What the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Cares about in Chicago Right Now

It’s been a little while since we’ve checked in with the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation to see where funding support has been going. Well, the Fry Foundation recent committed more than a million dollars to Chicago organizations in the fields of arts learning, health, and employment. Let’s take a closer look.

The total second quarter grant amount was $1,075,000, with funding exclusively focused on the above three topics.

Featured grantees include Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago, which received $25,000 for multi-disciplinary African and African-American arts residency programs for youth. This group provides African dance and drumming classes for students in the fourth through 12th grades. It also provides a residency program with dance, music, and spoken word instruction for grades six to eight, to expose youth to African culture.

Another highlighted grantee is the Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired, which received $30,000 for their job training program. This group provides office and call center training for low-income adults with visual impairments. Primo Center for Women & Children also received a $35,000 Fry grant to support a demonstration program to integrate mental health services with primary medical care.

The Fry Foundation has a fourth funding area—education—but this category took a backseat to the other three in the recent quarter. As a general rule, the board considers requests in three of the four areas on a rotating basis, and this was education’s turn to sit out. The next deadline is December 1 for education, employment, and health grant proposals, which will be reviewed in February 2016.

As a reminder, Fry’s education program is focused on low-income students in Chicago Public Schools. It’s taken a hiatus from funding teacher professional development for a few years now, and gives priority to programs working at the middle and high school levels. Policy advocacy efforts are also considered, but not scholarship programs or unsolicited proposals from individual schools.

Fry’s employment program is focused on vocational training programs and adult education programs that use vocational training to assist low-skilled job seekers. Meanwhile, the health program supports medical home models of care, primary care (especially dental, vision, and mental health), and policy advocacy for low-income populations in Chicago. Special priority is given to children who suffer from the traumas related to abuse, neglect, or violence.

To learn more about this locally focused funder, check out IP’s full profile of the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. Urban Chicago is always the geographic focus, and letters of inquiry can be emailed to applications@fryfoundation.org. But if you’re a new grantee, don’t expect to receive general operating support, capital project support, or funding for medical research.