The Bayless Family Foundation will soon be accepting applications for its new "Stepping Stone" grants, which aims to bolster the bottom lines of promising Chicago theater companies.
The grant application can be found here.
Formed in 2017, the Bayless Family Foundation supports established Chicago theater organizations with a vision for institutional and artistic growth. It launched with an initial round of grants totaling $170,000 awarded to 17 theater companies in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune coverage)
The inaugural Stepping Stone grant will award selected Chicago theater companies with up to $150,000 over three years. Foundation executive director Kevin Sullivan says the intent of the grant "is to build the capacity of the awarded organization."
The foundation is accepting grant proposals beginning Nov. 26. The deadline to apply is Dec. 28. It should be noted that these grants are highly competitive, and we expect more qualified applicants than can be supported.
As noted in the applications, here's what we want to know: If you were to receive our grant, how would you use the award money in your yearly budget to remove a barrier and sustain the vitality of the organization?
Answers should be limited to 1000 words — that will help focus your answer and allow us to review all applications in a timely manner. With your submitted application, we will ask a few short questions and ask you to submit a few supporting documents, and those contacted in January will be asked for more information before the award is allocated.
Interested in applying for a Stepping Stone grant? Here's who's eligible:
• Theater companies registered as 501(c)3 organization that present theatre in the Chicago area.
• Theater companies that have produced a season of work for a minimum of five consecutive years.
• Theater companies with an annual budget of at least $250,000.
For those unable to submit online, please contact Executive Director Kevin Sullivan for more information by calling (312) 661-1434 x 125 or emailing BaylessFamilyFoundation(at)gmail(dot)com