Supporting land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Through grantmaking and other tools, the Foundation helps strengthen and sustain the communities in which we work by supporting equitable and inclusive access and engagement with land, art, and collections.

Natural lands; preserved and restored on a landscape scale — are critical to the well-being of wildlife, plant life, and human communities.
Arts organizations; creatively accomplished and operationally strong — are the backbone of our regions’ artistic vitality.
Collections; accessible to the public and creatively interpreted, urge us to consider where we’ve been, where we are now and where our next steps might take us.


Explore recent news and stories from the Foundation, grantees, and partners. 

Performances and Exhibitions | Now Virtual

CHICAGO LOWCOUNTRY Cerqua Rivera  Complicating Incidents   Chicago Dance Crash Bricklayers of Oz   Chicago Tap Theatre   Experimental Sound Studios OPTION videos, William Parker Concert: Discussion: ESS Quarantine Concerts   First Folio Theatre Laughter on the 23rd Floor clip (2015)    Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra  Carrington…

New Study Reveals Significant Impact of Chicago’s Storefront Theatres

Despite limited resources, 41 small theatre companies in Chicago filled a combined quarter of a million seats last season and staged more than 60 world premieres CHICAGO [November 20, 2019]— The Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (the Foundation)—an organization that offers unrestricted grants to…

David Farren, Executive Director in The Chicago Sun-Times

We provide a half million dollars in general operating grants to Chicago’s small theaters each year, including those mentioned in this Chicago Sun-Times article – Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Theatre Y, Babes With Blades, Silk Road Rising, A Red Orchid Theatre, Akvavit Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre Company.

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