Arts & Culture in Chicago

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How do I apply?

The most recent application period closed on May 20, 2016. Check back for updates on when the next application period will begin.

Is my organization eligible to apply for an International Connections Fund grant?

The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding from the MacArthur Foundation under this initiative: 

  • A nonprofit organization in the Chicago area that has received a grant payment for its arts and culture work directly from the MacArthur Foundation between 2012-2015, or
  • A nonprofit organization in the Chicago area that has received a grant payment between 2012-2015 from the MacArthur Funds established at the Driehaus Foundation (including the Small Dance and Theater Fund) or Prince Charitable Trusts.

If I received funding in the past, am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, prior recipients are eligible to apply but please note if you received a grant during the last two International Connections Fund cycles (2014-2015 or 2015-2016) it is very unlikely that the Foundation will fund your proposal.

If my organization has applied as part of a consortium in the past and we received funding are we still eligible to apply for funding in this round?

Yes, but see the answer above.

We have applied in the past, but we were turned down. Should we still apply?

Each year the applicant pool is different. If you have an excellent exchange opportunity and you meet the eligibility criteria, please apply.

Will proposals to support existing international exchanges be considered?

The primary goal of the International Connections Fund is to establish or expand new exchanges and collaborations with Chicago-based groups. That said, we will consider those proposals that might significantly improve or advance an existing collaboration.

What is the funding period? Does all the funding have to be used within 1 year of grant disbursement?

The exchange must begin within one year of grant disbursement. We recognize that reciprocal exchanges may require up to two years to complete. As part of the grant’s requirements, we ask for a report each year after the grant is awarded to understand how the funds were used and the progress of the international exchange and collaboration. The number of years of reporting will be decided on a grant-by-grant basis.

Are there preferred countries in terms of the exchange?

Applications that make connections to any country will be considered. However, if you are planning an exchange that involves travel to Cuba, we ask that at the time of application you have started the license and visa process.

Are US territories included in the international definition?


Can the funds be used to bring collaborators from around the world to support a Chicago organization’s international project?

Yes, if the collaborators are brought to Chicago to accomplish the work OR the collaborators work with a Chicago-based group in an international location.

Can the funds be used to support travel of international performance groups across the US, including Chicago?

No, the grant is intended to promote a true exchange between Chicago groups and their international counterparts rather than a presentation of work by an international group. That said, a grant may support the Chicago portion of a larger, collaborative initiative that may include other cities.

What kind of documentation will you need from my partner organization(s)?

In the application we ask for a brief background statement on the history and qualifications of your partnering organization(s). We do not need a budget from your partner organization.

What types of due diligence material (i.e. IRS Determination Letter, audit, etc) will I need to include in the application?

Because we are only taking applications from organizations that already received grants from MacArthur either directly or through Prince or Driehaus, we are requesting minimal due diligence material that includes your organizational budget and your project budget. For grantees of Prince or Driehaus we ask that you provide, in addition to the budgets, a 501(c)3 Determination Letter and your most recent audit.

Updated May 2016

Arts & Culture in Chicago, International Connections Fund, Arts & Culture, Chicago