health, civic engagement, and economic development.
  • Next Theatre Company – A grant of $7,500 will allow collaboration with theater colleagues in the Czech Republic to develop a world-premiere adaptation of War with the Newts based on Karel Capek’s 1936 novel. The play will premiere in Chicago during the winter of 2009.
  • Pegasus Players – A grant of $50,000 will support the expansion of the Global Voices program, which uses theater arts and language to increase cross-cultural understanding among Chicago high-school students and their peers around the world.

Support from the International Connections Fund is available to nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area that have received a grant within the last three years 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 those proposals that support a new or expanded program, promote exchanges with one of MacArthur’s focus countries (China, India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia), enhance or complement other work supported by the Foundation, and require funding that the organization may not otherwise be able to generate. The next round of grants will be awarded in September; proposals are due by August 1.

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