Arts Work Fund Invites Applications From Small Chicago-Area Arts and Cultural Organizations

The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development is a funder collaborative created to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and Cook County. By helping such groups develop the business side of their operations, the fund aims to foster exciting work, develop new talent, and enrich the Chicago metro community.

Through grants of up to $15,000, the fund assists small arts and cultural organizations to develop their organizational capacity by enabling them to hire consultants to help the board and staff do work beyond everyday operations that requires time, energy, expertise, and innovative thinking. Examples of projects eligible for funding, include but are not limited to restructuring for new demands and new ways of doing business; increasing resources; improving structures and systems; exploring mergers, joint ventures, and collaborations; business or strategic planning to steer through changes; researching and testing new ways to engage and reach audiences; assessing marketing capacity and planning future marketing strategies; identifying ways to diversify and/or increase earned revenue; developing/refining financial systems and processes; analyzing the short- and long-term sustainability of the organization’s operating model; and improving efficiency through the development of new working processes or systems.

To be eligible, applicants must be a nonprofit organization based in and serving Cook County with a mission focused on presenting, producing, or providing arts programming and/or on serving artists or small arts and cultural organizations; a three-year operating history after incorporation as an Illinois nonprofit; and at least one paid part-time staff and five board members.

Grant applications are accepted at any time throughout the year. Grant decisions will be made on a quarterly basis.

See the Arts Work Fud website for complete program guidelines, information about previous grant recipients, and application instructions.