Chicago Community Trust Awards $3 Million in SMART Growth Grants

The Chicago Community Trust has announced grants totaling $3 million to thirty-one local arts and cultural organizations as part of its SMART Growth program.

Through a grant to the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, the program provides an individualized assessment to selected nonprofits aimed at evaluating their critical business functions, income generation, and board governance. Established in 2006, SMART Growth is designed to help organizations establish outcomes that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and completed on time. Recipients in this round of funding, all of which have operating budgets under $1 million, include the American Blues Theatre, the Center for Arabic Language and Culture, the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, and the Spudnik Press Cooperative.

"The trust believes that affordable and accessible arts opportunities are essential assets in every community, and this priority was affirmed by over forty-five hundred residents who participated in the creation of the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan," said senior program officer for arts and culture Suzanne Connor, one of the designers of the program. "This methodology empowers founders, board members, and staff leaders to recognize strengths and reallocate their limited resources toward lagging management areas so that the foundation is solid and they can cope with challenges like the loss of a founder, changing demographics, or a tough economy."

For a complete list of grant recipients, visit the CCT website.

"The Chicago Community Trust Announces SMART Growth." Chicago Community Trust Press Release 02/25/2015.