The David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing support for the cultivation, promotion, understanding, and creation of fine arts. Its primary focus is, but not limited to, photography and its related mediums.




The David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation currently provides grants to qualifying cultural organizations in

Chicago and surrounding Midwest cities that are dedicated to the exhibition and/or collection of fine arts.

Organizations must be recognized by the IRS as exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3)

of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as public charities under Sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).




Funding from the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation is currently available for exhibitions and directly related projects or programming that focus on photography and its evolving definition as an art form.


The Foundation does not provide grants for general operating expenses, does not generally make unrestricted grants,

prefers exhibitions and projects that are originated by the applying organization, and gives priority consideration to projects

that will take place within one year of the request.






Grants range from $2,500 to $25,000.  

Given the demand for funding, the Foundation is not always able to fund the full amount requested and submitting

a proposal does not guarantee that a grant will be awarded. An organization may only apply for one grant per year.


As funding is limited, letters of inquiry are required before submission of a full proposal and

should be received on or before May 1.

If the request meets the Foundation’s criteria and is recommended for further consideration,

an invitation to submit a full proposal will be sent.

Notice of grant award will be sent no sooner than September 15.


Letters of inquiry should be sent via post only, be no more than one page, and include the following:

•    A brief description of the exhibition and/or related projects and programming.  This should include the aspects of the exhibition for which the organization is requesting funding.

•    The exhibition dates and other relevant dates.

•    A specific dollar amount for the requested grant.

•    Full contact information (name, telephone, email, mailing address) of person to whom all correspondence should be sent.

•    Confirmation of the organization’s current tax-exempt status with the IRS as a separate attachment.

•    Please do not include any support material at this time.  


Following review of the letters of inquiry, organizations whose projects match the Foundation’s priorities and interests will be sent an invitation to submit a full proposal. The proposal guidelines will be made available to invited applicants. Because the foundation requests more proposals than it can fund, a request for a full proposal should not be interpreted as an indication of likely support.


Letters of inquiry should be sent to:

Grant Application

David C. & Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation

1101 W. Monroe Street

Suite 200

Chicago, IL 60607