The John D. and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation has announced that, in partnership with the Prince Charitable Trusts and Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, it will invest $24.3 million over five years to continue its support for Chicago-area arts and culture organizations.
With the trusts and the Driehaus Foundation, MacArthur, the largest private funder of arts and culture in Illinois, provides general operating support to more than three hundred theaters, dance companies, music organizations, film and media groups, museums, zoos, and conservatories, all of which are engaged in some combination of performance, education, and community building. Current recipients of the foundation's arts and culture grantmaking include the Albany Park Theater Project, a multiethnic youth theater ensemble; SkyART, a visual arts programing initiative in South Chicago; Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Chicago's longest-standing Puerto Rican cultural center; and the DuSable Museum of African American History.
According to Americans for the Arts, the arts and culture sector in Chicago generated $3.2 billion in economic activity and supported more than eighty-five thousand jobs in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Since 1979, MacArthur has awarded more than two thousand grants totaling some $310 million to Chicago-area arts groups.
"Our support for Chicago's creative sector is designed to help arts organizations create meaningful performances, exhibits, and experiences, and the flexibility to innovate and experiment," said MacArthur president Julia Stasch. "We know the arts improve the quality of life and strengthen the fabric of communities. They fuel individual expression, help develop identity and potential, and allow people to connect to each other."