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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What's New


Increased Support for Chicago Arts and Culture: International Connections Fund

MacArthur is increasing the number of Chicago area arts and culture organizations it supports from 180 to 200 and creating a new $1 million fund to enable its Chicago grantees to increase their international connections. Read More

Remarks by Jonathan Fanton, 30th Anniversary Grantee Reception, Museum of Contemporary Art

MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton announces the creation of a $1 million fund to encourage international exchanges between Foundation grantees and other countries. Read More

Fund to Help Neighborhoods Benefit from 2016 Olympics

MacArthur, The Chicago Community Trust, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, and the Polk Bros. Foundation announced that they are establishing a fund to ensure the 2016 Chicago olympics would provide lasting benefits to neighborhoods and residents. Read More

Preserving Affordable Rental Housing Across the Country

MacArthur will invest $150 million to preserve and improve at least 300,000 units of affordable rental housing across the country, tripling a commitment announced four years ago. Read More

New Directions in Community Change

Contents President's Message: New Directions in Community Change Vice President’s Message: Applying Market Dynamics to Community Change New Communities Program: Improving Chicago’s neighborhoods The NCP Approach At-a-Glance Supporting Neighborhood Organizations: Grants to Community ... Read More

Jonathan Fanton at the Opening of the Marquette Building Arcade Exhibit

MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton addresses guests at the opening of the Marquette building arcade exhibit, a multimedia installation featuring educational information about the Foundation and history of the Marquette building. Read More

New Exhibit Highlights Architecture, History of Chicago's Marquette Building

A new exhibit on the history and architecture of the Marquette Building, a Chicago landmark and one of the city’s earliest skyscrapers, opens on October 16 in the building’s arcade.    The free exhibit is ... Read More

Remarks by Jonathan Fanton at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) National Leadership Conference

MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton discusses the Foundation's partnership with LISC in Chicago and identifies core principles of that partnership that may prove useful to other cities' community development efforts. Read More

Virtual World Residents to Gather in Chicago

The Second Life Community Convention on August 24-26 will feature a series of events examining the increasing presence of social justice organizations with support from MacArthur. Read More
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Jonathan Fanton on community development in Chicago

Jonathan Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation, discusses the Foundation's investments in community and economic development through the New Communities Program.