News

News Release: Recognizing America’s Cultural Treasures

Share

Joyce, MacArthur, Terra, Walder and Ford Foundations Commit $16 million to Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous Arts Organizations in Chicago.

“America’s Cultural Treasures” initiative will provide multi-year grants in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

CHICAGO (September 24, 2020) – Today, the Joyce, MacArthur, Terra and Walder foundations announced that they are joining the Ford Foundation in an unprecedented $150 million initiative to recognize “America’s Cultural Treasures,” including at least $16 million to support Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations in Chicago that have been hard hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chicago funders will work together to identify grant recipients as Chicago’s Cultural Treasures,” for the vital role they play as cultural institutions in the city. Despite their importance, these organizations have historically been under recognized and under- resourced. The funds are intended to provide general operating support and enable the organizations to be resilient and stable in the face of the unprecedented economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funders hope this initial investment will bring greater awareness to and support of Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts and culture organizations in Chicago.

The regional campaign was seeded by an initial $35 million in support from the Ford Foundation across six regions – Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, Los Angeles – with local foundations driving fundraising and design for individually tailored grantmaking initiatives. Each region will provide matching funds for multi-year grants to cultural groups of color with regional or local significance. The scope of the Chicago program and recipients of the grants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation, said: “The impact of COVID-19 on arts organizations of color in Chicago has been seismic. These groups are the cultural anchors of our city and yet have historically been undercapitalized, making them particularly vulnerable during this crisis. The stability and continued vitality of arts organizations of color is central to our city's recovery efforts, which Chicago’s philanthropic community has been heavily invested in. It is our hope that through this initiative these organizations will emerge even stronger and better positioned to enrich our city for years to come. "

John Palfrey, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, said: “This initiative, as imagined in Chicago, is designed to provide general operating support to cultural organizations of color that contribute to the history, vibrancy, and identity of our city. Many of these institutions serve as neighborhood anchors, sustain cultural traditions, build community, and help ensure that experiences are shared and heard. We are proud to collaborate with the Ford, Joyce, Terra, and Walder foundations and hope it creates the momentum for other funders to join us in this transformative grantmaking.”

Sharon Corwin, president and CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art, said: “We are honored to collaborate with the Ford Foundation and engage in this essential work alongside our partners in Chicago to bolster the region’s arts organizations of color. These institutions are critical in shaping the artistic and cultural heritage of our city and nation. It is our hope that through this collective action, these organizations will continue to thrive as creative centers for learning, ensuring a diversity of voices and narratives are celebrated and ideas exchanged.”

Elizabeth Walder, president and executive director of the Walder Foundation said: “Sustaining the performing arts in Chicago is a core interest of the Walder Foundation and our focus has been heightened as we witness the toll that COVID-19 is taking on an already-vulnerable sector. Alongside our partners in the ACT Fund, we are committed to supporting the hardest hit—our communities of color. We are grateful to the Ford Foundation for their leadership and for the support of our partners who are responding to the call to ensure that arts organizations of color continue to contribute to Chicago’s rich cultural heritage now and in the future.”

In addition to the regional efforts, the Ford Foundation committed another $71 million in support to a cohort of 20 national organizations that are significant anchors for cultural diversity, including the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. The art and expression these organizations cultivate and preserve reflect the rich cultural identity and traditions within the United States.

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation said, “These organizations represent the very highest ideals of artistic excellence and are truly America’s cultural treasures. We hope that other arts philanthropists and corporations will join in increasing support to the many cultural organizations that reflect our nation’s rich and diverse history.”

###

MEDIA CONTACTS:

The Joyce Foundation: Kayce Ataiyero

The MacArthur Foundation: Kristen Mack

The Terra Foundation for American Art: Jessica Warchall

The Walder Foundation: Christina Timmins

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

Related Content

News

The Joyce Foundation received the 2022 CGLR Great Lakes Changemaker Award

The Joyce Foundation received the 2022 Great Lakes Changemaker Award from the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

News

Joyce Foundation Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency

The Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA is a step backward in protecting the environment and public health. It limits the federal government’s ability to use the Clean Air Act to drive reductions in global warming pollution.

Research Report

Toward a Fair and Just Response to Gun Violence: Recommendations to Advance Policy, Practice and Research

Report with recommendations to advance policy, practice and research by a group of experts convened by the Joyce Foundation beginning in 2019 under the banner “Toward a Fair and Just Response to Gun Violence.”

News

Landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to reduce gun violence

The Joyce Foundation applauds the bipartisan effort to pass the Safer Communities Act, which brings us closer to the safer America we all seek and deserve. 

News

The Foundation's statement on the Bruen case ruling

The Supreme Court’s ruling today in the Bruen case will make communities across America less safe. A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates that the mere presence of a firearm increases the risk of injury and death.

News

Checking the facts on “red flag laws”

The latest research into “red flag laws” and other gun safety measures was highlighted at a recent webinar series for journalists produced by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and its PolitiFact fact-checking arm.

News

2022 Joyce Awards Announcement

Five innovative new projects by pioneering artists of color spanning the visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts that engage diverse communities in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul will receive this year’s annual awards.

News

The “Full-Circle” Moment of Nick Cave and Forothermore

Recent work by Internationally acclaimed, Chicago-based artist and Joyce Awards winner Nick Cave.