Designing Thrive

THRIVE Program Design

Thrive was developed through a participatory design process involving people with direct and varied experience in the types of arts nonprofits that this program seeks to support. A Selection Committee convened by AWF came together to nominate a participatory Design Team as a way to amplify community participation and de-center grantmaking institutions from the outset. The 12-member Selection Committee included two members of the Steering Committee and ten community leaders outside of philanthropy. The Selection Committee identified 37 prospective members for the participatory design process from diverse demographics, artistic practices, and contexts.

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Selection Committee

Suellen Burns

Senior Program Director
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

Mashaune Hardy

Assistant Director of Partnerships and Strategy
University of Chicago’s Logan Center

Carlos Hernandez-Falcon

Founder & Executive Director
Puerto Rican Arts Alliance

Meg Leary

Senior Program Director, Performing Arts and Operations
Walder Foundation

Surinder Martignetti

Community Engagement Manager
See Chicago Dance

Ciera McKissick

Public Programs Manager
Hyde Park Art Center

Anthony D. Stepter

Assistant Director, Museum and Exhibition Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

Audra Yokley

Program Officer, Performing Arts
Paul M. Angell Foundation

Angel Ysaguirre

Executive Director
Court Theater

Design Team

the thrive design team meeting photo: The Thrive Design Team

AWF worked with its project consultants, Gita Gulati-Partee and Katy Love, to research nominees and compose a final group of 12 Design Team members. The Design Team included three AWF funder-partners working alongside nine artists, arts organization leaders, and arts activists/organizers from Chicago and Cook County. Participants reflected but were not asked to formally represent the geographic, cultural, and art communities the Thrive grant program aims to support.

The Design Team identified four values to guide the creation and implementation of the new grant program: 1) Sustenance & Sustainability, 2) Connection & Wholeness, 3) Transparency & Mutuality, and 4) Accessibility & Inclusivity. These values helped guide decisions, large and small, throughout the design of the grant program and continue to guide grant program implementation.

Samira Abderahman

Curator and Project Manager
Senior Visual Arts Manager, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)

Tiff Beatty

Poet and Cultural Organizer
Founder, Art Is Bonfire
Program Director of Arts, Culture and Public Policy, National Public Housing Museum

Brian Balcom

Theater Director

Carlos Bossard

Executive Director, Haitian American Museum of Chicago (HAMOC)

Ebony Chuukwu

Associate Program Officer, Performing Arts, Walder Foundation

Marcia Festen

Director, Arts Work Fund

Mashaune Hardy

Assistant Director of Partnerships and Strategy, University of Chicago’s Logan Center

Surinder Martignetti

Dancer, Jewelry-maker, Poet, and Storyteller
Community Engagement Manager, See Chicago Dance Martignetti

Lynnette Miranda

Program Officer, Chicagoland Arts, Builders Initiative (former)

Monica Rickert-Bolter

Visual Artist and Journalist
Co-founder, Center for Native Futures

Charlique C. Rolle

Executive Director, Congo Square Theatre
National Associate Director, August Wilson New Voices Competition

Lauren Sivak

Community Advocate and Storyteller
Managing Director, 2nd Story

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