The Driehaus Foundation is pleased to announce more than $1.6 million in new general operating grants to support 91 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.
2nd Story – $26,000 over 2 years
2nd Story hosts events in and around Chicago that elevate the storyteller’s words to deliver a distinct literary and theatrical experience.
Artemisia - A Chicago Theatre – $8,000 over 2 years
Artemisia Theatre fills a distinctive niche in Chicago, with its emphasis on new feminist plays written by women and by providing women with leadership roles in theater.
Artistic Home Acting Ensemble – $30,000 over 2 years
The Artistic Home is dedicated to extraordinary acting, producing both neglected classics and new plays.
Artists' Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions Project – $22,000 over 2 years
ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an artist-run non-profit that supports emerging artists through its two core programs: a summer residency and ongoing exhibitions. All exhibitions feature work by residency artists.
Asian Pop-Up Cinema – $16,000 over 2 years
Asian Pop-Up Cinema was established in 2015 to fill a need in Chicago for contemporary film from across Asia. It brings high quality films from the many countries of Asia, to help Chicago audiences learn about this diverse and important part of the world.
Bach & Beethoven Experience – $3,000
Bach and Beethoven Experience (BBE) brings artists together to present music concerts featuring classical, folk, and new music using period instruments and practices, transforming the classical music concert experience to interactive and communal.
beyond this point – $3,000
Beyond This Point (BTP) is a percussion-based collaborative ensemble that presents programs which synthesize musical performance with theater, movement, film, sculpture, and environmentalism.
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre – $24,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1999 to produce cross-disciplinary collaborations, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre (CRDT) creates and performs contemporary works that address issues such as citizenship, identity, and immigration.
Chicago Chorale – $16,000 over 2 years
Chicago Chorale performs choral masterworks of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries, in the liturgical and acoustic environments for which they were composed.
Chicago Collections – $32,000 over 2 years
Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC) is an association of libraries, museums, and other institutions with archives. CCC and its member organizations preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region.
Chicago Composers Orchestra – $10,000 over 2 years
Chicago Composers Orchestra (CCO) presents and promotes orchestral music by living composers with emphasis on Chicago-area composers. It is the only orchestra in Chicago dedicated exclusively to performing the work of living composers.
Chicago Dancers United – $10,000
Chicago Dancers United (CDU) provides financial relief for preventative health care and critical medical needs for Chicago dance industry professionals. Its primary fundraiser is the Dance for Life gala.
Chicago Dramatists – $20,000
Founded in 1979, Chicago Dramatists is the city’s only organization solely dedicated to developing new plays.
Chicago Film Archives, NFP – $38,000 over 2 years
Chicago Film Archives (CFA) is a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving, and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. It is the only organization with the mandate to collect and preserve Midwest films.
Chicago Folks Operetta – $16,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2006, Chicago Folks Operetta is dedicated to the revival, development, and performance of operetta, restoring and producing Viennese and American Silver Age operettas primarily by Jewish composers and librettists.
Chicago Fringe Opera – $3,000
Chicago Fringe Opera (CFO) 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 Maritime Museum – $6,000
Chicago Maritime Museum’s (CMM) mission is to preserve and present the heritage of Chicago’s waterways and their impact on Chicago’s evolution.
Chicago Repertory Ballet – $10,000 over 2 years
Chicago Repertory Ballet (CRB) brings storytelling and choreographic innovation to dance audiences by presenting abstract dance and original evening-length narrative ballets.
Chicago West Community Music Center – $20,000
Chicago West Community Music Center (CWCMC) is the only neighborhood-focused music conservatory on the west side of Chicago. It provides professional concerts, music education for young people, and training for aspiring music professionals.
Chinatown Museum Foundation – $26,000 over 2 years
The Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC) 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.
City Lit Theater Company – $26,000 over 2 years
City Lit Theater produces stage reading and full-stage productions of literary adaptations. It produces a wide range of material from obscure and familiar classics to new plays to musical theatre.
Civitas Ensemble – $24,000 over 2 years
Civitas Ensemble is a chamber music ensemble with a mission to present engaging live performances of new and traditional works, and to bring the healing power of music to patients in hospitals and other care settings.
Clinard Dance – $20,000 over 2 years
Clinard Dance, since 1999 based in and informed by the unique character of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, keeps flamenco music and dance contemporary, relevant, and vibrant through cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Congo Square Theatre Company – $40,000 over 2 years
Congo Square Theatre Company produces definitive and transformative theatre, spawned from the African Diaspora and other world cultures. It takes its inspiration from the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.
Definition Theatre Company – $4,000
Definition Theatre tells language-driven, relationship-oriented, socially relevant stories about and created with underrepresented Chicago communities. It is a collective of creatives who prioritize work by, for, and about south side communities of color.
Design Museum of Chicago – $16,000 over 2 years
The Design Museum of Chicago educates, inspires, and fosters innovation through design. It creates three major exhibitions each year and partners with other arts, academic, and non-profit organizations.
Edgar Miller Legacy – $18,000 over 2 years
Edgar Miller Legacy is dedicated to preserving and promoting the artistic legacy and spirit of creative initiative of the late Chicago artist, designer, and craftsman Edgar Miller.
Eighth Blackbird – $40,000 over 2 years
Eighth Blackbird is an internationally renowned sextet ensemble that performs contemporary and new music with national and international engagements. It has garnered numerous accolades, including four GRAMMY awards.
Evanston History Center – $15,000
Evanston History Center’s (EHC) mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the rich history of the City of Evanston and all its people through exhibits, educational programs, and research facilities.
Every House Has A Door – $11,000 over 2 years
Every House Has A Door creates experimental performance centered on many scales thanks to a heavily researched creative process and a team of skilled and experienced specialists.
Experimental Sound Studio – $40,000 over 2 years
Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) is a hub for the creative exploration of sound. It operates a gallery, audio archives, recording studio, and performance series, and activates public spaces with sound.
Filament Theatre Ensemble, NFP – $18,000 over 2 years
Filament Theatre presents immersive adaptations and ambitious theatrical experiences for multi-generational audiences. It is one of the only Theatres for Young Audiences serving Chicagoland, a designation for theatre created for children and families.
First Floor Theater – $12,000 over 2 years
First Floor Theater stages stories of individuals facing moments of radical change. By combining visceral acting, immersive design, and collaborative dramaturgy, it expands these stories to ask urgent, social questions.
Floating Museum – $3,000
Founded in 2016, Floating Museum is an arts collective that creates new models that explore relationships between art, community, architecture, and public institutions.
Fulcrum Point New Music Project – $38,000 over 2 years
Fulcrum Point is one of the longest standing contemporary music ensembles in Chicago. It presents high quality performances of artistically rich and stylistically diverse new music.
Griffin Theatre Company – $34,000 over 2 years
Griffin Theater is one of the most acclaimed storefront theaters in Chicago, after more than 30 seasons.
Haven Theatre Company – $11,000
Haven empowers artists to practice and hone their craft by providing an equitable haven of opportunity for the creation of innovative performance, theatre, and media arts. Its work intentionally represents Chicago’s racial and cultural diversity.
Haymarket Opera Company – $38,000 over 2 years
Since its 2011 debut, Haymarket Opera Company (HOC) has presented 18 operatic productions and numerous concert performances of 17th- and 18th-century operas and oratorios using period instruments and historically informed staging conventions.
Hell In A Handbag Productions – $10,000
Hell in a Handbag Productions is a theater company that produces humorous, camp-style satires of Hollywood melodramas and pop culture classics (for example, POSEIDON! An Upside-Down Musical – a comic take on the 1972 film, The Poseidon Adventure).
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.
HotHouse – $32,000 over 2 years
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.
Hyde Park Jazz Festival – $40,000 over 2 years
The Hyde Park Jazz Festival (HPJF) is a collaborative platform dedicated to supporting the presentation and ongoing development of jazz, particularly on the south side of Chicago. Its main program is a free two-day festival, reaching over 15,000 people.
Idle Muse Theatre Company – $3,000
Established in 2006 by theatre artists interested in exploring the relationship between individuals and worlds they inhabit, the mission of Idle Muse Theatre Company is reflected in their core values, “Three T's": Transporting. Timely. True.
International Children's Media Center – $26,000 over 2 years
The International Children’s Media Center (ICMC) is dedicated to transforming the way children and youth use, view and engage film. Through its programs, it teaches youth to both consume and curate film with a critical eye.
Interrobang Theatre Project – $14,000 over 2 years
Interrobang Theatre Project produces visceral and timely works, rarely produced texts, and new American plays. It is a racial equity organization.
Invictus Theatre Company – $3,000
Invictus Theatre Company is a young ensemble dedicated to celebrating heightened language in theatre, primarily through Shakespeare’s work, but also through contemporary plays.
Irish Theatre of Chicago – $5,000
For 25 years, Irish Theatre Company (ITC) has produced stories that reflect the rich history and culture of Ireland as well as the contemporary experiences of its Chicago audiences.
Joel Hall Dancers & Center – $10,000
Joel Hall Dancers & Center (JHDC), founded in 1974, comprises three ensembles for pre-professional, early-career, and professional dancers, plus a facility that offers public classes and rentable studio space.
Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts – $26,000 over 2 years
Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts supports, celebrates, and presents dance, music, theater, storytelling, and education programs rooted in South Asia’s diverse cultural traditions.
Lakeside Singers – $8,000
Lakeside Singers’ mission is to present good music of all kinds in the truest representation. The 25-member ensemble includes vocalists, instrumentalists, song writers, and arrangers with a broad range of musical genre specialties and strengths.
Latitude, Inc NFP – $28,000 over 2 years
LATITUDE is the first and only open digital lab that provides affordable access to high-end digital equipment to artists and photographers and develops robust arts programming and an ongoing artist in residence program.
Live The Spirit Residency – $18,000 over 2 years
Live the Spirit Residency is deeply rooted in and reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Englewood community by increasing its musical resources.
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian – $28,000 over 2 years
The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is one of only a handful of museums across the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history, and culture of Native American and First Nation peoples from throughout the United States and Canada.
MOMENTA! Inc – $16,000 over 2 years
MOMENTA cultivates and presents historic and contemporary dance works that strive to educate, innovate, and amplify the artistry of students and professionals, inclusive of artists with disabilities. Its mission and programs are equity focused.
MPAACT – $10,000
MPAACT is a resilient, adaptable theatre company whose mission is to create African American playwrights and actors’ opportunities.
Muntu Dance Theatre – $40,000 over 2 years
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. It celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.
NAJWA Dance Corps – $18,000 over 2 years
NAJWA Dance Corps is devoted to the performance, production, and preservation of dance that reflects the Black experience. It has inspired and delighted audiences for 40 years.
National Veterans Art Museum – $26,000 over 2 years
The National Veterans Art Museum fulfils a unique niche as it is solely dedicated to presenting veteran artwork. It aims to develop a deeper understanding of the impact war has on our veterans and greater community.
Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago – $3,000
Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago is a large classical music ensemble composed of young professionals and recent graduates of Chicago’s college music programs, bringing symphonic classical music to neighborhoods outside of downtown Chicago.
OPEN Center for the Arts – $7,000
OPEN Center for the Arts provides a space where all artists can come together to share, showcase, refine and develop their artistic talents as well as support entrepreneurship opportunities in the arts while connecting their growth to the community.
Otherworld Theatre Company – $11,000
Founded in 2012, Otherworld Theatre Company 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.
Pivot Arts, Inc. – $16,000 over 2 years
Pivot Arts, Inc. is a multidisciplinary organization that creates, develops, and presents contemporary and adventurous performances that often take place in unusual spaces. Its signature program is a 10-day, multi-arts festival each spring.
PlayMakers Laboratory – $40,000 over 2 years
Established in 1997 and active in underresourced Chicago Public Schools since 1999, PlayMakers Laboratory (PML, formerly Barrel of Monkeys) offers a variety of programs centered on advancing the creativity and literacy of third- to seventh-grade students.
Prop Thtr – $16,000 over 2 years
Prop Thtr is the oldest surviving off-loop, non-equity theater in Chicago. It develops and produces new plays and theatrical work that are experimental, inclusive, and focused on social justice.
RE Dance Group – $6,000 over 2 years
Established in 2009 as a long-distance creative partnership between a Chicago-based dance artist and another based in Wisconsin, RE | Dance Group is a choreographer-led contemporary movement ensemble that opens its weekly classes to the public.
Red Theater Chicago – $11,000 over 2 years
Red Theatre Chicago has gained a reputation for innovative and accessible plays throughout its eight year history.
Redtwist Theatre – $26,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1994, Redtwist Theatre’s mission is to produce white hot drama in a tiny black box with a little red twist.
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble – $38,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1994, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE) is committed to the cultivation of female voices and opportunities for women artists and to elevating the lives of women through the power of theatre.
Roman Susan – $6,000 over 2 years
The Roman Susan Art Foundation creates and promotes new ways to exhibit and experience art from its 200-square foot gallery space in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood.
Rough House Theater Company – $16,000 over 2 years
Rough House Theater Company uses puppetry, music, and theater to tell stories that are intimate, strange, and sincere. It is a nexus for puppetry arts, supporting innovation and growth in the community through training and performance opportunities.
Same Planet Performance Project – $10,000 over 2 years
Same Planet Performance Project prioritizes the moving body as the source for meaning and understanding by presenting original work created by Artistic Director Joanna Read and commissioning work from national and international artists.
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center – $40,000 over 2 years
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC) is the longest-standing Latino cultural center in Chicago and it works to preserve and promote appreciation of the culture and arts of Puerto Rico, with a focus on its African heritage.
Shattered Globe Theatre – $26,000 over 2 years
Founded in 1991, Shattered Globe Theatre (SGT) creates ensemble-driven, visceral storytelling experiences that challenge perspectives, including re-imaginings of classic works and new plays.
Sixty Inches From Center – $12,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2010, Sixty Inches From Center is a web-based arts publication, archiving initiative, and project producer for artists, writers, archivists, and curators in the Chicago area. It is led and run by individuals from communities of color.
Steep Theatre Company – $32,000 over 2 years
Steep Theatre’s mission is to bring out the everyday truths through ensemble work and to reach out to non-traditional theatregoers by seeking out stories and creating experiences relevant to them.
Strawdog Theatre Company – $30,000 over 2 years
Strawdog Theatre Company is one of Chicago’s oldest, non-Equity, ensemble theater companies, presenting a full season of plays that champion its core values of genuine connection, ensemble, challenge, and community.
Tango 21 Dance Theater – $6,000 over 2 years
Tango 21 Dance Theater, established in 2014, creates original musicals and theatrical productions. Its uniqely tango-based shows typically premiere in Chicago before touring the Midwest region.
Teatro Vista: Theater with a View – $40,000 over 2 years
Teatro Vista is a 30-year-old Equity theater company dedicated to nurturing and presenting the human experience from a Latinx perspective. Its ensemble of 24 artists is the driving force of the organization.
The Community Film Workshop of Chicago – $16,000 over 2 years
Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) has a mission to provide access to the tools of media that support the development of digital media artists of color in underserved communities.
The Guild Complex – $4,000
The Guild Literary Complex is a 30-year-old grassroots literary arts organization creating performance-based events in and around the Chicagoland area.
The Miracle Center – $12,000
Active in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods on Chicago’s west side since 1995, The Miracle Center (TMC) leverages the performing arts toward personal growth, leadership development, academic advancement, and community engagement.
The Paper Machete Group Inc. NFP – $12,000 over 2 years
The Paper Machete’s free-of-charge “live magazine” series utilizes Chicago’s best comics, writers, and performance artists to engage its audience in humorous, provocative conversations about current affairs and cultural issues.
The Poetry Forum/RHINO – $6,000 over 2 years
For over 45 years, The Poetry Forum, Inc. (also known as RHINO) has supported the local poetry community by publishing an annual print journal and offering programs for writers and general audiences.
The Space/Movement Project – $10,000 over 2 years
The Space / Movement Project (TSMP), established in 2005, is a women-led dance collective that creates contemporary choreography in collaboration. It also administers, through partnerships, two programs that serve the field.
Theo Ubique – $10,000
Theo Ubique presents a full season of four musical theater works at its space in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. It is dedicated to engaging artists and audiences in an intimate and honest conversation.
Third Eye Theatre Ensemble – $6,000 over 2 years
Founded in 2013, Third Eye Theatre Ensemble presents new or seldom-performed operatic works that inspire conversation while advocating for human rights and social justice.
ThreeWalls – $20,000
Founded in 2003, ThreeWalls (TW) fosters contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, encouraging connections beyond art. Its work is grounded in the belief that art unifies communities, people, and experiences.
TUTA Theatre Chicago – $14,000 over 2 years
TUTA Theatre Chicago produces a unique selection of contemporary European and Slavic plays as well as reimagined classics.
Video Game Art Gallery – $5,000
Video Game Art Gallery features the work of significant artists and game developers from around the world. This includes exhibits, artist talks, and scholarly publications about video game and other new media art as well as a fine art print collection.
Water People Theater Group NFP – $26,000 over 2 years
Water People Theater Group (WPTG) produces a full season of bilingual theater performances and workshops, focusing its work on themes of human rights and social harmony.
Yin He Dance – $4,000
Yin He Dance presents Chinese dance that bridges east and west as well as past and present. It performs repertory works passed down by master teachers and new works primarily by choreographers who are part of the Chinese diaspora.