A personal introduction and a new chapter for Field Foundation

By Field News

A New Chapter for Field Foundation
A message from Field President Daniel O. Ash

 

Today, I began my new role as the Field Foundation’s eighth president. I am incredibly honored to be working with our Board and the Field staff in service of Field’s mission—centering racial equity to achieve community empowerment through Art, Justice, Media & Storytelling, and Leadership Investment. And I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with so many of you as part of our shared commitment to investing in people and communities across the city of Chicago—particularly those who are advocating tirelessly for essential change.

I have many emotions as I reflect on this day, which coincides with the observance of the Juneteenth holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in our country. I’m thinking about the progress and setbacks, the wins and losses, and the distance we still stand from living in a truly equitable society. Although I’m keenly aware of the challenges of the present moment, I am hopeful. Because I see transformational change in the tremendous work that our grantees and other partners are doing on the ground each day.

For those of you I’ve not yet had the pleasure to meet, let me briefly introduce myself. I come to Field from The Chicago Community Trust, where I served as associate vice president of community impact and previously as the Trust’s chief marketing officer. Prior to joining the Trust, I spent ten years as vice president at Chicago Public Media, where I was responsible for corporate sponsorship and individual giving and oversaw marketing and strategic partnership.

I have dedicated my career to advancing racial justice and equity, and I will bring my experience to help continue the pivotal and strategic work of the Field Foundation in this important area.

In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with our Board, Field staff, and key stakeholders to understand better how we build on our work. As for what’s ahead, you can continue to count on the same level of support and commitment you have come to expect from Field.

Just like the Field Foundation has always been, I am a believer in the promise of Chicago, having spent most of my career here. I look forward to working together and learning from each other in service to Chicago communities.

Best,

Daniel

Announcing Our 2022 Cohort: Leaders for a New Chicago

By Field News

CONTACT:
June 7, 2022
analía rodríguez
Field Foundation of Illinois
(773) 259-4826
arodriguez@fieldfoundation.org

A’Lexus Murphy
Rise Strategy Group
(817) 703-6419
alexus@risestrategygroup.com


FIELD AND MACARTHUR FOUNDATIONS ANNOUNCE 2022 LEADERS FOR A NEW CHICAGO COHORT
10 Diverse Leaders Across the City to be Awarded for Exemplary Work Combatting Structural Racism, Discrimination and Disinvestment

CHICAGO – The Field Foundation, in partnership with The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, today announced the 2022 Leaders for a New Chicago cohort. The 10 leaders—whose work aligns with Field’s grantmaking areas of Art, Justice, and Media & Storytelling—exemplify the power of creativity, focus and sheer determination in serving the communities and spaces they occupy across Chicago. Since the program was launched in 2019, the MacArthur Foundation has committed a total of $4.2 million to support the award recipients, who represent areas directly impacted by the city’s history of structural racism, discrimination, and disinvestment.

Now in its fourth year, the Leaders for a New Chicago Awards are part of Field’s ongoing investment in racial justice visionaries and organizations addressing systemic issues in underserved communities. Each leader will receive a no-strings-attached award for $25,000, and their affiliated organizations each will receive an additional $25,000 general operating grant. The awards will recognize past accomplishments while shining a light on the leaders who will influence decision-making across Chicago.

A committee comprised of 2021 awardees, facilitated by Field and MacArthur staff members, oversaw the process of reviewing nominations and recommending award recipients. Their selection of the 2022 leaders includes artists, advocates, educators, organizers, social change agents and storytellers. Coming from different geographic backgrounds and income levels, the leaders represent a diversity of age, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, and sexual orientation.

“The common thread across this group of dynamic individuals is their ability to lead, inspire and empower their communities,” said Field Foundation Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez, who was a member of the inaugural 2019 cohort. “We look forward to bringing them together with support and resources to help advance their work and make this a city that works for everybody.”

MacArthur Senior Program Officer, Chicago Commitment, Geoffrey Banks said, “We are proud to recognize these visionary leaders for their individual and collective wisdom and expertise. This is an opportunity to elevate the voices of individuals who are leaders in their communities and fields and to provide them with ‘no strings attached’ support, enabling the leaders to choose how to spend the funds to pursue their professional and personal goals as they continue changing the landscape of our city.”

The awardees and their respective fields are:

ART
Kevin Iega Jeff (he/him/his), co-founder of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) and creative/executive director of Deeply Rooted Productions.

Scheherazade Tillet (she/her/hers), co-founder and Executive Director of A Long Walk Home.

avery r. young (he/him/his), award-winning artist, composer, and producer, a teaching artist with Urban Gateways.

JUSTICE
Emily Blum (she/her/hers), executive director of Disability Lead.

Antonio Gutierrez (they/them/theirs), strategic coordinator and co-founder of Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).

Dixon Romeo (he/him/his), de facto leader of Not Me We.

Tanya Watkins (she/her/hers), executive director of Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL).

Dr. Dorene P. Wiese (she/her/hers), chief executive officer of the American Indian Association of Illinois.

MEDIA & STORYTELLING
Trina Reynolds-Tyler (she/her/they/them), director of data for Invisible Institute.

Irene Romulo (she/her/hers), development and community engagement coordinator and co-founder of Cicero Independiente.

Field Foundation Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez will be available for interviews after 1:30 PM.

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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 www.fieldfoundation.org.

About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 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, and nuclear risk. 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 nearly $1.5 billion in more than 1,600 organizations and individuals across the Chicago region—more than any other place in the world. The Foundation’s Chicago Commitment is focused on contributing to civic partnerships, investing in vital communities, advancing influential and diverse leaders, and cultivating creative expression and art. Learn more at www.macfound.org/chicago.

Field President

By Field News

 

 

 

 

 

FIELD FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES DANIEL O. ASH AS PRESIDENT

The Chicago Community Trust and Chicago Public Media Veteran Will Continue Course of Field
Foundation’s Racial Equity Work in Chicago

CHICAGO—The Field Foundation Board of Directors at the Field Foundation today announced the appointment of Daniel O. Ash to lead the Foundation as President beginning June 20. As Chicago continues to grapple with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our most vulnerable communities, Ash’s deep connection to the city, and his understanding of its systemic and structural inequities that must be addressed, makes him exceptionally qualified to advance the Field Foundation’s commitment to community empowerment through funding the work of nonprofits’ efforts in justice, art, media & storytelling and leadership investment. Ash was chosen after an extensive nationwide search led by Russell Reynolds.

“One of the most important issues in our world today is racial justice and equity, and I have dedicated my career to advancing this work,” Ash said. “It’s an honor to continue the pivotal and strategic work of the Field Foundation by leading the organization as it continues centering racial equity in all of its important work.”

Ash joins the Field Foundation from The Chicago Community Trust, where he has served as Associate Vice President of Community Impact, building the Building Collective Power strategy aiming to advance equitable neighborhoods within under-invested communities through grant-making to community organizing, storytelling and resident-driven initiatives. Previously, Ash served as Chief Marketing Officer where he directed brand strategy and communications, spearheading the development of On the Table, an ongoing civic engagement and dialogue platform designed to center and amplify resident voices and create greater civic connectedness across the Chicago region. Prior to joining the Chicago Community Trust, Ash worked at Chicago Public Media, where he led double-digit growth and oversaw both marketing and strategic partnerships. He has also held leadership positions at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Center for Family Policy and Practice.

“We are so pleased to have Daniel’s leadership as the Foundation continues the crucial work of centering racial justice,” said Field Foundation Chief Operating Officer and Interim CEO Mark Murray. “Daniel’s authentic connection to Field’s work aligns with the Foundation’s mission and will facilitate the success of our work on behalf of communities.”

“Daniel’s breadth of experience and the respect he has earned through his work made him the ideal choice to become the next President of the Field Foundation,” said Field Foundation Board Chair Gloria Castillo, who co-led the search with Board Member Lyle Logan. “Daniel deeply understands the work the Field Foundation is prioritizing because he has been doing similar work for years, and we are confident that his vision aligns with the Foundation’s goals.”

With significant experience in media and storytelling, building strategic partnerships, and convening a vision around important issues through collaborative leadership, Ash will continue advancing the strategies adopted by the Field Foundation in 2018.

“Daniel Ash is uniquely qualified to lead the Field Foundation,” said Marshall Field V, Life Director of the Field Foundation. “Under Daniel’s direction, the Foundation will continue to steadfastly carry out its mission as set by Marshall Field III in 1940.”

Ash is committed to a number of community organizations and currently serves on the boards of the North Lawndale Employment Network, the Center for Family Policy and Practice, and Young Chicago Authors. He holds a B.A. in economics from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

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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 www.fieldfoundation.org.

Field News – April 2022

By Field News

Artwork and images from Richard Tran, Field’s Arts Program Officer. Left: Operation Ranch Hand // A History of Agent Orange. What began as an inquiry of the human rights violations during the US occupation in Vietnam resulted in an exploratory and interactive experience of screen-printed wartime archives+balloons+turmeric. Right: Richard (left) and Kofi (right) working collaboratively on a set of handmade pottery while Richard was an artist-in-residence in Nungua, Ghana, studying community craft arts & the ability to form community through object and occupation versus place and space.

Field Foundation News

Welcome to the April issue of Field News. In this issue, you will find:

  • A message from Richard Tran, our new Arts Program Officer. Meet Richard and learn more about his background, as well as what he brings to Field as an artist and Chicagoan.
  • Our list of January/Winter 2022 Grantees representing 24 organizations across Chicago.
  • A reminder that Field Foundation’s Letter of Inquiry portal will open on April 15 for Fall 2022 grant considerations.
  • Links to follow Field Foundation on social media.

Hello from Richard Tran, Field’s Arts Program Officer

Hi folks. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blurb. I know you all have busy lives, so I’m full of gratitude that we’re able to connect through this shared virtual space. How very meta.

As a locally grown artist and Chicagoan, it’s truly an honor to be the Arts Program Officer at Field—and I’ll tell you why!

I grew up in Uptown, right off the Argyle Redline stop where many Vietnamese migrants first settled as they started to form new diasporic communities. It was there my parents ran a small “ma and pa” shop where they worked, grinded, hustled, and then worked some more. Eventually, this looked like 12-hour days, seven days per week, for just under three decades before their bodies said, “no more.” And it wasn’t always just the two of them. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my parents’ restaurant became my after-school program. It’s where I learned how to write to take orders from customers, and where my mom grilled me with problem sets so that my mental accounting mathematics were quicker than a cash register.

Over the years, their restaurant became a community center of sorts, and it’s where I learned what it meant to be “in community.” Despite operating a business, my parents used a trust-based credit system for community members to pay off their tabs at the end of each month.

Community members also used the space as a mutual aid and food exchange to give, trade, sell, and barter. It was a place to scratch off lotto tickets and complain about taxes…a safe haven to talk about the underground economy and where to find your next gig. It was a daycare…a space for elders to watch the Vietnamese news…and so much more. And what was happening, all the people and pieces coming together… I can only best describe as the most beautiful artistic social practice I could imagine.

As for what’s ahead for me, I look forward to the opportunity to learn as a young artist working in philanthropy—and to continue Field’s grant-making with community empowerment top of mind. For the Art portfolio, this means supporting artists, arts organizations and collectives doing culturally anchored, community-centered, and justice-driven work.

In my prior “office” work, I’ve supported fundraising initiatives for community-based organizations, and it’s a whirlwind to be at this end of the table. You have my word that I will always strive to hold myself accountable and that I will always welcome your input—because it not only helps me grow and do better, but it will also push the philanthropic sector to continue doing better.

Let me close by sharing my personal commitment and reinforcing Field’s commitment to ALAANA and South- and West-Side organizations. I am honored to be in the position to build on the progress of this journey Field started just a handful of years ago. While I’m not a carbon copy of Field’s previous Arts Program Officer, Tempestt Hazel, I had the privilege of working alongside her for over a year as a Field Fellow. So, while it may be a new chapter for the Art portfolio, it’s the same book.

Thank you, again, for your time and for sharing this space with me. If we haven’t already met, I am undeniably excited to meet you one day soon.

Until then,
Richard

Celebrating our January/Winter 2022 Field Grantees

ART

The Firehouse Community Arts Center The mission of the Firehouse Community Arts Center of Chicago is to interrupt the cycle of violence in the lives of youth and young adults through the power of the arts.
Lorde, Rustin & Bates (LRB) LRB’s mission is to address systemic and structural level bias by organizing communities to serve as the changemaker, working to fuse social justice and the arts. LRB centers Black and Brown lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/gender nonconforming, queer and questioning/same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) communities and other historically marginalized groups.
PullmanArts proudly supports Chicago’s far South Side artists and community with exhibitions, classes, and performances in our Block House Gallery and area venues; promoting diversity, inclusion, and access for all to unique and inspiring cultural programming in the historic Pullman area and beyond.
South Shore Drill Team uses performing arts to engage youth from underserved South Side neighborhoods throughout their critical teenage years, mitigating the dangers of gangs, drugs, and violence, while guiding members towards completing their educational and career goals.

JUSTICE

BYP100 is a national, member-based organization of Black 18- to 35-year-old activists and organizers, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do this through building a network focused on transformative leadership development, direct action organizing, advocacy, and political education using a Black queer feminist lens.
Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance (CAFHA) CAFHA's mission is to combat housing discrimination; reverse historic, intentional patterns of disinvestment in Black and Latinx communities; and promote equitable place-based opportunity through education, advocacy, and collaborative action.
Community Renewal Society informs and brings people of faith and congregations together, in partnership with communities, coalitions, interfaith organizations and civic leaders, to intentionally and decisively transform society toward greater social justice at the intersection of racism and poverty.
Dissenters is leading a new generation of young people to reclaim our resources from the war industry, re-invest in life-giving services, and repair collaborative relationships with the earth and people around the world.
HANA Center HANA Center’s mission is to empower Korean American and multi-ethnic immigrant communities through social services, education, culture, and community organizing to advance human rights.
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) Through the sustained engagement of low-income and working families, KOCO develops multi-generational leaders who impact decision-making processes and public policies, improving the quality of life in our local communities.
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) The mission of LVEJO is to organize with our community to accomplish environmental justice in Little Village and achieve the self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families.
Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition & Solidarity (MAMAS) is a collective of people conducting the labor of mothering among Black, indigenous, and people of color-based communities.
Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) Our mission is to advance economic and social human rights by organizing and developing leadership among people most affected by economic and racial oppression.
Sex Workers Outreach Project-Chicago (SWOP-Chicago) is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of current and former sex workers in the Chicago area, on and off of the job. We support the rights and wellbeing of sex workers and their communities, with a focus on ending violence and stigma through education, advocacy, outreach, and peer support.
Working Family Solidarity unites low and moderate-wage workers and their families, primarily African American and Latinx, to fight for equitable development. We focus primarily on the areas of jobs/labor rights and affordable housing/housing rights.

MEDIA & STORYTELLING

Black Researchers Collective The mission of the Black Researchers Collective is to train and equip communities with research tools to be more civically engaged and policy informed.
Chicago South Side Film Festival The two-fold mission of the Chicago South Side Film Festival (“CSSFF”) is to provide South Side filmmakers with opportunities to screen their work in their own communities, and to use film as a tool for collective intellectual and community engagement.
Guild Literary Complex is a 30-year-old grassroots literary arts organization creating performance-based events in and around the Chicagoland area. We partner and collaborate with other community groups on social and restorative justice issues, providing arts and advocacy programming for marginalized voices.
Honey Pot Performance enlists modes of creative expressivity to examine the nuances of human relationships, including the ways we negotiate identity, belonging, and difference in our lives and cultural memberships.
Invisible Institute We are a journalism production company on the South Side of Chicago. We work to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable.
Public Narrative delights in their mission to uphold equity within the public narrative of media. The organization actively diversifies the voices participating in the news through training & connecting community members to media outlets to further reinforce the importance of representation.
Reader Institute for Community Journalism The Chicago Reader creates and curates political and cultural coverage by and for Chicago, including highlighting underrepresented communities and stories. We reinvest all of our profits to achieve sustainability, grow our reach, and ensure the fulfillment of our mission.
Urban Prescriptives helps organizations develop brilliant ideas and viable strategies and works to put them into action. Our focus is on project execution that is targeted, efficient, and innovative, led by a team of experienced practitioners and change agents.
Watched Films LLC was created in 2015 by journalist and filmmaker Assia Boundaoui to support the development, production, and distribution of the documentary film THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (2019), the film's ensuing impact campaign and the INVERSE SURVEILLANCE PROJECT.

Apply for Fall Grant Considerations

On April 15, Field’s Letter of Inquiry portal will open for Fall 2022 grant considerations in the areas of ArtJusticeLeadership Investment and Media & Storytelling. Complete our short, online form by Monday, May 16, to tell us about your work. Apply here: fieldfoundation.org/how-to-apply/ and feel free to share this link with people or organizations who may be interested.

Follow Field on Social Media

Are you interested in more Field News? Follow us on social media:

Justice Update, Grant Season, Holiday Wishes

By Field News

Photo courtesy of JNJ Creative. Artist credit: Englewood Arts Collective co-founder Joe “Cujodah” Nelson

 

Welcome to the December issue of Field News and happy holidays to all! In this newsletter, you will find:

  • An update from Angelica Chavez, our Justice Program Officer, describing the work of our grantee partners in our Justice portfolio—which seeks to support organizations working to address the root causes of inequity and systemic racism through community organizing, advocacy and policy.
  • A reminder that Field Foundation’s Letter of Inquiry portal is now open for Spring 2022 grant considerations.
  • Season’s greetings and best wishes for 2022.

 

Focus on Justice

 

Four years ago, Field created a series of heat maps to help understand how race and need align in our city. The team looked at several quality-of-life indicators, including poverty, crime, and health, as well as access to education, jobs and the arts. What we found not only supported the hypothesis that race would equal need, but that in Chicago, there is an incredible nexus of poverty, trauma and divestment directly aligned to race. The inequity within the study area isn’t by happenstance—it’s by design. And inequities affecting the people and communities within the heat maps have only been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Field’s grantee partners in our Justice portfolio—present and past—are working every day to address these realities and make a meaningful impact by examining root causes, organizing to improve community conditions and advancing stakeholder engagement. But more than that, our grantee partners are mobilizing to build collective and community power to dismantle the systems, structures and institutions that uphold systemic racism.

Highlights from our grantees in 2021 include:

  • Reimagining economic systems by establishing a housing cooperative on the West Side and Lower West Side.
  • Addressing the carceral system by eliminating cash bond.
  • Developing new solutions for public safety with a focus on reinvesting in communities with the necessary resources to help them heal from past harm and keep them safe.
  • Developing community organizing campaigns that challenge institutions to invest in LGBTQ+ and Black communities, including campaigns that address Black needs and advance Black leadership.
  • Listening to community members and organizing them around the City of Chicago’s budget process, with an emphasis on how they can influence it.

In addition to working in heat map communities to address incredible need and advocate for just policies, our grantee partners are on the ground helping in many ways—from providing direct cash, food and groceries to translating unemployment documents.

Looking back to four years ago when these heat maps were created, no one could have predicted a pandemic or imagine its devastating impact on these communities. But what we are learning through the work of our grantee partners, is that community heals community—and that community-rooted and community-centered organizations are essential to driving positive and lasting change.

 

Left image: Organizers advocating for housing protections. Photo courtesy of Lift the Ban Coalition 

Right image: Communities calling for new solutions for public safety. Photo courtesy of Equity and Transformation

Angelica Chavez, Justice Program Officer

 

Grant Season is Here

On December 15, Field’s Letter of Inquiry portal opened for Spring 2022 grant considerations in the areas of Art, Justice, Leadership Investment and Media & Storytelling. Complete our short, online form by midnight on January 15 to tell us about your work. Apply here: fieldfoundation.org/how-to-apply/ and feel free to share this link with people or organizations who may be interested.

Holiday Greetings

In this time of reflection, gratitude and celebration, our Field family would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season. Thank you for inspiring us each and every day. We wish you peace and good health for 2022!

Field Awards $1M to 34 Local Organizations

By Field News

WELCOME
In this newsletter
you will find:

 

  • Congratulations to our Fall 2021 Grantees 
  • Field welcomes new Grants Administrator Zoe Magierek
  • Field in the News 

 

Meet our Fall 2021
Grantees 
 

The Field Foundation proudly announces its Fall 2021 grantees. In this grant cycle we awarded more than $1 million to 34 organizations—new and returning grantee partners—that are located in and/or focused on communities highlighted in Field’s heat map. As always, the majority of our dollars are given to BIPOC visionaries that are working to change systems, narratives, policies and support creative enterprise.

Congratulations to all of our Fall 2021 grantees, whose impact in the areas of Art, Justice and Media & Storytelling continues to transform Chicago. Click on the logos to learn more about each organization.

Justice 

Art 

Media & Storytelling 

Welcome Field’s New Grants Administrator Zoe Magierek

The Field Foundation recently welcomed Zoe Magierek as its new Grants Administrator. Previously, she was the Manager of Knowledge Service at Forefront and has worked as a librarian in special, academic and medical libraries. She actively volunteers with children and animals, and serves as the vice-chair of the Library Technical Assistant program advisory board at Wright College. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in library science from Dominican University. Welcome, Zoe!

Field in the News… 

Photo of analía rodríguez taken at Field offices at FBRK Impact House by José M. Osorio, courtesy of Chicago Tribune.

In October, the Chicago Tribune profiled Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez and their leadership journey from organizer and Awardee in the first Leaders for a New Chicago cohort, to a funder who now manages the program.

Says analía in the story: “By coming together, we can make changes that will reach and benefit others outside of our communities. Organizing is about building relationships, building community and growing together. A big part of it is leadership development. I have now the opportunity to continue organizing in a different context, supporting the development of leaders as a funder.”

 

 

 

 

Field Foundation Welcomes New Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez

By Field News

Welcome Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez

analía rodríguez

The Field Foundation is pleased to welcome its new Leadership Investment Program Officer analía rodríguez! rodríguez (they/them/elle) is a longtime community organizer and immediate former executive director of the Latino Union of Chicago, a grassroots community organization that fights wage theft and advocates for improved temporary worker conditions. They live in Little Village. In their role as Leadership Investment Program Officer at Field, rodríguez (who does not capitalize their name) will be primarily responsible for managing Field’s signature Leaders for a New Chicago program, an innovative partnership between Field and MacArthur Foundations that recognizes past accomplishments and promotes leaders and their organizations, and whose influence informs decision-making in Chicago.

Notably, rodríguez was a member of the first 2019 Leaders for a New Chicago cohort.

“When I won the award I was shocked. I think we all wondered what was the catch,” rodríguez said. “When I understood what it really was, I thought it was refreshing that a foundation trusts you enough to say ‘this is for you in recognition of your work, and there’s no strings attached.’ It felt genuine, and that’s what I liked. I look forward to advancing this work and recognizing leadership in Chicago from the ground up.”

Deeper alumni engagement with previous cohorts, ongoing professional development and working collaboratively with Leaders on long-range strategic solutions for some of the city’s most challenging issues are among rodríguez’s priorities in the new role.

“There’s a perception that a leader is someone who just works works works from 6AM to midnight and that’s it. But the Award comes with resources that show how important it is for leaders to have the space for reflection, rest and growth,” rodríguez said. “And I think it will be important to get these leaders together to look at what it will take to make Chicago a city that works for everybody. It’s about us working collectively to build community.”

Field Chief Operating Officer Mark Murray said rodríguez’s long history in Chicago and work as a grassroots organizer, along with the knowledge and experience of being part of the inaugural Leaders cohort, made them perfect for the role.

“analía has already demonstrated not only that they are a strong leader, but that they know how to recognize, harness and develop leadership,” Murray said. “Their knowledge and ability to organize around leadership is important to Field and MacArthur, and our entire city.”

As National Hispanic Heritage Month continues, rodríguez recognized the importance of representation in philanthropy. The Latinx community represents about 20 percent of the population, but only represented at 10 percent in philanthropy as program officers, and only 2 percent of foundation CEOs are Latinx.

“I’m an immigrant. I was born and raised in Durango, Mexico. I always think back to where I come from. “The town where I was born is only a few blocks wide. I came to Chicago not speaking a word of English,” rodríguez said. “So the idea of seeing where I am now? Yes, I hope somebody will see that and also believe they can do anything they want and really make a difference in this city.”

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Field Board Chair and Justice Program Officer Commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month

 

 

Earlier this month, Field Board Chair Gloria Castillo and Justice Program Officer Angelica Chavez sat down with celebrity chef Carlos Gaytán, owner of Tzuco, to discuss representation and the rich heritage of Latinx communities in Chicago in this CBS Chicago clip.

“I think it is really an important time for us to recognize the richness and diversity of Latino communities.” –Gloria Castillo, Field Foundation Board Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grants Administrator

By Field News

GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR

 

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 the city’s most divested communities.

At the heart of the Field Foundation’s work is a commitment to community-centered empowerment.

POSITION SUMMARY:

If you like keeping things organized and are mission driven the role of Grants Administrator could be for you.

The Grants Administrator will be a critical member of the Field Foundation Team, operating as the grants management lead (50%), providing administrative assistance (25%) and human resource management (25%). This unique role reports jointly to the President and Chief Operating Officer. The Grants Administrator works across all areas of the Foundation, including Human Resources, and collaborates with accounting and IT to ensure effective and efficient grantmaking processes. The Grants Administrator also serves as the system administrator for the Foundation’s grants management database. Currently this role is 80% remote with one day in the office per week.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

Grant Management (50%)

  • Maintain working knowledge of the Foundation’s programs and priority funding areas and remain abreast of current research, activities, and trends in the philanthropic
  • Lead the grants management and reporting with the Foundation’s external funding partners and their related grants.
  • Monitor grants for legal, financial, and program compliance including but not limited to ensuring that grant requirements are correctly documented in the grant files and database.
  • Monitor and document the grantmaking workflow processes, forms, templates, reports and data to assure full compliance with internal controls and legal
  • Generate reports and data analysis for program and finance team or
  • Problem-solve complex grant scenarios; consult/liaise with finance and/or legal
  • Work with finance to generate reporting required for compliance and financial statement
  • Partner with members of the program team and finance personnel to ensure accurate and adequate paper and electronic document
  • Maintain regular communication with other foundation professionals in the grants management

System Administration

  • Ensure all staff are aware and knowledgeable of grants management processes and technology to the degree their functions This includes designing dashboards and training staff both formally and informally. Implement and maintain protocols for testing and reconciling data accuracy and making timely and accurate database changes.
  • Manage system upgrades, troubleshooting, and roll-out of updates including staff notifications and training.
  • Develop training materials and standard operating procedures.

Administrative Assistance and Human Resources (25%)

  • Lead the scheduling of the Foundation President’s internal and external meetings including any needed preparation and follow-up.
  • Organize the Foundation’s board and committee meetings including location, food, reminders, and other correspondence.
  • Manage renewal and pricing of insurance plans: health, life, disability, dental, flex spending, transit, general liability and 403b.
  • Update/maintain staff paid time off records.
  • Maintain and manage personnel files.
  • Assist in end of year personnel salary adjustments such as letters informing employees of salary adjustments.
  • Assist in updating the Foundation’s employee handbook/policies.
  • Liaison with an online HR consultant to understand best practices and to update policies.
  • Assist with generating contracts for consultants.
  • Assist in the hiring or terminating of employees.

Other Responsibilities (25%)

  • Manage and organize payment of foundation bills and invoices using QuickBooks.
  • Organize and maintain a shared staff calendar leading zoom and in person scheduling for Field team.
  • Assist with board book production and preparation.
  • Assist in editing materials and preparing relevant
  • Design and maintain filing systems for the Foundation’s paper and electronic records including holding confidential and HR related documents.
  • Participate in weekly staff
  • Participate in weekly substantive check-ins with the Chief Operating Officer.
  • Collaborate with Program Team, Finance Team, IT, and President on special projects as
  • Perform other related projects or work as

REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

The Grants Administrator will be motivated by a passion for the Field Foundation’s mission and a drive for continuous learning and improvement. This role requires an individual who can balance strong attention to detail and analytical skills with an engaging, consultative, relationship-focused approach to working with people.

A successful Grants Administrator will share the values of the Field Foundation and be adept at managing a project from inception to completion and have an innate ability to prioritize and synthesize information. A comfort with ambiguity and competing priorities is vital.

Additional, valued qualifications include:

  • Ability and knowledge of QuickBooks and paying bills online
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially with Excel and Word
  • Experience with database systems, (Foundant) or comparable grants management software preferred
  • Familiarity with private foundation approaches, grant requirements and processes
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively to meet weekly, monthly, and quarterly deadlines
  • Professional, flexible, with an ability to multitask and a can-do attitude

Candidates should have a minimum of five–seven years of professional work experience, with some knowledge of nonprofits or grantmaking. Legal administrative experience and management systems is helpful but not required. Knowledge of Chicago and its south and west side communities is an advantage.

BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION:

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and offers a salary of $80,000.

TO APPLY:

Please send an email referring to GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR POSTION in the subject line along with a resume and one-page cover letter explaining your interest and how your skills and work experience fit the position to mmurray@fieldfoundation.org

To download the position description click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Podcasts are a Living Recording of our Experiences

By Field News

Photo from Sistematic Podcast

 

For years, as twin sisters Samantha and Alexis Smyser-De Leon attended protests, sit-ins and workshops the two women noticed that often women were in the spaces, leading the conversations and even pitching in to organize the events.

Yet, when the events were reported on in the local news, too often it was cis male voices that were given the spotlight and recognition. It was that absence of Black and Latinx women’s voices that led the two women to start “Sistematic Podcast,” which is taped and edited in Humboldt Park.

“We felt there was a lack of visibility when it came to young women of color. We didn’t hear our voices or see our stories represented in the media,” Samantha Smyser-De Leon said. “When it comes to talking about politics, government and popular culture, we didn’t see people who sounded like us or who came from our background doing the talking. We wanted to lend our perspective and create a platform for people like us.”

In their first three seasons, Samantha and Alexis interviewed cis women, transgender women and non-binary activists and scholars who helped explain the movement to defund police, the political movement in Puerto Rico and Black Womanhood. In their most recent episodes, the sisters have broached healing from sexual assault, discussed what it was like to get the COVID-19 vaccination and sat in conversation with a mental health and trauma expert who calls herself ‘The Drag Therapist.’

“In our work, we try to be as grassroots oriented as possible,” Alexis Smyser-De Leon said. “The podcast community is diverse, but it could use more voices. When you look at the most popular podcasts a lot are still not hosted or anchored by diverse producers … we know so many people who have important stories to tell and need a platform to share them.”

A major goal of Field’s Media and Storytelling portfolio is to support voices from Chicago’s communities that are too often overlooked. Field is especially focused on African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American voices that provide balanced perspectives and that are venturing into media spaces where representation is missing.

Audio journalism was once viewed as a vintage, sometimes old-fashioned way of delivering information and news to communities—especially as traditional radios became outdated and news shows had to compete with other content accessible through smart phones.

Yet podcasts, which have been around since the early 2000s, corralled new interest in audio storytelling. In recent years, celebrities like former First Lady Michelle Obama, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, scholars Roxanne Gay and Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom and journalists Farai ChideyaTrymaine Lee and Jemele Hill have all leaned into podcasts as an extension of their brands and reach. Since 2018, the number of available podcast shows has tripled, to around two million, and approximately 80 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners, according to Edison Research. But while 43 percent of listeners identify as BIPOC, or non-white, the podcasts with the largest audiences are white-led.

Still, podcasting is a special venture for Black and Latinx creators, said Talib Jasir, the founder of Afros and Audio annual Podcast Conference and the Vanguard Podcast Network. It’s an accessible medium that allows grassroots residents to tell their own stories.

“There are no gatekeepers in podcasting,” he said. “That’s the main reason we are showing up in this medium. There is no one saying ‘No, you can’t create here.’ You can put a microphone to your mouth and share your opinion or your expertise no matter what. It’s an opportunity to not be censored, to not hold back, and to be ourselves unapologetically.”

In the current moment, producing and recording podcasts allow media creatives to master audio editing, script writing, interviewing, producing and a host of other skills, Jasir said. But there’s a deeper reason the medium is important.

“Podcasting is a living recording of our experiences today,” Jasir said. “Long after we are done trying to get listeners, and trying to get guest interviews, it is a record of our existence.”

“There are so many topics being tackled (on podcasts) and there is someone who is waiting to hear someone who sounds like them and who is talking to them.”

Kyla Williams and Letitia Fowler began recording their first podcast as a passion project more than seven years ago. “The Pisces Life Podcast” gave the two women, who are rooted in the south suburbs of Chicago, a chance to discuss issues impacting Black life like wage disparities, poor access to medical care and marriage rates for Black women. Ultimately, the venture gave Williams and Fowler a way to connect what they were talking about to a larger collective of people talking about the same topics.

“Podcasts, for a lot of people, have been about finding your tribe and being able to connect with that tribe when you want to,” Fowler said. “When there are things happening in your life and you are looking for information and an answer. A lot of folks are turning to podcasts because that’s a place you can get that conversation you’ve been longing to have. You can build a new world of new people that feel like friends.”

In 2020, influenced by the pandemic, Williams and Fowler shifted their format and began capturing stories related to COVID-19. For their “Survivance” podcast, Williams and Fowler interviewed a college student who was the last to move out of her dorm during the height of the pandemic because she didn’t have the resources to get back home. They talked with a Native American community leader about how that community wasn’t being prioritized for testing, treatment or to receive the vaccine. They also talked with a funeral home director whose business increased because of the pandemic but who admitted to being overwhelmed with grief.

“’Survivance’ has been an eye-opening opportunity for us,” Williams said, explaining that she found herself learning from the stories she gathered. “We finally felt permission to tell our stories in a very candid fashion, without a filter and with a lot of honesty. ‘Survivance’ gives us a chance to be ourselves.”

For Judith McCray, starting her “Change Agents” podcast incubator offered a chance to teach the craft to a collective of ambitious story tellers, mainly on the South and West Sides of Chicago.

“I’m still stunned at how little the field of journalism has opened up to young producers and editors of color,” she said. “I was intentional to use this (incubator) as a way to give young journalists of color to create reels, and use it to deepen their networks and lead to experience for paid jobs. We focused on recruiting emerging journalists to build up their expertise and access in a field that is way too prohibitive for people of color.”

Once McCray and her charges recorded, edited and delivered their podcast stories, they found it led to more conversations—outside the studio. The group has hosted virtual town hall meetings and gatherings to unpack even more deeply the stories they recorded.

“There is still too much coverage in the mainstream media that looks at communities of color as victims,” McCray said. “We … found the stories of change and took on issues knowing that it was something happening, but not being covered.”

 

 

ABOUT MEDIA AND STORYTELLING
Lolly Bowean manages the Media and Storytelling portfolio. The goals of the Field Foundation’s Media and Storytelling program, a partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Democracy Fund, are to: create more just and inclusive narratives about Chicago that foster policy change; amplify the voices and impact of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American journalists, media makers and storytellers in the local media landscape; and support more reporting and storytelling by traditional and alternative journalism platforms about the root causes of the city’s inequities. Learn more about our program here.

 

Letter of Inquiry portal for Winter 2022

 

The Letter of Inquiry portal for Winter 2022 grant consideration in the areas of Art, Justice and Media and Storytelling is open. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, September 15, 2021. View a recorded information session to learn more about the Foundation’s program areas and the application process.  For more information on how to apply, please visit our website.

 

We Are Walking Skyscrapers

By Field News

Historic Field Building. Photo courtesy of  City of Chicago. 

We Are Walking Skyscrapers

A Farewell Message from President Angelique Power 

 

In a little less than a week’s time I will leave Chicago and subsequently my post as President of the mighty Field Foundation. In doing so I will leave a piece of my heart behind.

One doesn’t just live in Chicago. Regardless of whether you were born here or move here, we are all of this city. While we are told it is a city of neighborhoods, it is honestly a city of people – simultaneously down-to-earth and driven by mile-high aspirations.

Doers and dreamers, we are proud to be from not one community, but many overlapping communities. We are House music, and machine politics, block parties and syncopated sounds rising from buckets at every corner. We are walking skyscrapers and powerful Lake Michigan waves.

I carry this with me.

A piece of my heart will always beat to the sounds of conversations floating between the colorful couches and vibrant plants within FBRK Impact House. Alive with possibility of collaboration at every turn – near the podcast room, and by the kitchens, beside the prayer room or by the downstairs bar. I am so honored to have been part of conceptualizing this space for many to dream and do great things together.

Much of my heart will always ride with the members of the Field Foundation board. Bold and forthcoming. Dedicated to not just hoping that the arc of history bends toward justice but busily grabbing and shaping that arc on the daily – from every perch they occupy personally and professionally. These are the giants whose dedication to changing the world is made manifest every time they enter a room.

The staff. Man oh man the staff. These stellar humans won’t be able to get rid of me. Their brilliance, candor, passion and love; it has fed and fortified me. It has been the greatest honor to walk with them and learn from them. Their work is your work, their voice, lifting your voice. They have changed the idea of what it means to practice justice, what defines artists and the arts, what leadership looks like and who can own narratives that shape our understanding of what actually is and what actually might be.

And deeply, deeply I will miss all of you. Everyday I’ve been at Field, I’ve learned from you and with you. I feel honored to have been able to get up to so much together. The work we’ve collectively done to ground philanthropy in racial justice is only just beginning. The organizers, artists, journalists and storytellers – you are the visionaries and bright lights. You are the hope for a new Chicago. You are the ones that will continue to hold us all to account.

It is truly because of my time at Field, deepening my practice with board, staff, each of you that I am taking this leap into what awaits me. This year of sitting still and being rooted in self has left us all asking what we can do with this one beautiful and complicated life. How do we make meaning? For those who do not know, I will soon join the incredible Skillman Foundation, based in Detroit and dedicated to children and youth. It has long been working on racial justice issues and on unlocking equity for young people in education systems and beyond.

Now, Detroiters don’t play. It is a Black and Brown city. It is a young city (median age is 34). They have been hard at work for some time on creating an equitable city that works for everyone. Skillman’s work is a model for how you live in the interstitial spaces between sectors, center youth voice and create massive change. And in this moment, after a year of uprisings led by young Black and Brown people, the opportunity to join this work in that city calls me in ways I can explain and in ways I cannot yet. Walking out on faith, I am heading into this new electric space ready to listen, learn and stretch into what awaits.

In the meantime, the Field Foundation and Chicago is teeming with true believers. Believers not in what is, but in what might be. My heart has expanded with all of you. My heart carries each of you.

Thanks for helping me grow and deepen my knowledge of myself. Thank you for making me smarter. Thank you for letting me take risks and be forthright in what is right and where I go wrong. All of the work only deepens after I leave.

Our work is rooted in the soil – and as the world opens up again, so do we, so do we.

 

With love and gratitude,

 

Angelique