Chicago Human Rhythm Project Named Recipient of Bloomberg Philanthropies Grant

CHRP's ensemble BAM! performing Push Past Break: (L-R) Heather Brown, Starinah Dixon, Kristi Burris, Zada Cheeks and Tristan Bruns (photo by Peter Wochniak).

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) has been named as grant recipient of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program. Through the two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing $30 million across 262 small and mid-sized nonprofit cultural organizations around the country to help strengthen their operational and programming efforts, including training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement.

"We were completely surprised by this bolt of lightening, and were thrilled to be chosen as one of the recipients," noted Lane Alexander, CHRP’s founder and artistic director. "Bloomberg Philanthropies is making a huge investment in Chicago and in the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, and we're extremely grateful for their financial support as well as the equally beneficial opportunity to work with arts management guru, Michael Kaiser and the entire team at the DeVos Institute."

​The unique invitation-only program supports nonprofit cultural organizations based in six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. All organizations are locally or internationally recognized nonprofits that have been in existence for at least two years. Grantees are required to participate in a management training program; secure matching funds; ensure 100% board participation in fundraising; and maintain up-to-date information in the Cultural Data Project, an online financial & data collection platform that assists arts organizations across the country to collect, learn from and use data effectively. The grants are unrestricted so that recipients can use them to address their greatest needs.

CHRP announced that it intends to use the grant to support the new position of executive director, recently filled by non-profit and arts administration veteran Bob Fiedler. As part of two-person senior management team with Alexander, Fiedler has 20 years of arts management expertise, which will help CHRP build a stronger board, staff and organizational structure to support its acclaimed education and performance programs.

​Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland to develop curricula and conduct trainings for the AIM program in each city. Thse comprehensive workshops engage organizations around activities that strengthen their long-term health and goals and include consultations and implementation support for arts managers and their boards.First piloted in New York City, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported 245 grantees through AIM from 2011 to 2013. Participating organizations have reported improvements in audience development, board engagement and fundraising over the two-year program.

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