ARTS AND CULTURE

Driehaus Foundation Awards $2.3 Million to Small and Midsize Arts and Culture Organizations

November, 2020

The Driehaus Foundation is pleased to announce more than $2.3 million in new general operating grants to support 110 Chicago arts and culture organizations.

These grants are made in partnership with The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through the MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Since 2000, the MacArthur Funds have supported Chicago's small and midsize organizations working across disciplines including music, theater, dance, visual arts, and literary arts.

We send our congratulations to this year's grantees.

16th Street Theater NFP – $46,500 over 3 years
16th Street Theater produces high-quality, thought-provoking work that reflects the diversity of its community, including stories of law enforcement, soldiers, immigrants, people from the disability community, and people dealing with mental illness.

6018NORTH – $16,000 over 2 years
6018North is an artist‐centered platform and dynamic venue for socially-progressive thinking that challenges “what art is, whom it’s for, and where and how it’s created.”

A Red Orchid Theatre – $40,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1993, A Red Orchid Theatre is an ensemble of artists dedicated to the proliferation of live theatre in the modern world.

African American Arts Alliance – $36,000 over 3 years
The African American Arts Alliance serves the African American artistic community of Chicago, providing programs that increase the visibility, marketability, development and stability of arts organizations and artists.

Aguijon Theater Company$40,500 over 3 years
Aguijón Theater promotes and fosters theater addressing social issues affecting the U.S. Latino community and the general population at large, building bridges of communication and understanding among Latino generations.

Akvavit Theatre – $8,000 over 2 years
Akvavit is the only U.S. theater company devoted to contemporary Nordic theater, and is a unique, refreshing presence in Chicago storefront theater.

Antibody Dance – $2,000
Antibody Corporation remains, in its eleventh year, among the most unique and internationally visible of Chicago’s small performing-arts organizations.

Architreasures – $40,500 over 3 years
Architreasures works in partnership with community leaders and residents to create murals, mosaics, sculptures, media, and public art installations that strengthen social connections and generate pride.

Artemisia - A Chicago Theatre – $4,000
Artemisia Theatre fills a distinctive niche in Chicago with its emphasis on new feminist plays written by women and by providing women artists with opportunities to take leadership roles and have their plays performed.

Asian Improv aRts Midwest $40,000 over 2 years
Featuring traditional Asian art forms and contemporary Asian American cultural aesthetics, Asian Improv aRts Midwest nurtures and produces art that accurately reflects the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic reality of Chicago and the US.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema – $6,000
Asian Pop-Up Cinema was established in 2015 to fill a niche in Chicago for high-quality contemporary films from the many countries of Asia, to help Chicago audiences learn about life and filmmaking in this diverse and important part of the world.

AstonRep – $9,000 over 2 years
AstonRep Theatre Company is a critically-acclaimed Chicago-based ensemble of artists creating new works and reimagined classics for 12 years.

Bach & Beethoven Experience$3,000
Bach & Beethoven Experience brings artists together to collaborate and transform the classical concert experience from a standard passive listening presentation to an interactive experience through classical, folk, and new music using period instruments.

Bella Voce$20,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1983, Bella Voce crafts performances that engage audiences in dialogue between early music and music of our time.

beyond this point – $3,000
Beyond This Point is a percussion-based collaborative ensemble that engages audiences across artistic mediums including theater, visual art, movement, installation, media/film, and the environment.

Broken Nose Theatre – $8,000 over 2 years
Broken Nose Theatre, founded in 2012, develops and produces new plays and area premieres. 2017’s production of At The Table brought it to prominence, was remounted and extended twice, won multiple local theatre awards, and made many “best of” lists.

Bronzeville Children's Museum$49,500 over 3 years
Bronzeville Children’s Museum provides cultural programming in the Calumet Heights neighborhood, reaching thousands of youth and families annually.

Chicago a cappella – $40,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1993, Chicago a cappella is a creative enterprise devoted to advancing the art and appreciation of singing. It is a premier small classical vocal ensemble, offering intimate performances, innovative programming and musical virtuosity.

Chicago Chamber Choir – $8,000 over 2 years
The Chicago Chamber Choir, now in its 24th season, is a 48-person avocational choir of professional-level singers. The Choir performs in many different neighborhoods throughout Chicago's north side. It has an annual audience of 1500-1800.

Chicago Dance Crash – $20,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2002, Chicago Dance Crash is a "hip hop/contemporary dance company committed to exploring and exploiting the potential of human response and athleticism through live performance."

Chicago Dance History Project$20,000 over 2 years
Chicago Dance History Project is a five year-old organization that archives first person dance narratives.  It produces panels, lecture-demonstrations, and public events documenting Chicago dance and its influence.

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble – $20,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2001, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble provides arts education and contemporary performances that illuminate social issues. Performances are multidisciplinary, incorporating dance, poetry, music, and visual arts, while tackling social issues.

Chicago Dramatists$20,000
Founded in 1979, Chicago Dramatists’ is one of five organizations in the country dedicated to new play development. It provides a supportive community for writers and opportunities for exchange and experimentation to develop their work.

Chicago Fringe Opera – $3,000
Chicago Fringe Opera presents vocal and operatic works with an emphasis on new works in English by living composers.  Its mission is to utilize Chicago artists exclusively, both on and off stage.

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus – $21,000 over 2 years
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus is a 200-member chorus that performs traditional choral music, musical theater, jazz, and pop. It seeks to delight its audiences, enrich its members, and explore issues relevant to LGBTQ people.

Chicago Independent Radio Project$42,000 over 3 years
Chicago Independent Radio Project is a volunteer-driven, Chicago-focused community radio station featuring music, arts, and culture. It is live and local every day of the year, available online at chirpradio.org and on-air at 107.1 FM.

Chicago Maritime Museum – $5,000
Chicago Maritime Museum preserves and presents the heritage of Chicago’s waterways and its influence on the growth of the city.

Chicago Moving Company – $16,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1973, Chicago Moving Company presents and produces new choreography and repertoire of emerging and established resident, guest and commissioned dancemakers through seasonal performances and an annual dance festival.

Chicago Public Art Group$40,000 over 2 years
Chicago Public Art Group brings together artists and communities to create collaborative, community engagement-driven public art. Its work can be found throughout Chicago, most notably murals and mosaics interpreting stories of communities of color.

Chicago Tap Theatre – $20,000 over 2 years
Chicago Tap Theatre preserves the American indigenous art of tap dance. It offers concerts, classes, and more, and stands apart by adopting a conceptual, narrative, and “emotive approach” to its work and performing exclusively with live music.

Chicago West Community Music Center$20,000
Chicago West Community Music Center's mission is to strengthen individuals and communities through the arts. It presents professional concerts free of charge to about 1,500 residents of Chicago's East and West Garfield Park communities each year.

Chinatown Museum Foundation$10,000
The Chinese American Museum of Chicago advances the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, and research and preserves the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest.

Comfort Station – $21,000 over 3 years
Comfort Station activates a historic building in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood with public, community-driven programs that include art exhibitions, concerts, films, workshops, lectures, and participatory events.

Concert Dance, Inc.$16,000 over 2 years
Concert Dance, Inc., a Chicago-based critically-acclaimed company, creates new and commissioned work and reimagined revivals of historic choreographic work.

Corn Productions$21,000 over 3 years
Corn Productions is one of Chicago's oldest storefront theaters, with a focus on well-honed sketch comedy and high-concept parody shows.

Curious Theatre Branch – $16,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1988, Curious Theatre Branch is dedicated to creating new plays and performances from a broad spectrum of artists.

DanceWorks Chicago, Inc. NFP – $57,000 over 3 years
DanceWorks Chicago is a professional training ground, creative lab, and performing company for early career dancers. Ruth Page Center for the Arts is its home base, though DWC tours locally, nationally, and internationally.

Design Museum of Chicago$7,000
The Design Museum of Chicago educates, inspires, and fosters innovation through design. It is located in the city-owned Expo 72 building in Chicago’s Loop.

dropshift dance – $6,000 over 2 years
dropshift dance marks its tenth anniversary in 2020 and aligns movement-based curricula for early childhood students with partially fixed, partially fluid classes and live events for the general public.

Eclipse Theatre Company – $12,000 over 2 years
Eclipse Theatre Company, founded in 1992, is one of Chicago's enduring storefront companies, with each season dedicated to the work of one playwright.

Eighth Blackbird – $20,000
Eighth Blackbird’s mission is to move music forward through innovative aesthetics, generating new work, and a legacy of mentoring emerging artists, all blending to make artistic experiences collaborative and community building for all constituents.

Elastic Arts Foundation$31,000 over 2 years
Incorporated in 2002, Elastic Arts Foundation “fosters artistic exploration from a versatile Chicago venue by programming and presenting multifaceted performances and exhibitions."

Elements Contemporary Ballet – $7,000
Elements Contemporary Ballet is Chicago’s only contemporary ballet company, producing original, distinctive, and dynamic performances that are relevant to today’s audiences.

Ensemble Dal Niente$45,000 over 3 years
Ensemble Dal Niente is a 16 year-old, award-winning, Chicago-based contemporary music ensemble that is best known for its virtuosity and versatility.

Erasing The Distance – $11,000
Erasing the Distance dramatizes factual, first-person narratives to destigmatize mental illness, provoke dialogue, and support healing. It expects to resume at least three multi-performance series annually once restrictions on gatherings lift.

The Factory Theater Company$18,000 over 2 years
The Factory Theater’s mission is to deliver unexpected, unpretentious, entertaining theatrical experiences through original works written by members of its 32-person ensemble.

Filter Photo, NFP$45,000 over 3 years
Filter Photo’s mission is two-fold: first, to serve and support the photographic communities of Chicago and the Midwest; and second, to highlight Chicago as a vital center of the national photographic community.

Fulcrum Point New Music Project$18,000
Fulcrum Point is one of the longest standing contemporary music ensembles in Chicago and takes a leadership role in presenting and promoting new music in the city.

Gerber Hart Library and Archives – $12,000 over 2 years
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is a lesbian and gay library, archives, and cultural center focusing primarily on the Chicago metropolitan area and the Midwest.

The Gift Theatre Company – $60,000 over 3 years
Based in and with deep ties to the Jefferson Park neighborhood, The Gift Theatre Company is widely lauded as one of Chicago’s best storefront theaters. It is the most intimate Equity theater in the US.

Global Girls – $12,000
Global Girls, Inc. was established twenty years ago to showcase narratives that reflect the realities of African American communities.

Green Star Movement$60,000 over 3 years
Green Star Movement is a successful public art organization that addresses the needs of schools and communities for beautiful public art that is designed to reflect their own interests and identities.

Haven Theatre Company$10,000
Haven Theatre’s mission is Next Generation, New Canon, Social Profit. It exists to champion early career playwrights, directors and actors by producing and promoting plays and performances that help to define the future of the theatre arts.

Heaven Gallery – $12,000 over 2 years
Heaven Gallery is a multi-disciplinary arts space in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood that presents emerging artists and musicians.

Hedwig Dances$60,000 over 3 years
Hedwig Dances is a contemporary dance ensemble celebrating 35 years under the artistic direction of founder Jan Bartoszek. Its interdisciplinary collaborations combine poetic choreography with sculptural artifacts, images and original music.

Her Story Theater$3,000
Her Story Theater is a theater for social change; its prime focus is Chicago, its people and issues that target women and children. Productions alert the public to the dangers of sex trafficking and all forms of prejudice.

High Concept Labs – $20,000 over 2 years
High Concept Labs is the only organization in Chicago that provides free studio space, marketing, and documentation, and offers curated critiques and in-progress showings.

Honey Pot Performance$7,000 over 2 years
Honey Pot Performance is a collaborative of artists emphasizing everyday ways of valuing the human, through movement-based performance, community engagement, and archival writing.

Hot Crowd – $6,000 over 2 years
Hot Crowd, based in Chicago and launched in November 2017, is a contemporary dance company with ambitious goals to attract new audiences to dance, and to represent the city through national and international touring engagements.

HotHouse – $14,000
For 33 years, HotHouse has produced events that feature high-caliber artistic practices, extend resources into underserved communities, and foster the international exchange of ideas within the context of progressive social change praxis.

Idle Muse Theatre Company$3,000
Idle Muse is committed to transporting its audience to the world of daydreams, creating work that is “transporting, timely, and true.”

Jackalope Theatre Company – $45,000 over 3 years
Founded in 2008, Jackalope Theatre Company is committed to cultivating theatre that manifests the adventure deeply rooted in the American mythos.

Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts$10,000
Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts supports, celebrates, and presents dance, music, theater, film, and educational programs rooted in South Asia’s diverse cultural traditions.

Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago – $29,000 over 2 years
Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, a seven year-old racial and cultural equity organization, preserves traditional performing arts and culture and promotes collaboration and cultural understanding across genres and cultures.

Kuumba Lynx$20,000
Kuumba Lynx presents, preserves, and promotes Hip Hop as a tool to reimagine and demonstrate a more just world. It nurtures and celebrates the unique voices of urban youth from communities of color.

Lakeview Orchestra – $3,000
Lakeview Orchestra engages, entertains and educates audiences through symphonic music; provides an opportunity for Chicago area musicians to develop and perform; and strengthens the appreciation and understanding for classical music.

Lampo$14,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1997, Lampo supports artists working in new music, experimental sound and other interdisciplinary practices by commissioning, producing and presenting special projects and performances.

Live The Spirit Residency – $8,000
Live the Spirit Residency is deeply rooted in and reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Englewood community, by increasing its musical resources.

Lucky Plush Productions – $40,000 over 2 years
Lucky Plush Productions is an internationally touring dance-theater company lauded for its unique blend of athletic choreography, casual dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant themes.

MAKE Literary Productions$30,000 over 3 years
MAKE Literary Productions promotes contemporary literary writing, translation, and visual art through the publication MAKE: A Literary Magazine and the annual Lit & Luz Festival of Language, Literature, and Art held in Chicago and Mexico City.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts – $23,000 over 2 years
Mandala South Asian Performing Arts is uniquely positioned locally as a presenting and producing organization specializing in forms of dance, music, and theater rooted in the South Asian diaspora.

Media Burn Archive – $27,000 over 3 years
Founded in 2003, Media Burn Archive collects, restores, and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists, and community groups. It has preserved and digitized a video collection of 8,000 pieces that are all available free of cost online.

Midsommer Flight – $8,000 over 2 years
Midsommer Flight is dedicated to producing high-quality, accessible performances of Shakespeare’s plays in Chicago communities.

The Miracle Center$9,000
The Miracle Center is a 25-year-old performing arts organization focused primarily on serving under-resourced Latinx residents of Chicago’s Belmont Cragin, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square neighborhoods.

Muntu Dance Theatre$20,000
Muntu Dance Theatre was founded in 1972 to preserve and perpetuate African dance, music, and folklore through performance and education. Muntu performs in Chicago, nationally, and internationally.

NAJWA Dance Corps – $9,000
NAJWA Dance Corps is devoted to the performance, production, and preservation of dance that reflects the African American experience. In addition to classes and workshops, it anticipates 12 public performances in 2020 for a total audience of 2,300.

The Neo-Futurists – $40,000 over 2 years
Now in its 32nd year, The Neo-Futurists exemplifies the do-it-yourself, ensemble-driven spirit of Chicago theater. It has evolved from a clever, cheeky company to a still scrappy and small but mighty theater institution.

The New Colony – $20,000 over 2 years
The New Colony theatre company is a significant artistic and cultural force developing and producing well-received mainstage productions, side projects, educational directives, festivals and touring opportunities for its growing collaborative.

The Newberry Consort$24,000 over 2 years
The Newberry Consort brings together singers and instrumentalists of the highest caliber to create accessible and historically informed performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, with period instruments and performance practices.

Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago – $3,000
Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago offers audiences a broad exposure to symphonic repertoire and supports young professional musicians with meaningful development opportunities and mentorship.

Otherworld Theatre Company$10,000
Otherworld Theatre Company was founded in 2012 and is the only theatre in Chicago dedicated to producing science fiction and fantasy plays, and celebrates the human imagination by engaging spectators with high-quality storytelling.

Physical Festival Chicago – $15,000 over 2 years
Physical Festival brings a unique opportunity for Chicago audiences and theatre artists to encounter body and image-centered physical theatre performances and workshops.

Pleasant Home Foundation – $20,000 over 2 years
A National Historic Landmark, George W. Maher’s Pleasant Home is a prime example of Prairie School architecture. The historic house museum offers tours and innovative, mission-based cultural programs and performances.

The Plagiarists – $6,000 over 2 years
The Plagiarists is an ensemble of theatermakers that steal from literature, visual art, history, and the culture at large to create and present work that is funny, engaging, and speaks to the culture we all share.

Promethean Theatre Ensemble NFP$18,000 over 3 years
Promethean Theatre Ensemble is an itinerant company founded in 2005. It creates theatre that fuses simple design with intelligent, passionate storytelling of classical and new works exploring current issues and universal human experiences.

Prop Thtr$8,000
Prop Thtr is the oldest surviving off-loop, non-equity theater in Chicago and the second oldest store-front theater. It develops and produces new plays and theatrical work that are experimental, ethical and inclusive.

Public Media Institute$21,000 over 2 years
Public Media Institute is a community-based arts organization that creates socially-engaged programming across diverse platforms, including exhibitions, performances, radio, and publications.

Red Clay Dance Company Inc – $55,500 over 3 years
Red Clay Dance Company lives to awaken change through creating, performing, and teaching dances of the African Diaspora – change that transforms cultural, and socio-economic inequities in our local and global community.

Red Tape Theatre Company – $10,000 over 2 years
Red Tape Theatre is a 16-year-old theater company producing thematically challenging productions utilizing avant-garde staging and immersive experiences.

Red Theater Chicago – $7,500
Red Theater Chicago has produced a number of very well-received productions in its seven-year history, including some with deaf actors that are comprehensible to all audience members.

Rembrandt Chamber Musicians – $26,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1990, Rembrandt Chamber Musicians is a classical chamber music ensemble presenting accessible, engaging and deeply personal work.

Roman Susan – $3,000
Roman Susan operates as a 200-square foot art space and platform for exhibitions and events in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. It develops and supports new opportunities to create, display, and experience art.

Shorefront – $15,000 over 3 years
Shorefront collects, preserves, and educates about Black history on the North Shore. It maintains a community archive, presents programs and exhibitions, and produces books, journals, and documentaries.

Sideshow Theatre Company – $51,000 over 3 years
Sideshow produces theater in creative and unexpected ways that harness its audience’s curiosity to explore, analyze, and re-examine their own personal experiences. Its work focuses on social justice and giving voice to those who are less heard.

Silent Theatre Company – $10,000 over 2 years
Silent Theatre Company produces plays that don’t rely on the spoken word. Inspired by silent movies and Vaudeville, using music and physicality, productions are accessible to people who are hearing impaired and non-English speakers.

Sixty Inches From Center – $4,000
Founded in 2010, Sixty Inches From Center is a nonprofit arts publication, archiving initiative, and project producer for artists, writers, archivists and curators in Chicago and the region. It is led by and run by a majority of individuals of color.

Soft Cage Films – $9,000 over 2 years
Soft Cage Films was founded in 2012 as a nonprofit to empower filmmakers to produce visually bold documentary and fictional films with strong social justice messages.

South Chicago Dance Theatre$14,000 over 2 years
South Chicago Dance Theatre is a multicultural organization founded in 2017 that aims to preserve the art of dance through performances and education.

South Side Community Art Center$40,000 over 2 years
The South Side Community Art Center has been a cultural and artistic leader in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood for 80 years, presenting the work of African American artists.

South Side Projections$6,000 over 2 years
South Side Projections presents films at locations across Chicago’s south side neighborhoods to foster conversation about complex social and political issues.

Spektral Quartet NFP – $54,000 over 3 years
Spektral Quartet honors and expands the string quartet repertoire and connects intimately with audiences by cultivating inviting and enlivened concert experiences with charismatic presentation, ambitious programming, and innovative formats.

Synapse Arts$24,000 over 3 years
Synapse Arts creates, performs and educates to nurture individual identities and challenge social norms by engaging artists and audiences in the making of dance-theater.

Theatre Y$20,000 over 2 years
Theatre Y continues to produce inventive, risky, and complex theater with a global perspective that is one-of-a-kind within Chicago companies.

Theo Ubique$9,000
Theo Ubique is a musical cabaret theater dedicated to engaging artists and audiences in an intimate and honest conversation, using the language of strong stories and powerful performances.

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art – $57,000 over 3 years
Through exhibitions and programs, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art preserves and promotes contemporary art as a shared expression of the Ukrainian and American experience.

Underscore Theatre Company – $36,000 over 3 years
Underscore Theater Company explores stories of power and resonance to foster the development of new musicals and bolster Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre.

UrbanTheater Company$10,000
Founded in 2005, UrbanTheater Company is cultivating civic and national leadership to advance racial equity in theater. UTC offers roughly four productions per year, performed locally and on tour, complemented by community programs and partnerships.

Visceral Dance Chicago NFP$24,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2013, Visceral Dance is dedicated to a bold and progressive world of movement. It connects artists and audiences, while changing perceptions of dance.

Water People Theater Group NFP$10,000
Water People Theater Group produces bilingual theater promoting important humanistic themes and encourages audiences to embrace a set of values consistent with social harmony.

Zephyr Dance Ensemble – $30,000 over 3 years
Zephyr Dance has continually reinvented itself in response to the ever-changing contemporary art landscape. It appears particularly comfortable in its current roles as curator, producer, and experimental dance company.

South Chicago Dance Theatre photo by Thomas Mohr Photography; Photo description: Barefooted male dancer with a muscular physique and fitted black pants against a dark brown backdrop. His body is facing front, but his head and outstretched arms arc dramatically to the right. His lower torso, hips, and right leg above the knee arc to the left. He is grasping a bright orange scarf that appears to be in mid-air.

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