Field News

Launching Nation’s First Innovation-Focused Philanthropy Center in Chicago – March 2020

By Field News, Uncategorized



Emerald-Jane Hunter
(312) 291-1099


FBRK Impact House Will Serve and Support Family Foundations, Grant Makers and Impact Investors Committed to Social Change

NOVEMBER 13, 2019 – CHICAGO, IL – Israel Idonije, entrepreneur, humanitarian and former NFL player, broke ground on the ​FBRK Impact House​ at 200 W. Madison Street in Chicago. Set to open in March 2020, the 45,000 square-foot space will be the city’s first innovation-focused philanthropy center dedicated to serving and supporting grant makers, family foundations and impact investors.

Local foundations, media and Chicagoans attended the groundbreaking event, which revealed design plans, reinforced the need for the facility and further discussed the vision for the new space. The event featured remarks from Idonije, as well as Candace Moore, Chief Equity Officer for the City of Chicago and Angelique Power, President, The Field Foundation.

FBRK Impact House, founded by Israel Idonije is the result of a shared vision between FBRK, The Field Foundation, Woods Fund, United States Artists and Forefront, with the core desire to unify Chicago’s Impact Community, break down silos, encourage collaboration and provide greater access to opportunities.

FBRK Impact House will serve as a membership-based work club with a thoughtfully designed ecosystem to provide a balance of private offices, work space, meeting and conference rooms where impact organizations can work together, collaborate and operate with greater efficiency.

“Chicago is filled with wonderful people who are committed to making our city better,” said Idonije. “FBRK Impact House will offer an inviting, transparent environment to foster relationships among organizations — a framework in which the philanthropic community will thrive.”

According to the most recent Giving in Illinois report, there are more than 5,200 grant-making institutions in the state, managing more than $39 billion in assets. Together, these organizations have reached a giving record of $4.6 billion in 2016 – collectively nearly tripling the amount of giving since 2006.

Despite this, challenges for grant-making institutions often include working in isolation, having laborious application and review practices and being intimidating to approach. FBRK Impact House will provide a creative and safe space for these organizations to meet, ideate and collaborate. The FBRK Impact House will be the first space of its kind in the country.

“Our vision is to create an open, loving community where it is easy to interact with philanthropy,” commented Angelique Power, president of The Field Foundation, an anchor tenant of FBRK Impact House. “We’ve created different spaces in the facility to connect – a restaurant, conference rooms, podcast rooms, as well as are offering Forefront programming. We are providing various opportunities to exchange ideas, learn from and with each other and to share backend costs.”

FBRK Impact House will occupy three floors of the 200 W. Madison building owned by Multi-Employer Property Trust (MEPT) advised by BentallGreenOak. It will include a public worklounge and restaurant on the street-level first floor, with membership access to the offices, lounges and amenities on the second and third floors.

FBRK Impact House is partnered with Leopardo for construction, BOX Studio for architecture and design, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group, as well as tenant advisors Larry Serota, Cece Conway and Holly Bailey of Transwestern.

With a commitment to working together more transparently and collaboratively to bring more benefit to Chicago and beyond, FBRK Impact House will open its doors in March 2020 with many prestigious organizations in its inaugural community. In addition to the anchor tenants, FBRK Impact House will be the new home for A Better Chicago, Chicago Public Library Foundation, Children First Fund, Pillars Fund and Knight Family Foundation. Grant makers, family foundations and impact investors will also be able to join the FBRK Impact House community and take advantage of the numerous amenities and opportunities through an annual Access Membership.

To learn more about FBRK Impact House and Access Membership, please visit:​.

About FBRK Impact House​: FBRK Impact House is Chicago’s first innovation-focused philanthropy center dedicated to serving and supporting grant makers, family foundations and impact investors. FBRK Impact House is a division of FBRK, LLC, based in Chicago, IL. For more information visit ​​.


Click here to visit our FBRK Impact House page.

Fall 2019 Grantees

By Field News, Grantees, Uncategorized

Field Foundation Board Members and Life Directors met on September 19 and approved our latest round of grantees. These organizations represent our grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment. Our Justice portfolio focuses on systemic intervention work led by ALAANA (African Latinx Asian Arab and Native American) organizers working in communities across Chicago. Note the work this round we are honored to support in affordable housing, immigration, and cannabis legalization. The Art portfolio focuses on space-making and capacity-building, with continued emphasis on the intersections within Art and Justice. The inaugural Media & Storytelling portfolio supports ALAANA leadership and outlets that are taking multifaceted approaches to disrupting inequities within the media map. And our Leadership Investment portfolio doubles down on supporting the visionaries across our city working in our program areas of Justice, Art and Media & Storytelling. We are proud of our Fall 2019 grantees and are inspired by their bold vision and work.

Justice portfolio


Art portfolio


Media & Storytelling portfolio


Leadership Investment portfolio


Field Foundation Announces Its First Leaders For A New Chicago Award Recipients

By Field News

PHONE: 773.704.7246



CHICAGO — The Field Foundation today announced the 14 recipients of its inaugural Leaders for a New Chicago award, supported by a $2.1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand the definition of leadership in Chicago.

“In Chicago we have no shortage of brilliant minds working every day to change lives and reshape our city,” said Angelique Power, president, the Field Foundation. “We are so honored to be in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation as we hand over a megaphone, share resources, and then sit back and watch as these incredible people continue to soar, bringing our city to more just and beautiful places than we could’ve ever imagined.”

Although more than 60 percent of Chicago residents are from African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) communities, the city’s civic leadership does not reflect these demographics or the influence of other individuals and communities whose voices are often not heard.

The Leaders for a New Chicago award recognizes a range of established and emerging leaders who work across boundaries to build a Chicago that is responsive and equitable to all.


Monica Cosby, a leader of the participatory defense work at Westside Justice Center and one of the leading advocates for incarcerated women and the fight for post-incarceration rights in Chicago.

Luis Gutiérrez, founder of Latinos Progresando, which helps Latino immigrants navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and is the largest, Latinx-led immigration legal clinic in the state.

Darryl Holliday, co-founder and News Lab director at City Bureau, a civic newsroom based on Chicago’s South Side that has created a community-centered model for accountability journalism.

• Aymar Jean Christian, a scholar, producer, and writer/director, started Open Television in 2015 as a platform for intersectional media programming by Chicago-based artists.

• Tonika Lewis Johnson, a visual artist/photographer from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, who explores urban segregation and documents the nuance and richness of the black community.

• Page May, advocate, community organizer and co-founder of Assata’s Daughters, which creates a space where Black youth can learn political education from Black women and gender non-conforming people.

• Heather Miller (Wyandotte Nation), executive director of the American Indian Center, also serves as a Chicago-based advocate for the American Indian community through an art-centered focus.

• Emmanuel Pratt, co-founder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation, which practices Regenerative Neighborhood Development to transform vacant spaces and abandoned buildings in the Englewood and Washington Park neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

• Viveka Ray-Mazumder, manager of youth organizing and the KINETIC program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago, works to mobilize, coordinate, and encourage civic engagement and grassroots organizing among Asian American and immigrant youth in Chicago.

• Analia Rodriguez, a lifelong advocate for immigrant, labor, and women’s rights and executive director of Latino Union of Chicago. Rodriguez develops the leadership capacity of low-wage, immigrant workers so they can lead the fight themselves.

• Sarah Ross, co-founder and co-director of Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, which works at the intersection of art and justice, collaborating with incarcerated artists and writers to exhibit their work and engage in dialogue.

• Imelda Salazar, a longtime champion for justice in Southwest Chicago, first as a fully engaged community resident, then as a leader and now as an organizer with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).

• Carlos Tortolero, a former Chicago Public Schools educator, is the founder and president of the National Museum of Mexican Art, a platform for driving civic dialogue through art exhibitions in Chicago’s Pilsen community.

• J. Gibran Villalobos, Partnership and Engagement Liaison with the Museum of Contemporary Art, who develops relationships with community-based organizations and artists through outreach and community engagement to amplify ALAANA voices in the arts.

“The city is eager for broader perspectives and new ways of telling our collective story,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “These awards will ensure more voices contribute to the decisions that shape our city. MacArthur is proud to partner with Field to increase access for innovative and effective individuals and organizations that reflect the city’s diversity. This is an opportunity for philanthropy to begin to reimagine how we recognize the leadership and power that exists in communities.”

Based on the Field Foundation’s innovative grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment, no-strings attached awards of $25,000 go to each of the 14 leaders, and an additional $25,000 goes to the general operating funds of their affiliated organizations.

As Chicago redefines itself, the Leaders for a New Chicago award will advance equity and access to opportunity. It will foster conditions that recognize and promote individuals who bring a broad diversity of backgrounds and experiences to civic debate about the city’s future.

The awardees are leaders who impact the civic and cultural life of our city. Whether they are well known or on the rise, the awardees all work to achieve a vision of a more equitable and just Chicago.

About the Field Foundation
Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for more than 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grantmaking toward the goal of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment. With racial equity at the center of its giving, it directs dollars to critical organizations working to address systemic issues in Chicago and aims to directly benefit some of our city’s most divested communities. Learn more at Field Foundation.

About the 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 corruption in Nigeria. 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 has invested $1.4 billion in over 1,500 organizations and individuals across the Chicago region, more than any other place around the world. The Foundation’s Chicago Commitment is focused on strengthening organizations, contributing to civic partnerships, investing in vital communities, advancing influential and diverse leaders and cultivating creative expression and art.


For full 2019 Leaders bios, visit Meet the 2019 Leaders or click here:

Meet the 2019 Leaders

Spring 2019 Grantees

By Field News, Grantees

Announcing our spring 2019 grantees. Field Foundation board members and life directors met on May 29 and approved our latest round of grantees. These organizations represent our Art and Justice portfolios in our grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, Media & Storytelling and Leadership Investment. This portfolio consists of organizations who are not only doing transformative work on the south and west sides of our city, but also on a citywide level. They are influencing creative ecosystems, economies, policy agendas, and conversations around equity that significantly impact their communities. We are confident that our 2019 Spring grantees will elevate Chicago’s landscape through alliances that create investment opportunities in heat map communities. We are proud to support and partner with these amazing organizations!



Leaders and Media & Storytelling: Two New Initiatives

By Field News





CHICAGO  — The Field Foundation is launching two new programs, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to help make Chicago more racially equitable. These initiatives will award $5 million in grants for areas, organizations and individuals often left out of philanthropic giving. They will nurture new sources of civic and media leadership for Chicago’s future.

As Chicago redefines itself, Leaders for a New Chicago will advance equity and access to opportunity, and foster conditions that recognize and promote people who bring a broad diversity of background and experience to leadership positions. Leaders for a New Chicago is now accepting nominationsThe Media & Storytelling program, with additional support from the Democracy Fund, will open for applications April 15, 2019. Both programs will further boost the Field Foundation’s innovative grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, and Leadership Investment.




For full Press Release click here:


For full Leaders for a New Chicago info click here:


For full description of Media & Storytelling program click here:


Winter 2019 Grantees

By Field News, Grantees

Announcing our winter 2019 grantees. Field Foundation board members and life directors met on January 23rd and approved our latest round of grantees. These organizations represent our grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, and Leadership Investment. This portfolio consists of organizations who are taking us into new and exciting territories. Many are recently conceived organizations with innovative and creative projects working towards fighting racial injustices, creating opportunities for immigrant and refugee communities, and envisioning a new Chicagoland. Our 2019 Winter grantees are deeply committed to developing community leaders and stronger alliances for advocacy work, and with our support (and hopefully yours too), we are confident they will continue to push boundaries to transform Chicago.

Fall 2018 Grantees

By Field News, Grantees

Join us in welcoming our new grantees. Field Foundation Board Members and Life Directors met on September 21st and approved our latest round of grantees. These organizations represent our grantmaking model of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, and Leadership Investment and align with our priorities of funding organizations that are working on root causes of issues, exploring creative enterprise, redefining narrative and storytelling and leading Chicago to new places. We are so honored and proud to support this group of organizations!

Spring 2018 Grantees

By Field News, Grantees

Join us in celebrating our new grantees. On May 16th, the board members and life directors of the Field Foundation met and approved our latest round of grantees in our new grantmaking model Community Empowerment through Justice, Art, and Leadership Investment. This portfolio demonstrates organizations that are lifting new voices, developing community agency, and exploring creative enterprise. We are extremely honored to support this tremendous group of organizations!


Announcing New Board Member

By Field News


THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2018


Cultural Activist Brings Unique Talents & Vision

CHICAGO — The Chicago-based Field Foundation proudly announces the appointment of new board member Lisa Yun Lee, a cultural activist and the Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum.

Lee is a vigorous champion of the arts and a supporter of free and civil discourse, recognizing their power to build and sustain a strong, just society.

Her work and curiosity have given Lee a deep and diversified view of Chicago. From observing the epicenter of its graffiti community on the Southwest Side to co-curating a conference on socially engaged art, Lee understands the crucial importance of seeing the unseen and listening to the unheard.

“We are so honored to have Lisa join our board at this critical juncture in our work,” said Angelique Power, President and Member of the Field Foundation Board. “Her energy and ideas have ignited Chicago’s art and justice communities in brilliant and profound ways. Lisa will add much to our conversation as we unpack what the meaning of art is in the 21st century and seek to fund the incredible creativity in our city more equitably.”

“I’m thrilled to become a member of the Field Foundation Board of Directors,” Lee said. “They work in solidarity, partnership, and conversation with the community on issues related to equity and inclusion. And, as significant influencers in the foundation world on community-driven empowerment strategies through justice, art and leadership investment Field is having an incredible impact on some of the most important issues facing our city.”

Lee has served as the Director of the UIC School of Art & Art History, where she is an Associate Professor of Art History and Gender and Women’s Studies. She was most recently the 2017 Co-Curator of Open Engagement, an arts conference based at the University of Illinois Chicago.

As the previous Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Lee oversaw a renovation of the house, installed a new permanent exhibition, and she reinvigorated public programming at one of our nation’s most important historic sites.

Lee was also the co-founder of The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society.

She writes broadly about arts, culture, diversity, and aesthetics and politics, and has written a book entitled Dialectics of the Body: Corporeality in the Philosophy of Theodor Adorno (Routledge, 2004), and also wrote the survey essay for the first comprehensive monograph of Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates (Phaidon, 2015).

“Lisa’s dynamic leadership at the intersection of arts and social justice will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Field Foundation” said Lyle Logan, Chair of the Field Foundation Board. “The Board will benefit from her many talents, because arts leaders such as Lisa know how to connect the dots between artists and organizers, creative expression and social change.”

Lee serves on the boards of the American Alliance of Museums, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and 3Arts.

(BA, Bryn Mawr College, Ph.D., Duke University)

About the Field Foundation
Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grantmaking toward the goal of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art and Leadership Investment. With racial equity at the center of its giving, it directs dollars to critical organizations working to address systemic issues in Chicago and aims to directly benefit some of our city’s most divested communities.

For more information, visit the Field Foundation.



The Future of Work

By Field News

Written by Heather Smith, Senior Program Officer, JusticePeople ringing doorbells, dropping off packages and moving on to the next block in unmarked vans is an everyday occurrence. I began to wonder more about who pays the delivery drivers? Who boxes up the products and puts them in the vans? How is Next-Day and Same-Day Delivery even possible? The short and simple answers are warehouses and temp workers. However, there is a hidden story behind our online orders and deliveries. It is a story that the Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ) strives to expose and harness for equitable social change. It is also a story of structural change and equity advocacy that aligns with the Field Foundation’s new Justice investment program.

I visited WWJ this past fall and quickly learned that warehouse and temp workers are one of the fastest growing sources of jobs in the Chicago region. Large warehouses have sprouted up across Chicago and along highways in the suburbs to solve the “last mile problem” of getting goods from the warehouse to your doorstep. Chicago is the largest rail, truck and water logistics hub in the Western Hemisphere. Workers move $1.3 trillion worth of goods through the region annually and logistics adds over $20 billion to the gross regional product.

Executive Director Mark Meinsteir of the WWJ believes that Chicago’s growing distribution and logistics industry can and should offer thousands of stable, living wage jobs to residents. Instead, we see this industry offering dangerous, low wage work.1  Warehouse and temp workers complete long hours moving goods and hauling pallets for 10-12 hours, often without daylight2. Many warehouse workers make poverty level wages and about twenty-five percent of workers need government assistance or a second job to provide for their family.3 They are also subject to rampant wage theft such as unpaid overtime, payroll withdrawal fees as well as sexual harassment and racial discrimination.4

Warehouse workers are predominantly low-wage workers of color that have disproportionately borne the brunt of trends toward precarious forms of gig economy employment such as temp or contractor positions with unstable schedules and no recourse for complaints. These low wages and difficult working conditions continue to widen the distribution of wealth between races and result in devastating effects on families and communities of color.5 WWJ, Chicago Workers Collaborative and several other organizations recently worked to pass a Temp Worker Bill of Rights in 2017.  The new law increases direct hires, addresses gender pay gaps, and sets improvements in scheduling, pay and benefits and enforcement in areas of discrimination, wage theft and safety.  This is one of the strongest laws in the country protecting workers.

There is tremendous opportunity and potential in ecommerce in Chicago. Meinster explains that there were no Amazon ecommerce jobs in Chicago in 2014; by 2017 there were over 10,000 jobs. This rising trend is expected to continue as consumers increasingly turn to two-day and even two-hour shipping.  Amazon now has the same number of employees as the Walmart we remember 25 years ago and regardless of the upcoming headquarters decision,is poised for tremendous growth in the years ahead. WWJ sees the enforcement of the laws that we do have, informing workers of their rights, and holding firms accountable to their workforce through binding agreements as opportunity plays that could impact the behavior of large ecommerce firms before they grow too large to make those structural changes possible.

Worker centers like WWJ are aiming to bring justice to the ecommerce world which is changing the nature of work as we know it in a profound way.  “By some estimates, one-third of US workers are no longer employed by their ‘real’ boss. And, with Right to Work laws that challenge unions, there is a new, often hidden side of work growing faster and faster,” explained Meinster.

Organizations working on systemic change like WWJ are the type of justice investments that the Field Foundation are identifying as it moves toward supporting upstream, root changes for justice and equity. WWJ’s work is uncovering structural inequities, building power of low-wage workers and creating systemic policy changes and practices. WWJ is in favor of ecommerce companies bringing jobs to Chicago so we can continue to build our city as a freight, rail, truck, water logistics center—historical assets of Chicago that put in on the map in the first place. The actions of WWJ benefit not just low-wage workers but all workers who need voice and dignity. WWJ’s work sets the path for low wage workers to enter and bolster the middle class which could begin a powerful ripple effect on small businesses and communities of color.  We know that ecommerce is only going to increase, and WWJ is aiming to ensure that the future of work is sustainable and equitable for those who are the engine of Chicago’s ecommerce logistics.




1NESRI and National Staffing Workers Alliance. (2017). Temporary work, permanent abuse: How big business destroys good jobs. Retrieved from

2LaVecchia, O. (2016). How Amazon’s tightening grip on the economy is stifling competition, eroding jobs, and threatening communities. Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Retrieved from

3Warehouse Workers for Justice. (n.d.) Bad jobs in goods movement: Warehouse work in Will County [report] Retrieved from

4Warehouse Workers for Justice. (2017). Boxed in: Gender discrimination in Illinois warehouses. [report] Retrieved from

5Branch, E.H. & Hanley, C. (2017). A racial-gender lens on precarious nonstandard employment. Research in the Sociology of Work, 31, p 183-213.