The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince

The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince supports arts groups in Metropolitan Chicago with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000. In 2018, all current and new grantees of the fund will be submitting full proposals.

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The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports arts organizations in Chicago as an expression of its civic commitment to the community where the Foundation is headquartered and John and Catherine MacArthur made their home. Grants are designed to help sustain the cultural life of the city and region.

In 2003, The MacArthur Foundation created the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince. The fund provides general operating support to mid-sized Chicago arts organizations. The fund is administered according to the Prince Charitable Trusts’ selection criteria and processes for operating support grants to cultural organizations. In 2017, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince awarded $1,800,000 to 49 Chicago-area organizations.

Eligible Organizations:

Arts and culture organizations eligible to receive these grants include museums, all types of performance groups, visual arts organizations, presenting groups, arts service organizations, community arts programs, and organizations whose primary mission is to provide high quality arts experiences for young people.

Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000 will be eligible. Both revenue and expenses must exceed $500,000 as documented by the most recent audited financial statements. In 2018, both new and returning grantees of the fund will be submitting full proposals.

Selection Criteria:

  • Quality of the organization’s artistic program
  • Strength and diversity of its board and staff leadership
  • Impact on the organization’s neighborhood, the city or the region
  • Size and diversity of audiences served
  • Strong financial management and evidence of good planning
  • Community and educational outreach activities
  • Performance and exhibit reviews
  • Collaboration with other cultural insitutions

Types of Grants:

The fund makes unrestricted grants for operating support. There is a presumption of multi-year support, but with annual review.

Geographic Boundaries:

The MacArthur Fund at Prince primarily supports organizations in the city of Chicago. It is open to proposals from eligible organizations throughout the metropolitan area, but only a small number can be considered each year.

  • Within one month of a deadline, organizations will be informed about whether the proposal request falls within the guidelines of the MacArthur Fund at Prince.
  • Once a proposal has been accepted for consideration, the organization will be notified if further information is needed, a reviewer will be assigned and a site visit will be scheduled. Each applicant will receive a site visit, and where applicable, a reviewer will attend a performance. Whenever possible, the same reviewer will stay with a group for the full term of the grant.
  • Within six months of the proposal submission deadline, organizations will receive written notice as to whether the request has been funded.

For Final reports – (All returning grantees in 2018)
Please submit the following:

    • The Prince Charitable cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). A copy is available by emailing Sharon Robison (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
    • Narrative description of activities funded by the grant (two page maximum)
    • A statement for which you reflect on your organization’s primary achievements and challenges in 2017. Please be as thoughtful as you can (two-page maximum.) We are interested in hearing about collaborations with other cultural institutions and recognition from the field.
    • Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. If your most recently completed fiscal year is between January and May, you may submit an audit from the prior year, but the reviewer may request a more recent audit during the review process. For those whose fiscal year is completed by December, please have the audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year to us no later than July 1.
    • Current fiscal year operating budget with year to date actuals.
    • Please append a sample of performance or exhibit reviews (.pdf format.)

We understand that you will have submitted some of this information as part of your new application for funding, but for technical reasons, please submit all required reports in your interim or final report as well.

Technical Requirements:

  • Please send all final report materials via email in a single .pdf file to Sharon Robison, (srobison@prince-trusts.org). Pictures and logos should be sent in .jpeg format.
  • Be sure the name of your organization is in the title of any file you submit and each individual document within the large file.
  • If you have technical questions about submitting the file electronically, please call Sharon Robison at (312) 216-1962.

For Interim Reports – (Beginning in 2019)
Please submit the following:

  • The Prince Charitable Trusts cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). A copy is available by emailing Sharon Robison (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
  • Narrative Description of activities funded by the 2018 grant and plans for the upcoming year. Please include information about diversity of your board and staff, collaborations with other cultural institutions, any special recognition your organization has received and append sample reviews of your performances or exhibitions (three page maximum)
  • A statement in which you reflect on your organization’s primary achievements and challenges during the grant period. Please be as thoughtful as you can (two-page maximum)
  • Information about population served by zip code.
  • Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. If your most recently completed fiscal year is between January and May, you may submit an audit from the prior year. For those whose fiscal year is completed by December, we require the audited financial statements for the most recently completed year be submitted to us no later than July 1.
  • Current fiscal year operating budget with year-to-date actuals and an operating budget for the upcoming year,
    if available.

Technical Requirements:

  • Please send all interim and final report materials via email (except the .jpeg files) in a single .pdf file to Sharon Robison, (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
  • Be sure the name of your organization is in the title of any file you submit and each individual document within the large file.
  • If you have technical questions about submitting the file electronically, please call Sharon Robison at (312) 216-1962.
  • The Trusts make grants only to charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as public charities under Sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).
  • Organizations in the metropolitan Chicago area are eligible for grants made through the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince.
  • The Trusts do not fund projects that promote or proselytize any religion. While we do fund the projects of faith-based organizations, those projects must be secular in nature.
  • The Trusts do not fund organizations that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any veteran’s status.
Preparing to apply

Proposals to Prince Charitable Trusts are only accepted through the eGrant.net online grant program (see “GO TO EGRANT” button below).

If you have registered on eGrant.net with a funder other than Prince Charitable Trusts, you will also have to register separately with Prince to access our online application system.

Before you apply, review these steps on the e-grant application.

Application Guidelines
Dates & Deadlines
Go to eGrant
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