MacArthur Arts and Culture Loan Fund

What is the MacArthur Arts & Culture Loan Fund?

The MacArthur Arts & Culture Loan Fund is a program designed to help small- and medium-sized arts and culture organizations in Chicago to manage uneven cash flows and strengthen financial capacity. The program is funded by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by IFF in partnership with Fiscal Management Associates (FMA).


Our Special COVID-19 Emergency Response

The MacArthur Foundation is temporarily expanding the customary program (described in more detail further down) in the following ways:

Customary Program COVID-19 Emergency Response Program
Interest Rate Varies Interest on loans will be forgiven for a 1-year period (4/1/2020 – 4/1/2021)
Budget Size $250,000 – $5 million $250,000 – $10 million
Maximum Loan Term 1 year 2 years
Maximum Loan Size $150,000 $250,000
Grantee Status
Applicants must be a grantee of the MacArthur Foundation, or the MacArthur Funds at the Prince Charitable Trusts or the Driehaus Foundation
Current grantees only Any organization that was a grantee from January 2019 to Present

Interest on loans will be forgiven during the period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending April 2, 2021, for both new and existing customers. Existing borrowers may also qualify to increase their loan size. To discuss what’s right for your organization, start by completing this simple form:


Our Customary Program (non-COVID)

Program participants have the option of tapping into the following powerful resources singly or in combination with one another, depending on their organizations’ specific needs:

1. Operating Loans

Operating lines of credit are a useful tool to help nonprofit arts organizations manage the uneven cash flows stemming from factors like the timing of production costs, ticket sales, and grant and government revenue. Loans are offered by program administrator IFF and program partner Fifth Third Bank, ranging in size from $10,000 to $150,000. Interested? Start by contacting FMA using the intake form above.

2. Workshop Series & 1-on-1 Coaching

Financial experts from program partner Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) deliver a series of intensive workshops on mission-critical topics like financial planning and monitoring, interspersed with customized coaching. “We meet organizations where they are and focus on concrete steps they can take to support and sustain the work they do for Chicago communities,” says Lead FMA Consultant Dana Britto. Please check back for our next application window.

3. Technical Assistance Projects

FMA also takes on financial projects — from writing policies and procedures manuals, to customizing budgeting software — that arts leaders haven’t had the time or expertise to do themselves. Interested? Start by downloading our TA Application.



Please contact FMA with any questions about the program or the application process.