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The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Awards $4.8 Million in Grants

The Board of Directors of the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation awarded nearly $4.8 million in grants in 2016 to support land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections in the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Some highlights of the approved grants are noted below.

Land Conservation: $2,477,550 total (35 grants)

General operations and project grants were awarded to organizations involved with land protection and restoration, as well as policy advocacy in support of these efforts.

  • 20 grants were awarded in the Chicago region, including major capacity building grants to The Wetlands Initiative and the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. The Foundation—in partnership with the Grand Victoria Foundation and ArcelorMittal, respectively—made multi-year grants to these land conservation organizations, to help them expand their critical land protection and restoration work in the region.
  • 15 grants were awarded in the Lowcountry, including two project grants to The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina to support the Resilient and Connected Landscapes mapping and the Rural Resource Coalition SC. TNC’s Resilient and Connected Landscape maps provide the land conservation community with tools to make strategic decisions regarding future land protection in coastal South Carolina. Since 2012, the Rural Resource Coalition SC has brought together a diverse range of partners to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities.

Artistic Vitality: $2,045,000 total (169 grants)

General operations and organizational capacity grants were awarded to arts organizations in all disciplines, which provide outlets for creative expression, nurture new talent and reach into the many neighborhoods and communities throughout our two regions. 

  • 150 grants were awarded in the Chicago region, including 5 Cash Reserve Challenge grants: Chicago Artists Coalition, Experimental Sound Studio, Hypocrites, Silk Road Rising, and Steep Theatre Company. The challenge grants component of the Foundation’s “Gen Ops Plus” strategy, implemented in 2014, enables those arts groups to establish or expand critical operating reserves for the long-term health and stability of their organizations.
  • 19 grants were awarded across the Lowcountry including first-time general operations grants to three organizations: Ballet Evolution, the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival Association, and the North Charleston POPS!

Collections: $273,000 total (10 grants)

Ten project grants were awarded to organizations under the Foundation’s recently revised program strategy focusing on at-risk collections, creative curatorial projects and broadening support for digitization efforts. Two grants were awarded to protect and preserve at-risk collections:

  • The Lincoln Park Zoo will create a permanent, centralized location for its archival collection. The collection catalogues the 150-year history of the zoo’s architectural plans, animal records, correspondence and official documents of the Chicago park system. 
  • The Charleston Library Society will stabilize and archive a collection of colonial and early American newspapers dating back to 1732, totaling more than 700 volumes of daily, weekly and quarterly South Carolina publications. 

A complete list of grant awards may be found at www.gddf.org/about/grants.

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