ArtCore Collaborative Awarded Multi-Year  $300K MacArthur Foundation Grant

Hyde Parks Arts Center, a constituent client of ArtCore member Arts & Business Council of Chicago. ArtCore announced its collaborative is the recipient of a multi-year $300 thousand award by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (photo courtesy of the Hyde Park Art Center).

ArtCore, a non-merging collaborative composed of three of Chicago’s most respected cultural non-profits, Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC), Audience Architects (AARCH) and Chicago Cultural Alliance (CCA), has received a $300,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For the purposes of the grant, A&BC will serve as the fiscal agent.

The grant, which will be dispersed in the amount of $100,000 per year over a period of three years, is intended to support shared back office staff and enhance functionality for the collaborative. The initial focus in the first year will be on shared finance and operations personnel to manage financial functions, operations and human resources for the three organizations. Future years will see investment in shared programs and services that will benefit the clients and members of the partner organizations, and serve as a model for resource sharing for the national arts-service nonprofit field.
A&BC, AARCH and CCA began sharing space and back office services in 2012. This created an environment conducive to staff peer-to-peer learning, improved staff engagement and strategic joint program development. A 2014 financial and operational analysis of A&BC, AARCH and CCA honed in on an opportunity for additional collaboration in the area of business/financial and programming operations, the benefit of which would yield an economy of scale while providing more time for the staffs to focus on program delivery, improvement and innovation.

“The consensus of ArtCore’s  planning committee, comprised of the executive directors and a Board member from each partner organization and guided by a team of consultants, was that we needed to shore up our own internal financial structure in order to grow and expand our services to Chicago’s Arts and Culture sectors. We decided our first step would be to secure a Finance and Operations director and support staff to be shared among the partner organizations. Thanks to the support from John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we were able to proceed and we’re happy to announce Chris Huaracha, previously with Equality Illinois, will be joining us effective Oct. 31 as ArtCore’s first Director of Finance and Operations and search for the support staff will follow,” says Andrew Micheli, executive director, Arts & Business Council of Chicago and managing director, ArtCore.

Arts & Business Council has been providing pro-bono support to more than 300 arts organizations a year for over 30 years. Audience Architects currently provides services to more than 200 organizations and has been a nationally recognized leader in the dance sector since 2006. And Chicago Cultural Alliance is a coalition of 35 Chicago-area heritage museums, cultural centers and historical societies, spanning the Chicagoland area and representing 28 different cultures from around the world. Their mission is to connect, support and promote centers of heritage for a more inclusive and culturally vibrant region.

For more info about ArtCore and the recent MacArthur grant, email Andrew Micheli, Executive Director Arts & Business Council of Chicago at or phone 312.372.1876 ext. 101.