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The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation awarded a total of $108,000 in Professional Development grants to 62 organizations (over one-third of all MacArthur-Driehaus grantees).

MacArthur-Driehaus Professional Development grants support opportunities for key staff members to build new skills or enhance existing skills in the service of the grantee organization. Current MacArthur-Driehaus grantees are eligible.

Professional Development grants are an investment in the skill development of arts leaders to help them build resilient, thriving organizations. Since 2009, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has awarded 487 Professional Development grants totaling $733,697. Organizations used Professional Development grants to support a range of skills-building activities including attending professional conferences (40%), enhancing artistic practices by attending workshops, residencies, and masterclasses (20%), or hiring a consultant for on-premise training in financial management, database management, marketing, or accounting (15%).

A complete list of Professional Development grants and links to grantees’ websites are below.

Congratulations to the 2018 MacArthur-Driehaus Professional Development grantees!


2018 MacArthur-Driehaus Professional Development Grants:

A Red Orchid Theatre    

$2,000 for the artistic director and managing director to attend the 2018 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference in St Louis, MO, in June of 2018.

Asian Improv aRts Midwest        

$2,000 for travel assistance for one of the organization's grandmaster artists to attend Shubuki training in October 2018 in Tokyo.

Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)

$2,000 for the AACM Treasurer to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in New York, NY, in January of 2019.

Blair Thomas & Company            

$2,000 for professional services to improve bookkeeping infrastructure and training for managing director and Finance Committee in September-December 2018.

Chicago a cappella          

$2,400 for registration and associated costs for three staff members to attend the 2018 Chorus America conference in Chicago in June of 2018.

Chicago Collections        

$900 for QuickbookPlus training and building of organizational budget inclusive of restricted funds in August-September 2018.

Chicago Composers Orchestra   

$2,000 for a consultant in August-November 2018 to help the Chicago Composers Orchestra board develop the organization's first ever three-year strategic plan.

Chicago Dance History Project   

$2,000 for the director to attend the 2018 Northwest Archivists conference and its accompanying Digital POWRR Digital Preservation Professional Development Institute in Warm Springs, OR, in April of 2018.

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble

$2,000 for on-site training by a consultant to build staff skills in graphic design and marketing, August, 2018 - January, 2019.

Chicago Film Archives   

$2,000 for the Collections Manager and Transfer Technician to attend the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) conference in Portland, OR, November 28 - December 1, 2018.

Chicago Independent Radio Project        

$1,000 for registration costs for the development director to attend the 2018 Public Media Development and Marketing Conference in Chicago in July of 2018.

Chicago Public Art Group             

$2,000 for a consultant to prepare and lead an organizational retreat followed by assistance in creating an implementation plan in August - December 2018.

Chicago Tap Theatre      

$1,800 for the Artistic Director and an Assistant Teacher to learn methods for teaching dance to deaf students at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, October – November, 2018.

City Lit Theater Company            

$1,370 for tuition and textbooks to attend Fundraising Fundamentals: An Introduction to an Expanding Landscape, at DePaul University, August - October 2018.

Clinard Dance   

$2,000 for a master Flamenco artist to conduct a 4-day, 20-hour training series for the ensemble in the Fall of 2018.

Comfort Station

$1,000 for travel, registration, and hotel for director to attend Open Engagement Conference in New York, NY, in May 2018.

Deeply Rooted Productions        

$2,000 for the artistic director to attend a writing retreat at Ochre House in Newfoundland, CA, in June of 2018.

Edgar Miller Legacy        

$700 for travel and registration costs for the Executive Director to attend the Nonprofit CEO Bootcamp at North Park University, August 2018.

Erasing The Distance      

$2,000 for a two-day on-site consultation and workshops called "Creating a Culture of Storytelling" in April-May of 2018.

Experimental Sound Studio         

$380 for travel and registration for the archives manager to attend the National Forum on Ethics & Archiving the Web in New York, NY, in March of 2018.

Fifth House Ensemble   

$2,000 for Deep Listening and curriculum development training by two specialists between September 2018 and May 2019.

Filter Photo       

$2,000 for the Executive Director to attend Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in Paris, France in November of 2018.

Free Street Theater        

$1,150 for the general manager to enroll in 10-week online marketing courses in Nonprofit Management at UIC’s Extended Campus, March-May 2018.

Full Spectrum Features

$2,000 for on-site training of core staff and board in Streak CRM in the Fall of 2018.

Global Girls        

$1,500 for the cost of hiring a consultant for board of directors training in nonprofit management, structure, and board service.

Global Pungmul Institute             

$2,500 for workshop fees for company members to participate in a folk percussion training in Jeju, Korea, in June of 2018.

Haymarket Opera Company       

$2,000 for the artistic and executive Directors to attend the Opera America Conference in St. Louis, MO, in June of 2018.

High Concept Labs          

$2,000 for travel, registration, and hotel costs to attend Alliance of Artists Communities' 2018 Conference in October in Philadelphia, PA.


$2,000 to send the executive director to WOMEX (World Music Expo) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) in October of 2018.

International Children's Media Center   

$2,000 for four staff members to receive on-site consulting in PR, Marketing, and Publicity Skills in April-September of 2018.

Jackalope Theatre Company       

$2,000 for the managing and artistic directors to attend the 2018 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference in St Louis, MO, in June of 2018.


$2,000 for two Artistic Directors to attend a two-week artistic residency in video and photo editing, writing, and somatic movement practice at the Hambidge Center in Georgia, August – September, 2018.

Kuumba Lynx    

$2,000 to support a 10-day intensive training for Arts Facilitators called “WE GET FREE” in May-August of 2018.  

KV 265 NFP        

$1,800 to send two staff members to the League of American Orchestras 2018 Conference in Chicago in June of 2018.

Links Hall             

$800 for the Associate Director and Production Director to attend two three-hour training sessions in financial management with a consultancy in August of 2018.

Live The Spirit Residency             

$2,000 for the Executive Director to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in New York, NY, in January of 2019.

MAKE Literary Productions         

$1,800 for the Executive Director to attend three courses at the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management, September, 2018 - March, 2019.

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts    

$2,000 for artistic training for core ensemble members in Persian and Sufi music, language, and context in June-September of 2018.

Media Burn Archive       

$1,400 for the staff archivist to attend the 2018 American Institute for Conservation's annual conference in Houston, TX, in May-June of 2018.

Midsommer Flight          

$2,000 for the Associate Producer to attend the 2019 Shakespeare Theatre Association Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, in January of 2019.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian             

$600 for the executive director to  attend the joint conference of the Association of Midwest Museums, Illinois Association of Museums and Visitor Studies Association in July of 2018 in Chicago.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak         

$1,850 for a 10-week advanced training course for the executive director in Gyrotonic Method in May-August of 2018.

Oak Park Festival Theatre            

$1,500 for the Managing Director and Artistic Associate to attend the 2019 Arts Access workshop in Raleigh, NC, in January of 2019.

Pivot Arts

$2,000 for the Director to attend the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference in New York, NY, in January of 2019.

Pleasant Home Foundation

$2,000 for the Tour Coordinator & Interim Administrative Manager to participate in the “Leadership Lab” program of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, September 2018 - June 2019. 

RE Dance Group              

$1,500 for the Artistic Director to attend the 2018 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) conference in San Diego, CA, in October of 2018.

Redtwist Theatre            

$2,000 for travel and costs to send the assoc. artistic director and literary manager to the National New Play Network (NNPN) showcase in Sacramento, CA, in December of 2018.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble       

$1,650 for the Managing Director to attend the 2018 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) national conference in Saint Louis, MO, in June of 2018.

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center        

$2,000 for the executive director to attend the Womex World Music Expo 2018 in Gran Canaria, Spain in October of 2018.

Silent Theatre Company

$2,000 for travel, accommodations, and fees to attend Bright Angel Retreat in Michigan with private workshops in August 2018

Spudnik Press Cooperative         

$1,900 for the Executive Director and one additional staff member to attend the 2019 Southern Graphics Council (SGC) conference in Dallas, TX, in March of 2019.

Steep Theatre Company

$1,500 for the executive director to attend the 2018 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference in St Louis, MO, in June of 2018.

Synapse Arts     

$1,500 for the Director to receive on-site coaching by a consultant to plan for the company’s first formal strategic planning process through a series of sessions in the Fall of 2018.

Teatro Vista       

$2,000 for music lessons and on-site consultation by a professional cellist for the ensemble, September 2018 - March 2019.

The Neo-Futurists          

$2,000 to send the managing director, artistic director, and board president to the 2018 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) National Conference in St Louis, MO, in June of 2018.

The Poetry Forum/RHINO           

$2,000 for travel and registration costs to attend the March 2019 Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Portland, OR.

The Space/Movement Project   

$1,650 for travel, accommodations, and registration costs for company members to attend the 2018 Somatic Conference at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, NY, in June of 2018.

Theatre Y            

$2,000 to bring two Serbian choreographers to Chicago for a month-long workshop with the ensemble in preparation for a new devised work in August of 2018.

Third Coast Percussion

$1,600 for artistic and cultural training in Chicago for company members  on the music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe in November of 2018.


$1,500 for travel, lodging and registration costs for a program manager to attend Alliance of Artists Communities Conference in Philadelphia in October 2018.

Walkabout Theater Company    

$2,000 for the Artistic Director to attend a four-week master course at the Workcenter of Jerzy Growtoski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy, in January of 2019.

Zephyr Dance   

$750 for travel costs to Woodside, CA, for the artistic director and one company dancer attending the Djerassi residency October-November 2018.

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