MacArthur is committed to Chicago, our headquarters and our home. The Foundation seizes opportunities to work locally as an expression of civic commitment and because being rooted in Chicago yields a deeper understanding of issues faced by urban areas and how to address them.

Our Grantmaking in Chicago

Since 1978, MacArthur has invested nearly $1.1 billion in Chicago. Grants have supported more than 1,300 organizations and individuals in the region.

MacArthur awards $10 million annually to more than 300 arts and culture groups in the Chicago region, including theaters, dance groups, music organizations, visual art programs, film centers, museums, and libraries.

The Foundation has invested more than $200 million to support community and economic development, increase opportunities for low-income individuals and families, and prevent youth violence in Chicago neighborhoods.

In collaboration with partners in the region, MacArthur seeks to preserve and expand Chicago’s stock of affordable rental housing. The Foundation also played a major role in supporting Chicago’s historic plan to transform public housing high-rises into mixed-income communities.

Chicago is home to three innovation sites for MacArthur’s digital media and learning work, which aims to support positive change in American education through creative approaches to learning.

Through its Models for Change initiative, the Foundation has invested more than $140 million in efforts to create models of juvenile justice reform through work in key states, including Illinois.

The Foundation’s policy research initiative includes special projects on the nation’s fiscal future—with a focus on states and localities, including Illinois—and immigration-related issues in the Chicago area.

MacArthur’s offices are in the historic Marquette Building. Completed in 1895, the 17-story building is one of Chicago’s earliest skyscrapers, and an example of the renowned Chicago School of Architecture. MacArthur was pleased to support its restoration and preservation and maintains a free exhibit in the lobby area that features information about the building’s architecture, as well as the work and history of the Foundation.

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How Housing Matters in Chicago

An interactive discussion with experts and practitioners about how having decent, stable, affordable housing effects children's educational outcomes, the health and well-being of children and adults. Read More

What's New


America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America

Join a presentation of Rev. Jim Wallis's new book, an interview with moderator Manya Brachear Pashman, religion reporter at the Chicago Tribune, and conversation and responses from leaders in the Chicago community. Read More

Inspiring Creativity: 35 Years of the MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur's Cecilia Conrad will discuss the MacArthur Fellows Program, as it marks its 35th anniversary, and moderate a discussion with labor organizer Ai-Jen Poo and artist Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, both Fellows. Read More
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Chicago to Host Yearlong Festival Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare

More than 1,000 local and international artists will participate in a yearlong arts festival in 2016, celebrating the vibrancy, relevance, and reach of Shakespeare 400 years after the playwright’s death in 1616. Read More

Beyond the Hashtag: Showcasing the Arts Visually on Social Media

As part of Chicago Social Media Week, a panel discussion featuring diverse Chicago arts organizations will focus on how visual content is being leveraged on a variety of online platforms. Read More

N Square Nuclear Exhibit

This interactive installation demonstrates what happens when diverse minds take on challenges relating to nuclear disarmament, preventing the spread of weapons-grade materials, and ensuring that existing nuclear arsenals can’t be hidden, hacked, or deployed by ... Read More

Special Screening of 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

This film dissects the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, Florida in 2012 and examines the aftermath of this systemic tragedy. Read More

Remarks by MacArthur President Julia Stasch at International Connections Fund Celebration

Stasch's speech details plans for MacArthur and the arts in Chicago and acknowledges Elspeth Revere's legacy of work at the Foundation. Read More