The Bayless Family Foundation Stepping Stone Grant

The Bayless Family Foundation is proud to announce their continued commitment to the sustainability of Chicago’s vital theatre community with the return of the Stepping Stone Grant. Stepping Stone grant recipients receive $150,000, awarded over three years, to aid the intentional growth and sustainability of the organization. Award of this multi-year grant was paused briefly during the pandemic as the Foundation sought to prioritize responsive giving through 14 Signal Grant Awards, intended to support theatres as they returned to the stage following long closures.  Applications are now open to all Chicago theatres.

The Foundation is accepting applications now through October 24th, and the two winners will be announced in December. Established non-profit organizations must have an annual budget of $250,000 to qualify, and priority will be given to theatres located within Chicago.

Formed in 2017 by Rick and Deann Bayless, the Bayless Family Foundation supports established Chicago theater organizations with a vision for institutional and artistic growth. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded about $1.5 million in overall support of Chicago-area theatre companies.  Past recipients of the Stepping Stone Grant are Porchlight Music Theatre, Steep Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project, Jackalope Theatre Company, and Lifeline Theatre.