Torito Arts, photo: Justine Boyd Espoza

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.

photo: Jill Buckner

Awakenings Art

Awakenings is dedicated to making visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. The grant will support an artist and network of collaborating community organization listening campaign to help inform its future direction.

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photo: Matt Karas

Joel Hall Dancers & Center

Joel Hall Dancers & Center makes dance performance and education affordable and accessible in order to awaken the dancer in everyone’s soul. The grant will support the organization as it explores how to extend radical inclusion into every corner of its operations.

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Kalapriya Foundation, Center for Indian Performing Arts

Kalapriya presents India’s artistic diversity through performing to preserve traditional South Asian art forms and build bridges between the performing arts and our contemporary lives. The grant will support the organization as undertakes a critical examination of its current operational model and imagines as a cultural agent capable of making change.

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Mandala Arts Dancers: Laksha Dantran, Colleen Mascarhenas, Shiwali Varshney Tenner

Mandala South Asian Performing Arts

Mandala Arts is an inclusive and expansive platform to meet the complex and changing needs of the South Asian diaspora. The grant will support Mandala to work with residents and the larger South Asian community to imagine arts and culture as a tool for community growth in Devon.

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The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago

The African American Arts Alliance is a membership organization of artists and arts organizations in the visual arts, literary, music, film, technical, theater and dance communities. The grant will support the organization to create a Leadership Training Intensive that will provide mentor relationships with younger people entering the field, build a pipeline of well-rounded emerging African American arts leaders, and create new pathways for emerging arts administrators.

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photo: Justine Boyd Espoza

Torito Arts

Torito Arts is the sister non-profit to Torito Artists, an artist management and performing arts production company that works with burgeoning and established performers who are creating cross-cultural new works in the areas of dance, music, flamenco, comedy and theater. Torito Arts focuses on promoting racial, ethnic, gender, LGBTQ and disability diversity and visibility within the performing arts and explores the nexus between arts and cultural equity and social justice. The grant will support the organization to develop block booking opportunities – booking groups of three or more diverse artists – in suburban Cook County park districts and forest preserves.

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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.

photo: Avo Randruut

Changing Worlds

Changing Worlds fosters inclusive communities through oral history, writing, and arts programs that improve student learning, affirm identity, and enhance cross-cultural understanding. The grant will support Teaching Artists Survive & Thrive Year Two. The program shifts in the way Changing Worlds values and supports its teaching artists by providing mini grants for them to make personal artistic work while they piece together a living. The second-year grant will allow Changing Worlds to solidify and sustain the program.

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Chicago Art Department

Chicago Art Department (CAD) provides space and resources for socially minded artists to grow their practice while questioning the city we live in. CAD provides artists with equitable and accessible opportunities for artistic development through subsidized Studio Residencies, Think-Tank Programs, Community Events, and contemporary Exhibitions and Programs. The grant will help the organization further develop Seeds In My Pocket into an annual program series of art exhibitions highlighting various neighborhoods, artists, and community issues, specifically focusing on one Black and one Brown community each year. Seeds In My Pocket began in 2021 with a collaboration between Pilsen and Southshore artists and will be focusing on North Lawndale and Little Village in 2022

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Community Film Workshop of Chicago

Community Film Workshop of Chicago is the oldest and the first media arts center in Chicago and has always been Black-led. The grant will support the CFW Collective, a group of Black social issue activists age 19-35 years old. Collective members will be taught to use film as an organizing and advocacy tool and to assist in developing new strategies through intergenerational mentoring.

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Filament Theatre

Filament aims to create a more equitable society by celebrating and amplifying the perspectives of young people by activating them as artists and citizens through the medium of professional theater. The grant will support Youth At the Center, a new lens of program creation that puts young people in charge of season selection and new work development.

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Praize Productions Inc.

Praize Productions provide arts education and opportunities to youth and adults through a holistic approach that allows participants to excel in the arts and in their everyday lives. The grant will support the organization as it explores how to best utilize its new space and expanded staffing structure to become a cultural hub for Chicago’s South Side.

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Volunteers paint a mural designed by artist Devon Terrell at Stateville prison at DuSable Musueum of African American History.

Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Project

The Prison + Neighborhood Arts/Education Program is a visual arts and education initiative that connects artists to incarcerated students at Stateville prison through classes, workshops, a policy think tank, and guest lectures. The grant will support a pilot storefront gallery and community space, Walls Turned Sideways, dedicated to artists and communities impacted by incarceration.

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"photo: John Armstrong, Changing Voices Reemergence Celebration at Ignite Glass Studio, July 2021"

Storycatchers Theatre

Storycatchers Theatre guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, inspiring them to develop the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. The grant will support the organization to integrate a visual arts component into the curriculum of Changing Voices, a post-release arts-based jobs program that has traditionally focused on creative writing and the live performing arts. Partnerships in this expansion initiative include Ignition Community Glass and the Green Star Movement.

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Yin He Dance

Yin He Dance Company presents traditional and contemporary Chinese dance. The organization is challenged in its growth by a lack of younger dancers trained in Chinese dance who also wanted to perform. The grant will support the organization to develop an expansion model for its apprenticeship program.

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