THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE AWARDED $425,000 GRANT FROM MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University has been awarded a $425,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The five-year grant will help strengthen the theatre’s diverse programming, extend community outreach and education efforts, and support restoration and preservation initiatives.
“We are deeply grateful for the MacArthur Foundation’s renewed commitment to the Auditorium Theatre, which has played a defining role in Chicago’s cultural landscape since 1889. We are looking forward to the next five years as we reach new communities while strengthening the relationships with our current audiences; present the finest local, national, and international artists; and ensure that the theatre will be here for the next 128 years,” says Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, Auditorium Theatre CEO. “As the Theatre for the People, we aim to make the arts accessible to all, and this award will help us as we expand programs like our ADMIT ONE initiative, which brings community groups to the theatre at no cost, and as we continue to present and produce programming that reflects the rich diversity and vibrancy of the great city of Chicago.”
The Auditorium Theatre is committed to presenting and producing the finest in cultural and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond. The theatre’s “Made in Chicago” Dance Series highlights local companies like Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. The theatre also brings internationally-renowned dance companies, including The Royal Ballet, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, Ballet Folklórico de Mexico de Amalia Hernández, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, whose annual visits are a Chicago tradition, and critically-acclaimed vocalists including Kathleen Battle, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, and many others to the city. Since 2006, the theatre has produced Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah, a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which for the past two years has been streamed to correctional facilities in Illinois and Louisiana. In recent years, the theatre has partnered with local institutions such as Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Joel Hall Dancers, and the Chinese Fine Arts Society to bring new and exciting works to the Auditorium. Castroverde Moskalenko, along with the entire staff and Auditorium Theatre Board of Directors, continues to seek new opportunities for collaboration, exemplifying the theatre’s commitment to the performing arts in Chicago, in the United States, and around the world.
The theatre offers educational programs via its Creative Engagement department that reach over 10,000 young people each year, working with 96 schools in the Chicagoland area, including 58 Chicago Public Schools. Creative Engagement initiatives include special Student Matineeperformances, in-school residencies that bring professional artists to classrooms around the city, and professional development opportunities for teachers via the ArtsXChange program, which helps teachers incorporate the performing arts into their classrooms by linking concepts from music, theatre, and dance to core curriculum subjects such as math, English, and science. In the summer, the theatre’s signature Hearts to Art camp provides a place for young people between the ages of 7 and 14 who have experienced the death of a parent to explore the healing powers of the performing arts through music, dance, and theatre.
The ADMIT ONE initiative, launched in 2016, breaks down barriers for community groups that might not otherwise be able to come to the theatre, covering ticket costs and transportation and providing educational workshops prior to performances. Since its launch, nearly 1,200 guests have visited the theatre via the ADMIT ONE program. Groups including Harmony, Hope & Healing;Facing Forward to End Homelessness; and Heartland Human Care Services have attended performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Eifman Ballet, Kathleen Battle, and Jackie Chan’s Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe from Beijing, among many others. The Auditorium Theatre community at large helps fund the ADMIT ONE program, with many ticket-buyers adding $5 on to their orders when purchasing tickets to contribute to the program. The theatre will continue to expand ADMIT ONE in the coming years.
The Auditorium is a 128-year-old National Historic Landmark that has undergone two major renovations in its history (in the 1960s and in the early 2000s), but there is more work to be done. The Auditorium Theatre staff and Board are now looking at plans for the theatre’s next major renovation, which will aim not only to restore and elevate its original beauty but also to equip it with the most advanced technology in order to provide performers and audience members with the best possible experience.
“The Auditorium Theatre has been here long before any of us arrived and it will be here long after we are all gone,” says Castroverde Moskalenko. “We need to honor our history while also embracing the future, and that starts with restoring the theatre to its original glory. Having the support of the MacArthur Foundation helps us work towards this goal.”
The MacArthur Foundation has supported the Auditorium Theatre since 1983. In 2013, the Foundation awarded the Auditorium a $375,000 five-year grant. This is the first grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation to the theatre under the leadership of Castroverde Moskalenko, who joined the theatre in October 2016.
About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.
MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. Organizations supported by the Foundation work in about 50 countries. In addition to Chicago, MacArthur has offices in India, Mexico, and Nigeria.
About The Auditorium Theatre
The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E Congress Pkwy in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization is also committed to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.
The Auditorium Theatre 2017-18 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. The Palmer House Hilton is our Official Hotel Partner. Michigan Avenue is the official magazine sponsor. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, call 312.341.2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org. For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.