Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to Throw Party to Launch Arts Grant Expansion, 3/31

Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to Throw Party to Launch Arts Grant Expansion, 3/31

After 50 years of supporting the arts in Chicago, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation is throwing a party to launch a major expansion of its arts grant making strategy on Monday, March 31, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 10p.m. For half a century, the Foundation has been making general operations grants to "small" professional arts organizations - those with annual budgets under $1 million.

"We currently support 170 small arts organizations in Chicago - music, theatre, dance, literature, visual arts," said J. David Farren, Executive Director of the Foundation. "They are the life blood of the city's artistic vitality. They push boundaries while fostering new and emerging talent. The question we've been asking ourselves is 'how can we help and encourage them more?"

In answer to this question, the Foundation is launching Gen Ops Plus - short for general operations plus an array of additional organizational development opportunities. These additional opportunities include more one-on-one feedback from staff and consultants, reimbursements for trainings tailored to grantee needs, and a new organizational readiness grant fund.

"Providing continued general operations support for our arts grantees is critical to their health and well-being," Farren continued. "Our 'plus' offerings will help organizations build their internal capacities, which in turn will help them more fully achieve their artistic visions."

"Organizational capacity building may sound dry to some," offered the Foundation's Director of Chicago Program, Arthur Pearson. "But it's what a lot of our grantees tell us they need. And for those who really run with it, building stronger arts organizations is its own creative act."

To underscore the fact that organizational capacity building doesn't have to be stuffy, the Foundation is hosting its launch party at a bowling alley. Two hundred guests are expected to attend the Gen Ops Plus Launch Party at 10pin Bowling Lounge, 330 N. State St., Chicago in iconic Marina City.

"We had planned the party for January 27, but the six degree high temperature that day made us reschedule. We had a big response then, and we're getting a big response now," said Ellen Placey Wadey, the Foundation's new Program Officer. "Given the winter that we've had, I think people are even more ready for bowling, food, fun and focusing on the business of making art."

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation invests in organizations and partnerships engaged in Land Conservation and Artistic Vitality in the Chicago region and the South Carolina Lowcountry. For more information about Gen Ops Plus and the Launch Party, contact Ellen Placey Wadey at 312/977.2707 or

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