Prince Charitable Trusts Boosts Urban Youth Theater

Although Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood is certainly not the most prestigious place in the city, funding from Prince Charitable Trusts is helping to enrich the cultural vitality of this diverse area.  Frederick Henry Prince, owner of Chicago's legendary Union Stockyards, created the trust foundation to fund selected fields of interest in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island. Prince provided $25,000 in both 2011 and 2012 to build the Albany Park Theater Project, as well as $15,000 each year since 2010 for general operating support. (See Grants for Theaters).

The Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) is a diverse youth theater ensemble that recreates real-life stories of urban teenagers, immigrants, and working-class people. Its down-to-earth approach to theater makes the ensemble a realistic and refreshing production in an otherwise glitzy and glamorous world of theater.  APTP highlights and humanizes the issues that affect real people in their neighborhood and brings realism to abstract concepts. APTP celebrates its fifteenth consecutive season this year with productions of "I Will Kiss These Walls"and "Home Land."

Although Price Charitable Trusts' areas of interest also include environment, health, and social services, its primary focus is on art. Arts organizations with budgets between $250,000 and $500,000 can apply for the Prince Arts Program for general operating support, organizational capacity, original work commissioning, or capital. Arts groups in metropolitan Chicago with budgets between $500,000 and $2 million are eligible to apply for the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, which are administered according to Prince's selection criteria, but ultimate come from MacArthur's pocket.

To get a grant similar to the ones that Albany Park Theater Project received, your arts organization needs to demonstrate significance to the community at a critical time when the community needs it most. For example, Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood has been trying to transform itself into a safe, family-friendly neighborhood for the past couple years. To be eligible for a Prince grant, your program initiatives should also aim strengthen artistic management and demonstrate relevance for a larger future plan. Unlike Strategic Initiatives grants, the operating grants cover a broader range of project goals.

The deadline to apply for a Prince Charitable Trust arts grant is June 1 and applications must be submitted via email to tfron@prince-trusts.org.  A list of specific requirements and submissions policies can be found on the Prince Application Procedure website