The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince

The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince supports arts groups in the city of Chicago with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000.

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

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If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes them aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential.

                                — President John F. Kennedy, October, 1963.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has established a special fund with the Prince Charitable Trusts of Chicago to provide grant support for arts and cultural organizations in Chicago that have annual budgets between $500,000 and $2 million.

The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince — renamed to better reflect its emphasis on equity and inclusion — has supported mid-sized Chicago arts groups since 2003. The Fund makes grants to a variety of organizations, including performance, visual arts, community arts and arts service programs, and those whose primary mission is to provide arts experiences for young people…in the conviction that a vibrant cultural and artistic life is as important to a thriving and equitable community as its economic and environmental health. The Fund provides multi-year unrestricted general operating support to a broad array of Chicago arts organizations. In 2019, the Fund awarded $1,936,000 to 50 arts organizations. In 2020, its new name will symbolize our hopes for the arts’ role in building and strengthening our city.

Eligible Organizations:

Organizations in the city of Chicago with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000 are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit audited financial statements from the two most recently completed fiscal years that show cash revenues and expenses between $500,000 and $2,000,000. Unfortunately, we cannot count in-kind income.

The Fund supports community arts organizations, dance, music, film and media, visual arts, museums, arts service and advocacy organizations, theaters, and organizations that provide high quality arts experiences for young people. Unfortunately, we cannot fund organizations that are part of colleges and universities.

Reviewers will consider:

  • Impact on the organization’s neighborhood, the city and the region
  • Service to audiences in a multi-cultural community
  • Diversity and engagement of board and staff
  • Commitment to artistic achievement
  • Attention to financial management and planning

Types of Grants:

The fund makes unrestricted grants for operating support. There is a presumption of multi-year support with annual review. A small number of capacity building grants are made to organizations at critical points in their development.

Geographic Boundaries:

The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince exclusively supports organizations in the city of Chicago.

  • In 2020, all applicants will begin a new funding cycle and submit full proposals that will be due on April 15, 2020. We will not be accepting any new groups in 2020.
  • 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.

Note:  In 2020, all groups will submit full proposals to begin a new funding cycle. See Guidelines for submitting an online proposal, MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince.

For Final Reports
For groups that received grants in 2018 or 2019. Due by noon on June 24, 2020.
Please submit the following:

  • The Prince Charitable cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). Click here for a copy of the cover sheet.
  • Narrative description of activities funded by the grant (two page maximum)
  • A statement in which you reflect on your organization’s primary achievements and challenges in the previous year. 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, we require the audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year be submitted 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@princetrusts.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.

Note:  No groups will be submitting interim reports until 2021. All 2020 applicants will submit full proposals. 

For Interim Reports
For groups that received multi-year grants in 2020.
Please submit the following:

  • The Prince Charitable Trusts cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). Click here for a copy of the cover sheet.
  • Narrative Description of activities funded by the 2020 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 31, 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 report materials via email (except the .jpeg files) in a single .pdf file to Sharon Robison, (srobison@princetrusts.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.
  • 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 city of Chicago are eligible for grants made through the MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts 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.
  • We do not fund organizations that are part of colleges or universities.
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

Photo Credit: Alex Salsky, Urban Initiatives

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