photo: Harmony, Hope & Healing, by: Heather Eidson

Think Grants

Think grants give arts organizations the time and space to think through a question, analyze challenges and opportunities, and develop plans or small tests of change.

Projects include developing artist spaces, explorations of pay equity in the sector, and creative community documentation.

Chicago Multicultural Dance Center

Chicago Multicultural Dance Center is a dance training center that works to preserve and advance the African American aesthetic in Ballet and to provide opportunities in Ballet for dancers of all races, shapes, and sizes. The grant supports the Center as it explores and documents best practices in virtual dance performance.

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Shift Englewood

Shift Englewood promotes social and personal growth through intensive music and leadership training. The grant supports the organization as it explores what changes it needs to make to better serve and grow with Greater Englewood. It will embark on a listening campaign and test new ideas based on what students and community members say they need most during this time, using music and creativity to come out of the collective trauma of the pandemic and to address racial inequity.

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Sideshow Theatre

Sideshow Theatre Company is a "theatre for the curious." The grant will support Sideshow's ongoing transition from a predominantly white institution to a BIPOC and trans-led institution with a majority BIPOC ensemble amidst a global pandemic, both through internal consensus building and the use of external advisory support.

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Spudnik Press Cooperative

Spudnik Press Cooperative is an open-access printmaking studio in Chicago. The grant will help it to explore alternative fee structure, packaging, and presentation options to better meet artist and community-user needs.

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Territory is a youth-led urban design organization serving young people across the city. Territory is exploring the idea of establishing a permanent design-build studio space for teens in the Austin neighborhood. This grant will support a team of Austin teens and a design project manager with lived experience in Austin to complete a community-engaged architectural programming process exploring potential sites, space requirements, and the needs this space can meet for teens and community partners.

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Explore Grants

Explore grants provide arts organizations who have fully developed ideas with the resources to test and implement the concept.

Projects will amplify the voices of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists and artists with disabilities, build togetherness through technology, and explore program growth.

Black Alphabet

Black Alphabet elevates Black LGBTQ+/SGL voices through the arts. The grant supports "Rebuilding Our Chicago," a community collaborative film that documents the inequities faced by Chicago's Black LGBTQ+/SGL artistic community, in their own words, and charts a way forward.

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Chicago Film Archives

Chicago Film Archives houses, preserves, and provides public access to Chicago home movies and other films that reflect our various Midwest histories. This grant supports Everyday People-43rd St. Station/Bronzeville, a 12-hour-a-day, 48-month large-scale outdoor exhibition of home movies that represents the lives lived in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. This launch is done in partnership with Urban Juncture and collaborates with the Chicago Public Transit system. CFA's goals are to increase public access to the Archive's vast collections, demonstrate fresh ways to consider home movies as history and art, engage local residents in public art that reflects their community, highlight Urban Juncture's efforts to restore the historic Forum building, and leave new and lasting capacity for large scale public art with The Forum.

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photo by: Heather Eidson

Harmony, Hope & Healing

Harmony, Hope & Healing creates a safe environment where vulnerable individuals and families heal and rebuild through the restorative power of music. Its teaching artists share similar backgrounds to the individuals it seeks to engage. The grant utilizes a newly tested therapeutic songwriting curriculum to support artist residencies with women detained in Cook County Jail. The project also builds new partnerships with the broader music community; the songs created by incarcerated women will be performed publicly by the organization to raise the voices of detained women.

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MAKE Literary Productions

MAKE Literary Productions supports, promotes, and engages contemporary writers, artists, and audiences through publishing, multidisciplinary arts events, and international cultural exchange. The grant will help it develop a technology toolbox for sustainable translation and accessibility services.

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Kuumba Lynx

Kuumba Lynx is committed to developing healing arts initiatives that will preserve, present, and promote Hip Hop culture where youth and their communities can lead and engage with transformative opportunities to imagine, practice, and realize a more equitable world.

This grant supports the continued development of Issa Vibe Healing Arts Space. Issa Vibe will provide resources, and engagement for both emerging & established creatives and wellness practitioners to vibrantly thrive and radically heal.

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Open Television

OTV distributes and develops emerging intersectional media makers. The grant will help the organization assess its disability and accessibility practices to ensure its programming is accessible to all.

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photo by: Richard Termine

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival advances the art of puppetry seeking support for the Chicago Puppet Lab, a puppet theater developmental lab and residency program. The program's goals are to incubate inspiring, boundary-breaking puppetry in Chicago; expand equity in the field of puppetry and encourage interdisciplinary experimentation in puppet theater.

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The House Theatre of Chicago

The House Theatre of Chicago aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform. The grant will support efforts to ensure the success of a new BIPOC female artist leader within a historically white institution as she works to transition the theater to a multicultural hub.

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The South Side Community Art Center

The South Side Community Art Center nourishes African American artists, operating out of a Chicago landmark building. The grant will support the creation of a formal Volunteer Program. The Volunteer Program will recruit, train, and retain volunteers from the community and maintain an ongoing database of people who can assist the Center with administrative, curatorial, exhibitions, archival, and collections work. A particular focus of the Volunteer Program is to build a base of volunteer docents who can conduct tours of the national landmark building and exhibition highlighting contemporary and modern art related to the importance of African American art and culture broadly.

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