The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has announced a major funding initiative for collecting organizations in Chicago and the South Carolina Low-country to illuminate underrepresented narratives. 

The Chicago-based Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (the Foundation) has announced today the launch of a major new Collections funding initiative to help museums, libraries, and other collecting organizations bring forward new and recovered narratives within the Foundation’s two geographies: Chicago and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The Foundation has allocated $750,000 for grants to organizations whose collections illustrate BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ perspectives, working-class narratives, small community experiences, as well as other underrepresented groups and viewpoints. Emerging, compelling, underrepresented perspectives reflective of collections in the areas of science, public health and the natural world also are eligible. Any Chicago or Lowcountry based non-profit organization with a relevant collection is encouraged to learn more about the strategy at 

Virtual event for potential applicants takes place October 21, 2020

First application deadline for collections grants is March 26, 2021

See the original Press Release below.

A Successful Peace Day in Chicago!

A Successful Peace Day in Chicago!

Last Monday, September 21st, 2020 was Peace Day in Chicago celebrated with a successful live stream event! However, if you missed it, don’t worry. We can still celebrate and advocate for peace every day of the year. 

Full Event Description:

“Peace Weekend 2020 is a global broadcast and activation commemorating the International Day of Peace and laying the framework for the coming decade of global peace and world-transformational initiatives.

From September 19 through to September 21, the Peace Weekend Global Broadcast features powerful ceremonies, concerts, expert discussions, showcases innovative solutions as well as cultural celebrations from all around the planet.”

Check out the full Peace Day Broadcast Below!


Want to see the full weekend festivities? Head to the Peace Weekend website to watch the full weekend from home! 

Open House Chicago Program: Stories of Im/Migration

Open House Chicago Program: Stories of Im/Migration

As part of the Chicago Architecture Center’s annual architecture festival program, Open House Chicago, Stories of Im/Migration – Sites of Unity shares the voices, memories, and stories of several Chicago Cultural Alliance Core Members and community stakeholders in Chicago as they reflect upon their cultural stories of im/migration and the local sites where their community has gathered, then and now, as they have made this place their home.

Their stories celebrate the hyphenated-American communities that they have built here and the impact they have had on the fabric of our city. They also reveal the profound effects of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry as well as moments of perseverance and pride. Key to this conversation is the term im/migration, which has come to envelop a more inclusive and equitable understanding of the many paths all people have taken to arrive where they are today—whether they were always here, such as First Peoples, immigrated from another place of their own volition, or were forcibly estranged from a former homeland as a product of chattel slavery, a byproduct of war, or imperialism.

This program will highlight sites we may not be aware of in our own neighborhoods and will take the form of a 60-minute panel discussion richly illustrated with photographs from several Chicago Cultural Alliance Core Members’ archives, including maps of where associated sites are located in Chicago neighborhoods. Panelists will feature photographs of one or several significant community sites in the Chicago area accompanied by their own personal stories associated with their community’s im/migration to Chicago. After individual stories are shared, the panel will convene and discuss commonalities, or differences in experience, and consider Chicago’s great places of unity.

This year’s Open House Chicago is expected to happen between October 16-25 where attendees can look forward to both in-person and remotely accessible experiences that unlock fascinating stories about neighborhoods across Chicago! 

For more information about our program contact Andrew Leith: [email protected]

And for more information about Open House Chicago:

The Arts Resilience Archives supported by Illinois Humanities

The Arts Resilience Archives supported by Illinois Humanities

Chicago Cultural Alliance is pleased to announce to our members and supporters that we were approved for the Illinois Humanities 2020 Community Resilience Grant!

The goal of this grant category is to support organizations in using the humanities to make visible the experiences of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight stories of community resiliency throughout the state.

The Community Resilience grant presents a significant opportunity which enables the Alliance to work with new tools and materials generated by StoryCorps Chicago, to engage our Members in order to create an oral history archive specifically collecting, documenting, and sharing museum and arts professionals’ first-hand responses to COVID-19 and the ensuing crisis. Working with Amy Tardif at Story Corps, we are able to utilize two specific free community archives methods, including StoryCorps Connect and Virtual.

This program, Arts Resilience Archives, will comprise of an initial collection of 20-30 oral histories spanning a broad range of arts and museum professionals, diverse cultural groups. Freelance editors will edit approximately 4 select interviews for a workshop and listening event in October to share impact and take-away points. The arts community will be able to freely access and contribute to these archives in the future for uses such as building solidarity, networking, and healing, as well as long-term planning and cultivating emergency response preparations.

We are more than excited to have received this grant and for the opportunity to put the Arts Resilience Archives in motion!

For more information about the program, contact Andrew Leith: [email protected]




We’re partnering with @SupportChicagoArts to #SupportChicagoArts!

As you know, COVID-19 has created a unique threat to the Chicago arts community. We were among the first to close, and without audiences we face unprecedented financial stresses for the immediate future.

That’s why we are proud to announce our partnership with #SupportChicagoArts. When you buy a lawn sign or medallion , Chicago Cultural Alliance receives 100% of the profits from your tax deductible donation – and you get to share your support of the arts with your friends and neighbors!

Chicago is known for our vibrant arts and culture community. The arts help us understand the world, relate to one another, and entertain us. With the support of patrons like you, we know that we can emerge from this crisis. Your support will help keep our staff paid so that Chicago Cultural Alliance can continue to connect, promote, and support centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive Chicago. Our vision is a city where all communities have a voice, and cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration are an integral part of Chicago’s civic fabric. The Alliance supports Chicago’s most precious and essential museums and cultural centers.  Your support will help us to help them.

Purchase Yours Today

Window Card, Lawn Signs, and Display Medallions are all available, thanks to the generous support of Direction Tour Marketing.

We Stand In Solidarity

We Stand In Solidarity


The Chicago Cultural Alliance stands in solidarity with the African American community and all those who have marched in the name of justice and equality here in Chicago and across the United States. We understand the outrage and desperation reverberating across our great nation.  We urge our leaders at all levels of government not only to hear the voices but also to invest in communities of color and give them the resources they need not just to survive but to thrive.

As an Alliance that represents Chicago’s incredible diversity, we join the collective calls to end systemic racism as well as for peace and equality. Let us come together and build better and stronger communities through cultural enrichment and mutual respect.  Let us strive together to seek equity and further inclusivity for all our communities by making the extra effort to consider and care for all of those around us.  

Stay safe and support each other, 


From the Chicago Cultural Alliance Staff & Board of Directors:

Peter Vega, Executive Director
Teresita Aviles Bailey, Membership and Development Associate
Andrew Leith, Conservation & Collections Program Manager
Ivonne Romo, Director of Finance & Operations