May 2021 Newsletter

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We recently reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to diversity and equity in stewarding our endowment, from managers to investments. The full letter in Crain’s Chicago Business includes several ways for foundations and others to move forward. We want to be part of the world that’s changing and welcome continued dialogue with others on investment opportunities.

Our search for a new Director, Finance & Administration is underway – please see our website for details and contact information.

Congratulations to our board member Denise Gardner, who is newly chair-elect of the Art Institute of Chicago board of directors. More on this historic moment.

Our next and final 2021 proposal deadline is July 30th. New organizations should reach out to our respective program staff by the end of June before applying. Contact information and guidelines for each program and region can be found starting here on our website.


Leveraging Federal Conservation Programs for Regional Work
The Capitol building behind green trees and purple and white flowering bushes

Recent grants to six organizations with strong D.C. presence helped achieve major Federal conservation policy wins. Ongoing engagement, particularly at state and local levels, is the next step to ensure we can leverage these wins to support regional conservation. Read more on this recent success in this blog from Conservation Program Officer, Rebecca Judd.



Let’s go see some art!
10 dancers dressed in black wearing blue surgical masks arranged in a row in various poses

With COVID restrictions lifting, arts organizations are still producing virtually while beginning to offer in-person opportunities as safely as possible. This list of offerings from arts organizations in the Chicago region and Lowcountry is updated regularly. If you’re an arts organization with an upcoming event that’s not on this list, please complete this form to be added, and make sure is on your mailing list.

📷 Photo from Chicago Tap Theatre

COVID-19 impact survey paints bleak picture

The results of a survey of nonprofits arts organizations in South Carolina reveal a significant need for additional funding to the creativity and cultural sectors. We thank South Carolina Arts Commission and TogetherSC for partnering on this effort.




Artist Residency focused on Gullah

Penn Center invites submissions for an artist residency program. The proposal deadline is June 1 for projects that relate to the histories and cultures of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor with the theme “Civil Rights and Social Justice.” The residency will be held September 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.

📷 Painting by Sam Doyle (1906-1985), a self-taught artist from St. Helena Island who attended the Penn School.



Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
Ben Lau is a man wearing glasses and a headset; behind him is an intricate wooden carving

Ben Lau of the Chinese American Museum was featured on ABC 7 last week, talking about their museum and collections in Chicago’s Chinatown and celebrations of AAPI Heritage Month.

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