The Arts Work Fund (AWF) is a funding collaborative designed to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts organizations in Chicago and Cook County. Since 2006, these funders have collaborated toward a common goal – enabling arts organizations to focus on their artistic missions by helping them become more operationally efficient and effective.


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Adapt to Change. Address Challenges. Focus on Equity.

THINK • EXPLORE • SHARE offers grants to enable arts organizations - or collaborative groups of arts organizations - to change operational or artistic practices to meet a changing arts environment.  

These adaptation grants are intended to give organizations room to plan for (THINK) and test and enact (EXPLORE)  shifts in organizational structure, operations, or financial practices. The grants are intended not for ongoing and regular operational costs but to help organizations redefine key partnerships,  address longstanding challenges, navigate critical organizational transitions, and build a foundation of resilience to ensure they can effectively meet their missions. Priority is given to efforts that can make a meaningful impact on the organization, are evident in their organizational capacity-building goals, and have the potential to create more sustainable operating structures or processes.