Giving Compass’ Take:
• The International Connections Fund (ICF) connects artists from Chicago with artists in other countries to collaborate on exhibitions, theater, film, and dance.
• How can collaborative funds work in other industries beyond the art world to spur cross-cultural connections?
• Learn more about arts and culture philanthropy here.
The dancers assembled for their weekly ballet class at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative on Chicago’s South Side. In walked a Brazilian dance instructor who had traveled thousands of miles to teach them her specialty—ritual movement.
Trouble was, the altered lesson plan had not been relayed to the ballerinas. The intent: A few of them would learn and perform Inaê Moreira’s choreographed works in an upcoming show. But the miscommunication led to an uncomfortable few moments.
Moreira persisted anyway. Tension melted and morphed into enthusiasm. By the end of the session, half the class asked to participate in her show, which centers around the theme of rebirth.
“A spiritual sister circle,” was how one ballet student, Donna Anderson, recalled the session. “A journey that I’ll always remember.”
The unlikely adaptation was born of the International Connections Fund (ICF), a program of innovation and collaboration that links artists from Chicago with counterparts from other continents and cultures to create exhibitions, theater, film, and dance. Established in 2008, ICF enables Chicago arts and culture organizations to coordinate exchanges and partnerships that help them engage more deeply with their own communities while building on shared histories and translating ideas across boundaries.
Since its creation, ICF has awarded more than 140 grants. Comfort Station was among 11 organizations receiving grants in 2018. An evaluation found the program to be transformative for smaller organizations, helping them push artistic boundaries and build strong, lasting relationships.
Read the full article about how a collaborative fund makes arts possible at the MacArthur Foundation.
Collective Impact is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are interested in Arts and Culture, please see these relevant events, training, conferences or volunteering opportunities the Giving Compass team recommends.
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Arts and Culture is an important topic. Other members found these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant to individuals with a passion for Arts and Culture.