The National Museum of Mexican Art is 1 of the 20 organizations across the country designated by the Ford Foundation as an American Cultural Treasure — “a significant national anchor for artistic and cultural diversity in America.” The museum is the only Chicago-based organization to receive such a designation, which comes with significant general operating support.
Chicago’s Cultural Treasures is building on this initiative with grant funding and programming for Chicago-based BIPOC arts and cultural organizations. Here’s what Carlos Tortolero, the founder and president of the museum, has to say about how the grant is making a difference for his organization and why other BIPOC-identified arts leaders should consider applying to the initiative.
“There are so many great arts organizations out there, and nobody even knows about them. I think your work is important. I think your work is something that everyone needs in our society — not only our own community, but everybody in Chicago needs to see what’s being done by all your organizations,” Tortolero says.
Organizations wishing to receive funding should complete the LOI by Friday, January 22, 2021.
“Right before COVID started, we were ready to announce a campaign to help endow our museum. But when COVID hit, we took a big step back and thought maybe it was not the right time. So this funding couldn’t have happened at a more opportune time,” says Tortolero, who explained that bulk of the museum’s $3.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation will go toward the organization’s endowment, as well as digital platform improvements and staff enhancements. “Now we know we’re going to be around for a long, long time.”
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