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The MacArthur Foundation has supported Chicago-based arts and culture organizations for more than 40 years. In 2003, it launched regranting partnerships with two local philanthropic entities, the MacArthur Fund at the Prince Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Fund at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, offering unrestricted support to strengthen and sustain small and midsized arts and cultural organizations. Through these longstanding regranting relationships, MacArthur has awarded a total of $65.6 million to 565 small and midsized organizations with budgets under $2 million.

In 2019, MacArthur announced a new institutional approach called Culture, Equity, and the Arts. While its historic Arts and Culture program supported as many organizations as possible, the new Culture, Equity, and the Arts program incorporates hallmarks of the previous program, namely multi-year general operating support, with a new central goal—to promote equity by fostering collaborations between arts organizations and leaders and increasing culturally relevant experiences that reflect Chicago’s diversity.

As MacArthur’s partnerships with the Prince Trusts and Driehaus Foundation approach the end of the current five-year terms, which wind down in December 2022, and enter a period of evaluation, we have mutually and amicably agreed to not continue our funding partnership beyond 2022.

The MacArthur Foundation is considering options for a new funding partner consistent with a set of guidelines based on the goals of the Culture, Equity, and the Arts program. MacArthur is exploring a new partnership with the goal of announcing a funding partner by Summer 2022 to launch the new grants program in Spring 2023.

To learn more about this transition, please visit MacArthur’s website: “Building a More Equitable Arts Ecosystem from the Ground Up.”

We recognize that this is a significant change for organizations that are currently receiving MacArthur funds through the Prince Trusts and Driehaus Foundation, many that have been longtime grantees. In April 2022, MacArthur will be communicating additional details as they become available and hosting a series of webinars to provide as much information as possible during this year of transition. RSVP here.

The MacArthur Fund at Driehaus will continue moving forward this year with two final review cycles (January 18, 2022 deadline and May 1, 2022 deadline). Grant awards made in 2022 will be for a single year only. Multi-year grants from MacArthur-Driehaus awarded in 2020 and 2021 will receive final payments in 2022 as scheduled. All grant reporting requirements remain in effect.

Current MacArthur-Driehaus grantees as well as groups that submitted an application for 2022 Cycle One (January 18 deadline) are invited to schedule a phone conversation between mid-February and early March with Senior Program Director Suellen Burns or Executive Director Anne Lazar if they have immediate questions or concerns. Please click HERE for more information. Special note: Due to anticipated demand, we kindly request scheduling through this link rather than contacting Suellen or Anne directly.

The MacArthur Foundation has been articulate and transparent about changes for its own direct grantees (i.e., those with budgets over $2 million) in the Culture, Equity, and the Arts program, and that may be the best place to look for clues about how its future support for small and midsize organizations will evolve. Driehaus is unable to answer questions about eligibility beyond 2022 for MacArthur’s Culture, Equity, and the Arts program. MacArthur will be making further announcements about that in the coming several months. Thank you for your patience until then.

The Driehaus Foundation’s support of the local arts eco-system will remain steadfast in 2022. In alignment with our Arts and Culture guidelines (a funding program separate from the MacArthur-Driehaus partnership), the Foundation will also use this year to consider how else we might continue supporting exemplary cultural endeavors in Chicago. We look forward to sharing more about this as 2022 comes to a close.

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