notes from the mexican kitchen

Bayless Family Foundation Announces New Theater Grant Awards

The Bayless Family Foundation is proud to announce a new contribution of nearly $500,0000 in grant awards to a handful of Chicago theatre companies.

The recipients for this year’s “Stepping Stone” grants — named for theatre companies poised to take their next big step — will each receive $150,000 paid over three years. 

• Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave. Filament will be using funds to increase its organizational and physical infrastructure by funding a new shared-leadership model and building out an onsite scene shop for themselves and the greater Northwest Side theater community.

• Shattered Globe Theatre, housed within Theatre Wit. SGT’s Stepping Stone grant will be used to build a sustainable future, as they emerge from pandemic theatre closures while making room for the next generations of theatre artists.

• Theatre Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Theater Wit is kickstarting a new phase of professionalizing their operations, with money for new hires for audience development and producing positions.

“These organizations are all super vital for their community, their audience, and the greater Chicago theatre community.  We selected these organizations’ proposals for their strategic visions supporting Chicago artists, their utilization of the organizations’ resources and strengths, and how well we believe they will fortify the institutions for the future.  We are beyond proud to partner with them,” said foundation director Kevin Sullivan.

Additionally, we are announcing a Signal Grant of $25,000 to the Wilmette-based Music Theatre Works for their efforts to update shows with outdated or actively offensive content. 

The “Signal” grants are intended to draw focus to a company the foundation believes in, and to inspire other donors to give generously to the company.

Formed in 2017 by Bayless and his wife Deann, the Bayless Family Foundation supports established Chicago theater organizations with a vision for institutional and artistic growth. Since its inception, it has supported over 24 local theaters with about $2 million in overall support.

For information on past recipients, see

Kokandy Productions’ “Head Over Heels – Songs by the Go-Go’s” at Theatre Wit. Credit: Theatre Wit/Facebook

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