We are pleased to announce grants to 59 Chicago arts and culture organizations totaling $364,000. The Driehaus Foundation makes these grants 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.
This funding cycle, the first of two in 2022, supports organizations with annual operating budgets under $150,000. Sixteen groups receiving an award are first-time grant recipients. Forty-six percent self-identify as racial and cultural equity organizations. Grantees represent a broad range of creative disciplines, including music, dance, theater, visual arts, museums and collections, film and video, literary arts, and more. A complete list of grant recipients is below.
Congratulations to MacArthur-Driehaus awardees!
6018NORTH • $9,000
6018North is both a space on Chicago’s far north side and a city-wide artist‐centered platform for innovative and experimental art and culture. It challenges what art is, whom it’s for, and where and how it’s created.
AstonRep • $4,500
AstonRep Theatre Company is an ensemble of artists creating theater that sparks discussion through new works and reimagined classics staged in an intimate setting and that puts social topics under the microscope to question the world around us.
Bach & Beethoven Experience • $3,000
The Bach & Beethoven Experience brings artists together to present concerts featuring classical, folk, and new music using period instruments and practices, transforming the classical music concert experience to be interactive and communal.
Bach Week Festival • $9,000
Bach Week Festival is an annual four concert event that presents the choral, orchestral, chamber, and solo works of J.S. Bach. It has an appreciative and loyal audience for its mix of familiar and less often heard repertoire.
beyond this point • $3,000
beyond this point is a percussion-based collaborative ensemble that presents programs which synthesize musical performance with theater, movement, media/film, sculpture, and environmentalism.
Bohemian Theatre Ensemble • $11,500
Founded in 2003, Bohemian (BoHo) Theatre Ensemble consistently produces highly acclaimed musicals and plays.
Broken Nose Theatre • $4,000
Broken Nose Theatre is a pay-what-you-can company that develops and produces new work and seeks to cultivate empathy, spark conversation, and amplify underrepresented voices. Its ticketing policy removes the financial barrier to seeing live theater.
Cabinet of Curiosity • $3,000
Cabinet of Curiosity creates original celebrations and productions featuring sophisticated puppetry that promote curiosity, community, and culture. It continues the 25-year tradition of spectacle-based puppet work begun by Chicago’s Redmoon Theater.
Chicago Balinese Gamelan • $4,000
Chicago Balinese Gamelan is the only group of its kind in Chicago, serving as a cultural ambassador for the Balinese gamelan art form of music and dance.
Chicago Blues Revival • $4,000 ;
Chicago Blues Revival supports blues and blues-inspired music in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville and Garfield Park and creates opportunities for Chicago blues musicians to teach and perform.
Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium • $4,000
Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium empowers Chicago’s cultural spaces to become more accessible to visitors and patrons by offering free programs and resources to cultural administrators and people with disabilities.
Chicago Fringe Opera • $3,000
Chicago Fringe Opera presents vocal and operatic works with an emphasis on new works in English by living composers. It stands alone in its specific mission to utilize Chicago artists exclusively, both on and off stage.
Chopin Theatre Productions • $3,000
Chopin Theatre Productions promotes civic discourse by presenting a range of artistic offerings, including in 2022 three Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival plays and the "The Drag Seed" featuring the story of a gender non-binary family.
Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago • $8,000
Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago, founded in 2010, seeks to make Chicago a world home for the performance and study of art song (poetry set to music) and vocal chamber music.
Concert Dance, Inc. • $8,000
Concert Dance, Inc. is a Chicago-based contemporary dance company whose artists work in collaboration with choreographer and Artistic Director Venetia Stifler, Ph.D, who founded the organization in 1981.
CPS Lives • $4,000
CPS Lives provides artists with residency programs to create work that offers a window into the Chicago Public School system and shares the unique and individual story of the artists’ experience with the school community they become part of.
Crossing Borders Music Collective • $4,000
Crossing Borders Music uses music to promote the dignity of people from all cultures and envisions a more harmonious world in which people experience musical and artistic dimensions of cultures.
Curious Theatre Branch • $8,000
Founded in 1988, Curious Theatre Branch is an ensemble of artists dedicated to creating new plays and performances and to producing work from a variety of artists.
Dance in the Parks • $4,500
Dance in the Parks provides free, outdoor dance performances for diverse audiences across the city of Chicago and in Evanston.
Definition Theatre Company • $5,000
Definition Theatre tells language-driven, relationship-oriented, socially relevant stories created with underrepresented communities in Chicago. It is a collective of creatives who prioritize work by, for, and about south side communities of color.
dropshift dance • $3,000
dropshift dance presents partially fixed, partially fluid and interactive classes and live events for the general public, in person and online.
Erasing The Distance • $11,000
Erasing the Distance dramatizes factual, first-person narratives to destigmatize mental illness, provoke dialogue, and support healing. Initially a response to the pandemic, its virtual programs now complement its events held in person.
Floating Museum • $4,000
Founded in 2016, Floating Museum is a multidisciplinary collective that creates new models exploring relationships between architecture, art, community, history, place, and public institutions.
Fourth Coast Ensemble • $3,000
Fourth Coast Ensemble, founded in 2013, is a quartet that performs, commissions, and records vocal chamber music and promotes art song in Chicago. Fourth Coast works to make art song more contemporary, diverse, and enjoyable to a wider audience.
Haitian American Museum of Chicago • $4,000
The Haitian American Museum of Chicago promotes Haitian art, history, and culture in Chicago and beyond. It is the only Haitian space in Chicago that promotes the art and cultural artifacts from the Haitian and Haitian American community.
Heaven Gallery • $7,000
Heaven Gallery is a multi-disciplinary space in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood that presents emerging artists. Its racial equity policy requires the artists presented and the board to be 60% Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people of color.
Her Story Theater • $3,000
Her Story Theater is a theater for social change; its primary 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 • $11,000
High Concept Labs is the only organization in Chicago that provides artists with access to free studio and performance space, residencies, and opportunities to present work through public programming.
Idle Muse Theatre Company • $3,000
Idle Muse produces two plays per year with the aim to produce work that is “transporting, timely, and true.” Idle Muse productions often include adaptations of Victorian classics (Sherlock Holmes, Jekyll and Hyde) and contemporary plays by women.
Invictus Theatre Company • $3,000
Invictus Theatre Company is a performance ensemble dedicated to celebrating heightened language in theater, primarily through Shakespeare’s work, but also through contemporary plays.
Irish Theatre of Chicago • $5,000
Irish Theatre of Chicago is Chicago’s only professional theater company dedicated to presenting works that reflect the rich history and culture of Ireland.
Khecari • $14,000
Khecari presents the ongoing artistic inquiry of Julia Antonick and Jonathan Meyer, who push the boundaries of dance by experimenting with movements and evolving them, often through the span of years.
KV 265 • $9,000
KV 265 heightens the appreciation and understanding of arts and science for people of all ages through multimedia concerts, Science & Symphony films, and educational STEAM programs.
Lampo • $7,000
Founded in 1997, Lampo supports artists working in experimental music and other interdisciplinary practices, extensively documents its live events, and produces publications.
LYNX Project • $3,000
LYNX Project amplifies diverse voices through commissions, inclusive concerts, and education programs that bring together emerging as well as established composers and musicians with individuals who are neurodivergent.
Midsommer Flight • $4,000
Midsommer Flight produces high-quality, accessible performances of Shakespeare’s plays in Chicago parks.
MPAACT • $11,000
MPAACT (Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theater) was founded in 1991. It exists to develop, nurture, and sustain artistic expressions grounded in cultures and traditions of the African continent and its diaspora.
National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial • $15,000
The National Cambodian Heritage Museum is a tribute to the rich history dating back more than 4,000 years, and provides a permanent and secure home in Chicago for the culture that was almost lost during the Vietnam War and Cambodia’s genocide.
NON:Op Open Opera Works • $4,000
NON:Op creates performances and installations that critically address social issues. Collaboration, community engagement, and artist commissions are core parts of its immersive, interactive, and multi-disciplinary work.
PARA.MAR Dance Theatre • $4,000
PARA.MAR is a contemporary ballet company that produces and presents new work by diverse dance artists. It creates accessible, immersive, and engaging dance experiences that build inclusive communities of dancers and dance audiences.
Physical Festival Chicago • $8,500
Physical Festival Chicago holds a unique place in the Chicago theater ecosystem, offering Chicago audiences an opportunity to experience theater based on the human body.
Red Tape Theatre Company • $5,000
Red Tape has been a benchmark of Chicago experimental storefront theater for the past two decades and is currently based in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Refracted Theatre Company • $3,000
Refracted Theatre Company was co-founded in 2019. Through original theatrical productions, often presented unconventionally, it seeks to disrupt socially accepted narratives and refract reductive thinking through a prism of theatrical storytelling.
Rembrandt Chamber Musicians • $13,000
Rembrandt Chamber Musicians perpetuates chamber music as an accessible, engaging, and deeply personal living art form by presenting world-class performances of both well-known masterworks and hidden gems from the Baroque to the present.
Silent Theatre Company • $5,000
Silent Theatre Company produces original and devised plays that amplify unheard voices. Originally inspired by silent movies and other artforms that eschew spoken dialog, it has broadened its focus to include metaphorical silence.
South Side Projections • $3,000
South Side Projections presents unique film screenings for Chicago south side communities and fosters conversation about complex social and political issues.
The Factory Theater Company • $9,000
The Factory Theater Company, started in 1992, creates unpretentious, entertaining theatrical productions and enables ensemble members to create and test their ideas. It is unusual in its focus on blue collar stories and audiences.
The Guild Complex • $4,000
The Guild Literary Complex is a grassroots literary arts organization creating performance-based events in the Chicago area.
The New Coordinates • $10,000
The New Coordinates (formerly The New Colony) develops new art, new artists, and new plays from development to full production to build new audiences. It has debuted 32 world plays and musicals over the past 9 years.
The Plagiarists • $3,000
The Plagiarists is an ensemble of theater makers that "steal" from literature, visual art, history, and the culture at large to create and present work that is funny, engaging, and speaks to people of today.
The Seldoms, NFP • $14,500
For 20 years, The Seldoms has created intelligent, boldly executed multimedia dance performances that ignite thinking about critical social issues. Projects are fueled by an appetite for research and incubated with partners from the subject fields.
The South Side Jazz Coalition • $4,000
The South Side Jazz Coalition is dedicated to revitalizing jazz on the south side of Chicago, cultivating safe spaces to access free live music, cultural programs, and inter-generational events, and preserving the legacy of elder jazz musicians.
Theatre Y • $11,000
During the pandemic, Theatre Y, a Chicago-based “international incubator” with a strong history and reputation for Eastern European avant-garde aesthetic and boundary-pushing theater, changed its focus to being a racial and social justice organization.
Trap Door Theatre • $13,500
Founded by Beata Pilch in 1990 as a nomadic group in Europe, in 1994 Trap Door Theatre settled in a 45-seat theater in Chicago’s near northside neighborhood of Bucktown. It presents avant-garde, challenging plays in a distinctive, expressionistic style.
Video Game Art Gallery • $5,000
Video Game Art Gallery features the work of significant artists and game developers from around the world. Programs include exhibits, artist talks, scholarly publications about video game and new media art, and sale of fine art prints.
Windy City Performing Arts • $3,000
Windy City Performing Arts sings to inspire change, celebrate diversity, and honor the dignity of the LGBTQ+ community. It was incorporated in 1983 as an organization for Windy City Gay Chorus and Aria: Windy City Women’s Ensemble.
Winifred Haun & Dancers • $7,000
Winifred Haun & Dancers, established in 1991, is a mainstay of the local dance scene with regular activities and programs in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, in addition to U.S. and occasionally international touring.
Yin He Dance • $5,000
Yin He Dance presents Chinese dance of historic significance and contemporary dance rooted in Chinese and Chinese American culture, bridging east and west, and the past, present, and future.
~Nois • $3,000
Founded in 2016, ~Nois commissions, performs, and records new music for saxophone quartet that spotlights and contributes to Chicago’s diverse and vibrant contemporary music scene.