Major Funders Sign on to Support UG’s Mission

News • Urban Gateways News

By continually advocating for the arts and effectively delivering arts education programming for almost 50 years, Urban Gateways is gaining the support of government, corporate and foundation funders on both local and national levels. This summer, Urban Gateways was one of only 28 organizations nationwide to receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the Arts Education category. JP Morgan Chase donated $100,000 in support of Urban Gateways programs, and 10 local Target stores collectively contributed $13,500.

Urban Gateways wants to thank these donors and so many others who are helping us accomplish our mission to ignite the full creative potential of all young people. Read more below about these donations and how they’ll impact arts education in Chicago:

National Endowment for the Arts Grant (NEA)

This year the NEA awarded $30 million in direct grants through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to fund arts projects and activities. Awards to organizations ranged in amounts of $25,000 and $50,000. Competition was intense in the Arts Education category with 136 applicants nationwide. From that pool, Urban Gateways was one of only 28 organizations to receive funding, and one of only two organizations selected in Illinois.

Funding from this grant will be used to support teaching artists who participate in Urban Gateways Artist-in-residence programs, which bring professional artists into the classroom – before, during and after school – to engage students in the complex and dynamic study of art and to provide a creative approach to learning. Residencies provide students with high quality arts experiences that offer enrichment, inspiration and engagement for all types of learners. Read more about our Artist-in-residence Programs>>

Target Community Grants

Urban Gateways received $13,500 in funding from Target through ten local Target community grants. Of the funding from Target, $3000 will go towards our Artist-in-residence programs. The other $10,500 will support five Urban Gateways touring performances, each with an accompanying immersion workshop.

Touring performances bring the area’s finest artists in dance, music and theatre into schools to expose students to the performing arts, increase their awareness and understanding of other cultures, and encourage them to engage in a personal exploration of the arts. Held after the performance, immersion workshops extend and deepen the experience of a touring show by taking students through a hands-on exploration of the art and culture they just saw on stage. Urban Gateways artists and/or staff lead students through discussions and interactive exercises that expand students understanding and allow them to experiment with the style or technique of the performance for themselves. Learn more information about UG touring performances>>

JP Morgan Chase

JP Morgan Chase which supports arts and culture programming, both during and after school hours, awarded Urban Gateways $100,000 in support of the Urban Gateways Center for the Art of Learning (CAL). CAL collaboratively integrates the arts into the lives of school children; directly links the arts and learning with neighborhood-based community development efforts; and delivers training for classroom teachers and local artists to ensure program sustainability and long-term benefits for neighborhood residents.

Urban Gateways would like to thank all of our funders from this summer who support our mission and recognize the importance of ensuring quality arts education to all children. Other funders included: Alphawood Foundation; Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois; Chicago Community Trust; Cultural Outreach Program; Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation; Libra Foundation; Lipman Hearne, Inc.; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Sahara Enterprises, Inc.; and Woods Fund of Chicago.