Acknowledging the potentially cataclysmic financial situation that hundreds of beloved regional small arts organizations are facing, the board of the Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation unanimously voted to immediately put in place a series of funding mechanisms, including expediting a total of $2 million in general operating funds to its current roster of 175 arts grantees in the Chicago region and 40 in the lowcountry of South Carolina.
The nearly 70-year old foundation currently supports these small arts nonprofits with an array of ongoing organizational development opportunities in addition to multi-year general operating grants ( vs. program-specific ). These grants range from $2,500 to $13,500 annually for Chicago organizations with budgets under $1 million, and $5,000 to $25,000 annually for lowcountry organizations. Grantees will receive July 2020 payments by May 1, and November payments by June 1, and the typically requisite reporting requirements have been relaxed.
Arts organizations served by the Foundation range in practice from performance-based to visual arts and cultural preservation and collections; among those receiving expedited funds include:
6018 North, a Chicago organization for experimental arts and culture;
Chamber Music Charleston;
eta Creative Arts Foundation;
OHM Radio, a commercial-free radio station in Charleston that provides locally produced programming;
Palmetto Luna, which promotes Latinx art and culture in South Carolina; and
Sones de Mexico Ensemble, a Chicago-based group that promotes Mexican folk music.
Grants are also going to LGBTQ-oriented theater companies such as Hell in a Handbag Productions, Pride Films and Plays, About Face Theatre and Nothing Without a Company.
In addition to expediting individual grants to existing Foundation grantees, the foundation has contributed $200,000 to the recently announced Arts for Illinois Relief Fund providing unrestricted grants from $6,000 to $30,000 for groups to be administered by the Arts Work Fund; created an initial $100,000 Lowcountry Arts Emergency Fund to be administered by the foundation; and seeded a $200,000 relief fund for small collecting organizations in both regions, providing public access to regionally-focused collections.
For more information on the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, visit GDDF.org .