Funds to Support Shared Office Space and Functionality for Arts & Business Council of Chicago, Audience Architects NFP and Chicago Cultural Alliance

ArtCore, a non-merging collaborative composed of three of Chicago’s most respected non-profit organizations, 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 over a period of three years, is intended to support shared back office staff and enhance functionality for the collaborative. The initial focus will be on shared finance and operations personnel to manage financial functions, operations and human resources for the three organizations.

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 keyed in on an opportunity for additional collaboration in the area of business/financial and programming operations, the benefit of which would be an economy of scale while providing more time for the staffs to focus on program delivery, improvement, and innovation.

“The consensus of ArtCore’s three-person oversight committee, comprised of the Executive Directors of each partner organization, was that we needed 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 now have the funds to proceed and hired a new Director of Finance and Operations, with the search for the support staff to follow,” says Andrew Micheli, Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of Chicago and Managing Director, ArtCore.

A&BC (Andrew Micheli, Executive Director) has been providing pro-bono support to more than 300 arts organizations a year for over 30 years. Primarily through its flagship programs Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA), which engages with and supports non-profit arts organizations through management and organizational consulting projects and On BOARD, which provides comprehensive training for board development, along with its workshops and trainings. For more information visit artsbiz-chicago.org.

AARCH (Heather Hartley, Executive Director) currently provides services to more than 200 organizations and has been a nationally recognized leader in the dance sector since 2006. AARCH mission is to build and engage audiences, most notably through Chicago’s primary dance-focused website, SeeChicagoDance.com, and serve as an advocate for Chicago’s dance community.

CCA (Emily Reusswig, Executive Director) is an alliance of 35 Chicago-area heritage museums, cultural centers and historical societies, spanning 24 neighborhoods and seven suburbs, thereby representing 28 different cultures from around the world, for a more inclusive and culturally vibrant region. For more information visit chicagoculturalalliance.org.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago; and generating new knowledge about critical issues. MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. Organizations supported by the Foundation work in about 50 countries. In addition to Chicago, MacArthur has offices in India, Mexico, and Nigeria.

For more info about ArtCore and the grant, email Andrew Micheli, Executive Director Arts & Business Council of Chicago at amicheli@artsbiz-chicago.org or phone 312.372.1876 ext. 101.

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