Creative Organizations

Small and mid-size arts organizations of color are vital to strong communities as well as to a strong arts ecosystem in Chicago and the wider great Lakes region. They act as important community anchors, uplifting creativity in communities; supporting a range of rich cultural expressions; and nurturing the voices and talents of artists of color.

As the arts sector continues to recover from the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and the impact of decades of inequities in arts funding, the Culture program aims to support the recovery, long-term sustainability, and growth of organizations of color by offering Resilience grants, or multi-year general operating support grants. Our goal is to provide organizations with flexibility and runway to address their specific needs and goals.

The Foundation funds arts organizations rooted in communities of color whose work, missions, audience, and operations may demonstrate, but are limited to, some the following characteristics (in no particular order):

  • Offers regular seasons or cycles of engaging, rigorous, and thought-provoking arts exhibitions, performances, and/or public programming
  • Nurtures artistic production among/within communities of color
  • Incorporates the voices, concerns, and needs of artists of color and communities of color into their programming, leadership, and decision-making
  • Pursues and sustains a robust network of partnerships or relationships with other organizations or entities across the arts ecosystem
  • Is at pivotal stage or phase in their organizational trajectory or growth
  • Can articulate (a) pathway(s) towards sustainability
  • Demonstrates a commitment to pay equity for artists of color
  • As of April 2023, the Culture Program’s previous dedicated digital initiatives and staffing support will be incorporated into flexible, general operating dollars. By doing so, we will invest in fewer grants at higher levels and for longer term to drive impact with these groups.