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We are pleased to announce grants totaling $1,735,000 over three years to 64 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 Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. The May 2018 MacArthur-Driehaus grant cycle supports organizations with annual operating budgets of $150,000 to $500,000 that serve Chicago audiences. Grantees represent a broad range of artistic disciplines, from music, theater, and dance companies, to museums, visual and media arts groups, and more. Grantees’ genres and aesthetics are also far reaching, from traditional African dance to women-centered theater to contemporary classical music.    

A complete list of grant recipients is below.

Congratulations to grantees in the January 2018 MacArthur-Driehaus grant cycle!


16th Street Theater NFP

$13,500 for each of 2 years

16th Street Theater presents theater that encourages discussion and debate through timely and thought-provoking work. Season Eleven’s theme is heroes and features: The Wolf at the End, The Hero’s Wife, Koalas, Small Jokes About Monsters, Vacationing in the Moral High Ground, and His Shadow.


A Red Orchid Theatre

$18,000 for each of 2 years

A Red Orchid Theatre produces contemporary plays and revives works from the past with modern relevance to build new audiences for live theatre. The 2018-19 season includes “Small Mouth Sounds” by Bess Wohl, “Fulfillment Center” by Abe Koogler, and “The Killing Game” by Eugene Ionesco.


African American Arts Alliance

$6,000 for each of 2 years

The African American Arts Alliance supports artists and organizations through capacity-building workshops, town hall meetings, networking events, and performances. Signature programs include the annual Black Excellence Awards and the Martin Luther King Day celebration.



$10,000 for each of 2 years

Alongside community leaders and residents, archi-treasures develops public art such as murals, mosaics, and sculptures in under-resourced communities that strengthen social connections and generate pride. This year’s projects are in South Chicago, Grand Boulevard, Douglas, Uptown, and West Pullman.


Artistic Home Acting Ensemble

$15,000 for each of 3 years

The Artistic Home Theater is one of Chicago's leading dynamic theater companies, with dynamic acting ensembles and theater instruction. 2018-19 productions include Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll and Rod Serling's Requirem for a Heavyweight.


Artists' Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions Project

$8,000 for 1 year

ACRE is an artist-run organization that supports a diverse, interdisciplinary array of early career artists. It does so by providing a two-week summer residency in rural Wisconsin for 80 artists then career development assistance, most notably the opportunity to present their work in Chicago.


Asian Improv aRts Midwest

$18,000 for each of 2 years

Asian Improv aRts Midwest nurtures and produces traditional and contemporary Asian American cultural art forms that accurately reflect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic reality of Chicago and the US. Highlights this year include Taiko Legacy/Reduction and the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival.


Barrel of Monkeys

$20,000 for each of 3 years

Barrel of Monkeys teaches creative writing to students aged 7-13 in Chicago Public School and after-school programs. The actor/teachers adapt student written stories into sketches and songs, which are performed for the schools and later for the public in That's Weird, Grandma! on Monday evenings.


Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

$5,000 for 1 year

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater brings together dance, theater, music, and visual artists to create new works of performance addressing contemporary issues. Approaching its 20th anniversary in 2019, the company has engaged multiple partners and notable artists in both choreography and music composition.


Chicago a cappella

$20,000 for each of 2 years

Chicago a cappella is devoted to furthering the art of singing together without instruments. The ensemble presents an annual series of concert programs, creates live broadcasts and studio recordings, tours nationally and internationally, and conducts educational outreach programming.


Chicago Dance Crash

$8,000 for each of 2 years

Chicago Dance Crash is recognized by its combination of contemporary and hip-hop techniques. This season includes the 10th anniversary of the “Keeper of The Floor” improv show and will close with an evening-length work by Muslim-American hip-hop choreographer Amirah Sackett.


Chicago Dancers United

$5,000 for 1 year

Chicago Dancers United provides crucial services for dance professionals facing health issues that affect their ability to work. The annual Dance for Life performance features Chicago’s leading dance companies and showcases the talent of young and emerging dance professionals.


Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble

$8,000 for each of 2 years

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble promotes social justice through multidisciplinary shows, in addition to supporting smaller organizations and individual artists, administering arts education, and managing a small theater. Upcoming presentations address Alzheimer’s and explore perception through poetry.


Chicago Film Archives, NFP

$18,000 for each of 3 years

Chicago Film Archives is the only regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. CFA offers an array of public programs and participates in collaborations worldwide.


Chicago Independent Radio Project

$12,000 for each of 2 years

CHIRP is a volunteer-driven, online and broadcast community radio station featuring music, arts, and culture. It is live and local every day of the year. CHIRP’s focus is Chicago and plays a wide mix of local, independent, lesser-heard, and good music from a variety of genres and eras.


Chicago Maritime Museum

$5,000 for 1 year

Chicago Maritime Museum (CMM) fosters learning about the impact of the region’s waterways on Chicago history. The museum’s collection includes artifacts, books, maps, photographs, paintings and videos related to Chicago’s maritime history.  CMM also hosts public programs and events.


Chicago Public Art Group

$20,000 for each of 2 years

Chicago Public Art Group brings together artists and communities to create collaborative, community-driven public art. Current projects include art/landscape installations in partnership with American Indian Center and Portage Park Neighborhood Assoc. and a mosaic for Cook County Health Center.


Chicago Tap Theatre

$8,000 for each of 2 years

Chicago Tap Theatre enters its 15th year presenting American tap dance in a variety of modes including narrative works of dance-theater, themed variety shows, and pared-down concerts, in Chicago, regionally, and at times overseas. It also cultivates young artists and works in Chicago Public Schools.


Chicago West Community Music Center

$18,000 for 1 year

Chicago West Community Music Center strives to improve the economic, intellectual, and social condition of  west side communities in Chicago through music. The 2018 Legends Concert series features covers of legends like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Etta James, Tina Turner, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.


DanceWorks Chicago, Inc. NFP

$16,000 for each of 2 years

DanceWorks Chicago is described as "a laboratory from which early career dancers launch themselves." Many alums go on to perform for well-known dance companies locally and nationally. Season 12 includes performances in Germany, St. Louis, and at the Ruth Page Center for Dance in Chicago.


Elastic Arts Foundation

$12,000 for each of 2 years

Elastic Arts Foundation is a multipurpose performance venue in the Logan Square neighborhood. Events emphasize independent, emerging local musicians (improvisational jazz, experimental electronic), as well as visual art exhibitions and other cultural programming.


Erasing The Distance

$11,000 for 1 year

Erasing the Distance collects true stories related to mental health issues to create documentary theatre. DocFest2018, the company’s documentary theatre festival exploring mental health issues, will take place at Strawdog Theatre.


Evanston History Center

$15,000 for each of 3 years

Evanston History Center collects, preserves and interprets the history of the Evanston through exhibits, educational programs and research facilities. Upcoming exhibitions focus on the year 1968 and Prohibition. Six Under the Buffalo lectures this season present books about Chicago history.


Experimental Sound Studio

$20,000 for each of 3 years

Experimental Sound Studio is a hub for the creative exploration of sound. It operates a gallery, audio archives, recording studio, artist residencies, and performance series. ESS also activates public spaces with sound, including 2019 installations at Lincoln Park Conservatory and Millennium Park.


Fifth House Ensemble

$20,000 for 1 year

Fifth House Ensemble taps the collaborative spirit of chamber music to create engaging performances and forge partnerships with artists of other disciplines. Season highlights include an opera exploring the last hour of Orson Welles’ life and a collaboration with Tuvan throat singing ensemble Alash.


Filament Theatre Ensemble, NFP

$6,000 for 1 year

Filament creates immersive and site-specific theatre in which young people can practice their social, emotional, and imaginative skills. Upcoming productions at its Portage Park theater include remounts of its popular shows The Snow Queen and FORTS, and two world-premiere adaptations.


Fulcrum Point New Music Project

$18,000 for each of 2 years

Fulcrum Point New Music Project presents diverse new music, education programs, and also commissions and records innovative works. Current programs include: ¡Revolución!: Electroacoustic Music from Mexico with Javier Álvarez in October and Fulcrum Point’s 20th Annual Concert for Peace in December.


Full Spectrum Features

$8,000 for 1 year

Full Spectrum Features is committed to increasing diversity in the media arts by producing, exhibiting, and supporting the work of women, LGBTQ, and minority filmmakers. Two films in production will preserve and interpret the history of Japanese-American internment during WWII.


The Gift Theatre Company

$18,000 for each of 2 years

The Gift Theatre's mission is to tell great stories onstage with honesty and simplicity. Located in Jefferson Park, the ensemble began producing in 2001. They will finish the 2018 season with Cosmologies, by David Rabe, Gift’s new ensemble member.


Global Girls

$10,000 for 1 year

The Global Girls Theatre Collaborative creates and stages original theatre that "unpacks, challenges and heals." GGTC's focus is to uncover and showcase first-person narratives that reflect the realities of African American communities.


Global Pungmul Institute

$8,000 for 1 year

Global Pungmul Institute expands the creative domain of traditional Korean drumming, dancing, and singing. It also fosters collaboration between pungmul artists and those from other Asian genres and Western artistic disciplines. This year GPI will perform in over 60 engagements for 18,000 people.


Green Star Movement

$18,000 for each of 2 years

Green Star Movement inspires students and community members through the creation of public art. Their chosen medium is bricolage, a style of mosaic. This interactive process transforms people and revitalizes neighborhoods. This year GSM will work in neighborhoods on the south and west sides.


Griffin Theatre Company

$16,000 for each of 3 years

Now in its 30th year, the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience. Upcoming productions in 2018-19 include the musical Once and a touring production of Innovation Nation.


Haymarket Opera Company

$18,000 for each of 3 years

Haymarket Opera Company (HOC) performs 17th- and 18th-century operas, oratorios, and chamber music. HOC uses period instruments in the orchestra and historically inspired staging conventions. In 2018, HOC will stage "L'Orentea" in June and "Serse" in August both at the Studebaker Theater.


High Concept Labs

$10,000 for each of 2 years

High Concept Labs supports artists and presents innovative artistic programming including dance, music, theater and visual arts. Support services including artistic resources and space usage are provided at no cost. HCL hosts Open Houses and Send-Off Celebrations for its artists in spring and fall.


Hyde Park Jazz Festival

$18,000 for each of 3 years

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival is a free, annual two-day lineup of local talent and national and international artists. The 2018 Festival will feature emerging local artists in conjunction with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ “Year of Creative Youth.”


International Children's Media Center

$12,000 for each of 3 years

The International Children’s Media Center is dedicated to advancing children and youth engagement with film as an art form. ICMC presents world-class children’s films to Chicago audiences and involves participation through youth juries, engaged viewing, and self-expression.


Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts

$10,000 for 1 year

Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts supports, celebrates, and presents high-caliber art and education rooted in South Asia’s diverse cultural traditions. Its inaugural Indian Performing Arts Festival comes to Studebaker Theater this year and its dance company will perform at numerous venues.


Kuumba Lynx

$20,000 for each of 2 years

Kuumba Lynx is committed to the lives of youth, using urban art and performance to reimagine a more just world. Upcoming events include the 4th annual Chicago Hip Hop Theater Festival, collaborations with MPAACT, and an appearance at the City of Chicago’s Year of the Artist kick-off event.


Lakeside Singers

$8,000 for each of 3 years

Lakeside Singers bridges the worlds of classical and contemporary choral music with a twenty-five singer ensemble that draws from both disciplines. This December’s concert features "Silent Night," "All I Want for Christmas is You," and world premieres of two pieces commissioned by the ensemble.


Links Hall

$20,000 for 1 year

Links Hall is an arts incubator that provides residency and apprenticeship programs, performance opportunities, low-cost studio and performance rental spaces, and developmental workshops. Links Hall is marking its 40th anniversary season in 2018-19.


Lucky Plush Productions

$20,000 for each of 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. Its latest work is “Rink Life,” based on the social nuances of 1970s roller skating culture.


Media Burn Archive

$6,000 for each of 2 years

Media Burn Archive preserves, digitizes, and distributes a collection of culturally, historically and artistically significant, independently-produced video. Media Burn will digitize and disseminate original videotapes from the 2004 documentary “Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral On A Moving Train.”


The Miracle Center

$5,000 for 1 year

The Miracle Center nurtures the development of the next generation of professional artists through rehearsal, performance, exhibition, and meeting space. In 2018-19, the Adult Theater Ensemble will debut “There's A Coqui In My Shoe!,” “In The Heights,” and “Chicago’s Puerto Rican Story.”


Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

$12,000 for each of 3 years

The Mitchell Museum promotes and shares a deeper understanding and respect of Native American peoples though the collection, preservation and interpretation of their traditional and contemporary art and material culture. The exhibit “Heritage Markers” explores Native history in the Chicago area.



$7,000 for each of 3 years

Once mainly a custodian of 19th and 20th century dance masterworks, MOMENTA has in recent years taken up the helm of physically integrated dance, providing training and performance opportunities for people with a broad range of ability and mobility. Its affiliated Academy serves as a pipeline.



$12,000 for 1 year

MPAACT exists to develop, nurture, and sustain Afrikan Centered Theatre, grounded in the many cultures and traditions of the Afrikan continent and its Diaspora. In 2018, the company celebrates its 27th year and hosts a week-long festival called "Summer Jams" at the Greenhouse Theater Center.


Muntu Dance Theatre

$20,000 for 1 year

Muntu Dance Theatre preserves and perpetuates the African aesthetic and its influence on world cultures through the education and professional presentation of dance, music, and folklore. Its next concert will celebrate the Great Migration and pay tribute to legendary artist/activist Oscar Brown, Jr.


NAJWA Dance Corps

$10,000 for 1 year

Najwa Dance Corps is devoted to the performance, production, and preservation of dance styles and techniques reflective of the African American dance heritage and experience. Najwa offers classes, workshops, and demonstrations, and participates in the  Night Out in the Parks performance series.


National Veterans Art Museum

$12,000 for each of 3 years

The National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) inspires greater understanding of the impact of war through the collection, preservation and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. NVAM has a collection of over 2,500 artworks, presents special exhibitions and hosts public programs.


The Neo-Futurists

$20,000 for each of 2 years

The Neo-Futurists are a collective of writer/director/performers who create new theatre that is non-illusory, interactive, direct, and unreproducible. Their best-known work is The Infinite Wrench, the late night offering when they attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes, now in its 30th year.


Oak Park Festival Theatre

$10,000 for 1 year

Now in its 44th season, Oak Park Festival Theater produces classical Shakespeare and American plays outdoors, breathing new life into timeless texts from a 21st-century perspective. Upcoming productions include A Dickens Carol, Elizabeth Rex, and Much Ado About Nothing.


Pegasus Theatre Chicago

$15,000 for 1 year

Pegasus Theatre Chicago presents new and contemporary theatre that crosses socio-political boundaries to bring communities together through productions that provoke dialog. Pegasus is also home to the annual Young Playwright’s Festival and collaborative multi-disciplinary gatherings called Muse.


Pleasant Home Foundation

$7,000 for 1 year

Pleasant Home manages this National Historic Landmark by architect George W. Maher, preserving the home as a museum and providing educational, recreational and cultural resources. Programming includes Silent Movies on the Porch and Preservation in Person, which combines home tours and lectures.


Red Clay Dance Company Inc

$15,000 for each of 2 years

Red Clay creates and performs a diverse repertoire of Afro-contemporary dance that fuses traditional West African movement with contemporary dance forms. A cultural exchange with a Ugandan dance company will culminate in a performance in November 2018.


Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

$18,000 for each of 3 years

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is “committed to advancing women’s lives through the power of theatre.” Rivendell stages a three-play season each year in its intimate performance venue in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center

$18,000 for each of 3 years

The mission of Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center is to “preserve and promote appreciation of the culture and arts of Puerto Rico, with a special emphasis on its African heritage, while creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for collaborations with all cultural groups in the city.”


Shattered Globe Theatre

$12,000 for each of 3 years

Founded in 1991, Shattered Globe is an ensemble theatre that creates visceral experiences that challenge perspectives through passionate storytelling. Next season's productions include a stage adaptation of Crime and Punishment, Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses, and Kate Fodor’s Hannah and Martin.


Sideshow Theatre Company

$15,000 for each of 2 years

Sideshow Theatre presents plays that mine the collective unconscious with limitless curiosity and develops new works with The Freshness Initiative. The 2018-19 season includes HeLa by J. Nicole Brooks, The Ridiculous Darkness adapted by Wolfram Lotz and Something Clean by Selina Fillinger


Steep Theatre Company

$15,000 for each of 3 years

Based in the Edgewater neighborhood, Steep Theater is committed to producing new and under-produced plays that tell stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations. The 2018-19 season will include “Red Rex” by Ike Holter and “Pomona” directed by Robin Witt.


Tango 21 Dance Theater

$3,000 for 1 year

Tango 21 Dance Theater is the performing arm of Tango 21 Chicago, a west side center providing instruction in tango and other dance techniques. The ensemble produces original, evening-length shows with characters and narratives, with three in its repertoire since 2014 and a fourth in development.


Teatro Vista: Theater with a View

$18,000 for each of 3 years

Founded in 1990, Teatro Vista is committed to sharing and celebrating the riches of Latino culture with Chicago audiences. The 20-19 season will include “The Abuelas” about Argentina’s “Dirty War” during the 1970s.


Third Coast Percussion NFP

$20,000 for 1 year

The Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion quartet presents innovative, nuanced percussion and multi-media performances and commissions new work. Season highlights include a Hubbard Street Dance Chicago collaboration and world premiere of Philip Glass’ first piece composed for a percussion ensemble.


Visceral Dance Chicago NFP

$12,000 for each of 2 years

Named as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," Visceral Dance Chicago's accomplishments were acknowledged as "breath[ing] life into the Chicago [dance] community" (Chicago Stage Standard). In the Fall, VDC will perform at the Auditorium Theatre as part of its "Made in Chicago" series.

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