IFF Announces Second Round of Funding, Additional $3 Million Awarded to Chicago’s Cultural Treasures Grantees

CHICAGO, July 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Administered by IFF, Chicago’s Cultural Treasures (ChiTreasures) announced today a second round of grant funding, totaling $3 million, to be distributed to the 40 current ChiTreasures grantees.

Launched in 2021 as a regional component of the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures, and co-created with the Chicago arts community, ChiTreasures is a race-conscious initiative that aims to strengthen, grow, and preserve organizations whose mission is to enable the creation, preservation, and dissemination of art stemming from BIPOC traditions, leadership, and culture.

The first round of grantmaking awarded $14 million to 40 BIPOC-led and -focused arts and culture organizations representing a diverse group of artforms, neighborhoods, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and contributions to Chicago’s history, vibrancy, and identity. These organizations serve as important neighborhood anchors, helping to ensure that experiences and stories from the communities they serve are shared and heard. In addition to the funding, grantees were provided technical assistance to help further support their sustainability, covering topics such as fundraising, board development, marketing communications, financial management, and facilities planning and support. Funding is provided by the Ford Foundation as part of America’s Cultural Treasures; philanthropist MacKenzie Scott; and a Chicago-based funding collaborative comprising The Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Terra Foundation for American Art, and Walder Foundation.

“One of the goals of ChiTreasures is to provide the grantees with opportunities to reach financial sustainability – through grants and technical assistance,” said Tara Townsend, President of IFF’s Social Impact Accelerator. “Both grants and technical assistance have been provided over the last three years, but there is a need for more. We are excited to be able to award another round of funding to these organizations to further support their futures.”

“Funding for organizations that are elevating the traditions and culture of people from historically marginalized backgrounds and disinvested communities has never been sufficient. We need to do more to lift up organizations that have enriched Chicago for generations,” said Tara Magner, Director of the MacArthur Foundation’s Chicago Commitment Program, on behalf of the Chicago-based funding collaborative. “The Chicago funders made a commitment to support Chicago’s rich arts and culture scene, and this next round of grants provides an opportunity to continue to do that.”

According to an October 2023 report from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the past few years have seen a decline in philanthropic, private, and public funding for arts and culture organizations. This second round of funding aims to counter that by providing additional support to the current 40 ChiTreasures grantees and reflects ChiTreasures’ commitment to continuing to support Chicago’s BIPOC arts and culture scene.

To learn more about Chicago’s Cultural Treasures, visit www.chicagosculturaltreasures.org.

Chicago’s Cultural Treasures is a four-year initiative that aims to bolster the long-term financial resilience and sustainability of BIPOC arts and cultural organizations through a combination of critical general operating support as well as capacity-building and technical assistance.

Administered by IFF, a mission-driven lender, developer and real-estate consultant, the initiative launched in winter 2021 with a participatory grantmaking process, comprising a diverse group of community members, civic leaders, and artists whose common denominator is an appreciation for how art and culture fit into the fabric of community in the Chicagoland region.

The 40 ChiTreasures grantees include:

• Africa International House USA  

• Little Black Pearl Workshop

• Aguijon Theater Company of Chicago  

• Live the Spirit Residency / Englewood Jazz Festival

• American Indian Center  

 • Mexican Folk Dance Company of Chicago

• Asian Improv aRts Midwest  

• Muntu Dance Theatre

• The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians  

• Musical Arts Institute

• Black Ensemble Theater  

• National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial

• Chicago Blues Museum 

• National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

• Chicago Jazz Philharmonic 

• Natya Dance Theatre

• Chicago West Community Music Center

• Puerto Rican Arts Alliance

• Community Film Workshop of Chicago  

• Red Clay Dance Company

• Congo Square Theatre Company  

• Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center

• Cuerdas Clasicas Inc.  

• Silk Road Rising

• Deeply Rooted Dance Theater  

• Sones de Mexico

• Diasporal Rhythms  

• South Shore Drill Team

• DuSable Museum of African American History  

• South Side Community Art Center

• eta Creative Arts Foundation, Inc. 

• Teatro Vista

• Gingarte Capoeira  

• Threewalls

• Inner-City Muslim Action Network 

• UrbanTheater Company

• International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago  

• West Point School of Music/Epic Stee

• Jazz Institute of Chicago

• Joel Hall Dancers & Center

Dana Swinney, myWHY Agency