Chicago’s Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has been awarded a 5-year, $12.5 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation, it was announced Wednesday. The grant “extends a partnership that has supported Chicago’s smallest arts and culture organizations for the past 17 years,” the announcement stated.

Under the auspices of the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Driehaus Foundation, nearly $1.8 million is distributed annually to more than 200 small Chicago-area performing arts organizations.

“This partnership between the Driehaus and MacArthur foundations began in 2000,” said Richard Driehaus, founder and president of the Driehaus Foundation, in a prepared statement. “At the time, there was little funding available to the growing number of emerging small theater and dance companies. MacArthur and Driehaus both believed that multi-year general operating support was the best way to help sustain these organizations and provide room for growth and creative innovation.”

“Our support for Chicago’s creative sector is designed to help arts organizations create meaningful performances, exhibits and experiences, and the flexibility to innovate and experiment,” MacArthur President Julia Stasch said in the Wednesday’s announcement.

To date, more than $20 million has been distributed via the program to more than 430 Chicago-area cultural arts organizations. Past recipients have included Bella Voce, Blair Thomas & Company, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Congo Square Theatre Company, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Muntu Dance Theatre, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, and Pride Films and Plays.

In addition, $11.8 million was awarded to the Prince Charitable Trusts which re-grants MacArthur Foundation funds to provide awards and technical support to mid-sized arts organizations throughout Chicago.