Author Archive

Crain’s Chicago Business: Funding arts organizations means trusting artists to know what they need

Posted December 4, 2023

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer published a commentary piece in Crain’s Chicago Business discussing the challenges that Black-led and -serving arts organizations face in appealing to funders while maintaining their own authentic expression.

“Chicago has a broad range of arts organizations committed to their respective missions,” Clarke-Springer says. “It is imperative that we each prioritize authentic expression over conforming to traditional expectations that we hope will keep us relevant to funders.”

Read the whole piece here.

We Empower Magazine: IFF’S Executive Director of Chicago Metro Region, O. Victoria Lakes–Battle Shares the Impact of Chicago’s Cultural Treasures

Posted November 10, 2023

Vickie Lakes-Battle, executive director of IFF’s Chicago Metro Region, recently sat down with We Empower Magazine to answer some questions about Chicago’s Cultural Treasures.

“Chicago does indeed have a thriving BIPOC arts and culture scene, and we can’t emphasize enough for people to go out and experience the art,” says Lakes-Battle in the interview.

Read the full interview here.

Authority Magazine: How O. Victoria Lakes-Battle of IFF Is Helping To Empower Under-Resourced Nonprofits and the Communities They Serve

Posted November 9, 2023

Authority Magazine recently interviewed Vickie Lakes-Battle, IFF’s executive director of the Chicago Metro Region, where she discussed her and IFF’s involvement in Chicago’s Cultural Treasures, among other topics.

“One of the biggest takeaways is that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ Lakes-Battle says in her interview. “As we look ahead, the collective impact of this initiative will be the ongoing disruption of historical trends in funding for BIPOC-led and -focused cultural organizations, as anchors in equitable community development.”

Read the full interview here.

The Citizen: Chicago’s Cultural Treasures continues to support BIPOC arts and cultural organizations

Posted October 26, 2023

The Citizen spotlighted Chicago’s Cultural Treasures and its work supporting BIPOC-led and -focused arts and cultural groups.

“What we’re trying to do is disrupt historical inequities in philanthropy,” says Vickie Lakes-Battle, executive director of the Chicago Metro region for IFF. “For many of the participating organizations, this Chi Treasures grant opportunity was the first grant they’d ever receive and for others, this was the largest grant they’d ever received.”

Read the full story here.

A Road Together toward Equitable Arts in Chicago: MacArthur Foundation Announces 2023 Grantees

Posted October 26, 2023

The MacArthur Foundation and Field Foundation recently announced 86 recipients of their A Road Together (ART) initiative, a regranting opportunity designed to advance social and racial equity through community arts and culture funding. Of that list of 86, 22 different members of Chicago’s Cultural Treasures will receive funding through this initiative.

Recipients of three-year ART grants include: eta Creative Arts Foundation, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers & Center, Live the Spirit Residency, Muntu Dance Theatre, Musical Arts Institute, Silk Road Rising, South Side Community Art Center, and Teatro Vista.

Recipients of one-year ART grants include: Africa International House USA, Inc., Asian Improv aRts Midwest, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Chicago West Community Music Center, Congo Square Theatre Company, Diasporal Rhythms, International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, Natya Dance Theatre, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Threewalls, UrbanTheater Company, and West Point School of Music.

Read more here.

Chicago Tribune: Deeply Rooted Dance celebrates the past, lives in the present — and looks to the future

Posted October 25, 2023

The Chicago Tribune spotlighted Deeply Rooted Dance Theater ahead of a special November 3 performance showcasing the theater’s history.

Discussing the group’s plans for the future, Executive Director Makeda Crayton highlighted a current capital campaign to construct its own studio space, a 33,000 square foot facility in Washington Park called Deeply Rooted Center for Black Dance and Creative Communities. She also discussed the importance for arts groups to own a space of their own.

Quoted in the article, Crayton said, “When we build this building, it’s a different level of commitment, not only to us and the people who work with us, but to the community. We’re planting roots here. It’s a physical landmark. It’s making a bold statement we’re here to stay.”

The article also discusses the current and previous brick-and-mortar plans of Chicago Cultural Treasures Red Clay Dance Company Joel Hall Dancers & Center.

Read the full story here.

The Triibe: Black theaters are LOWKEY thriving right now

Posted October 24, 2023

While many large or mainstream theaters have been struggling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and other culturally-specific theaters — such as Chicago Cultural Treasures Congo Square Theatre Company and the Black Ensemble Theater — have managed to gain access to funding that has helped keep them afloat.

Read more here from The TRiiBE.