CDAF Board

P.K. VanderBeke (CD ‘96)


Dominic Johnson (CD ‘12)

Vice President/Secretary

Tom Bachtell (CD ‘96)

Walker Johnson (CD ‘84)

Operating as a charitable adjunct to The Cliff Dwellers private club, the mission of the The Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation (CDAF) is to support the arts. This is accomplished through its providing funds in the form of grants to arts-oriented organizations and individuals, presenting events at the club such as concerts, performances, and films, and sponsoring an annual music competition.

Grant recipients are chosen by the full Board from qualified applications received by a set deadline each spring and fall; applications are available on-line and members are encouraged to invite their favorite groups to apply.

Funds are provided through voluntary contributions from club members and are distributed biannually. Specific information regarding past grants and distributions is available to club members.

Checks may be made out to:


Mail to:

Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation
200 S. Michigan Avenue, 22 floor
Chicago IL 60604-2487

Contributions are accepted at any time during the year. All such contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by current revenue laws.

In keeping with the founding goals of The Cliff Dwellers to celebrate and support the arts in Chicago, The Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation was created and is funded solely through the generosity and support of our members and accomplishes those goals in many very tangible ways.

The foundation has awarded grants to a wide-ranging group of recipients including:

Resonant Bodies Festival

For the inaugural Chicago edition of their acclaimed new-vocal-music festival

High Concept Laboratories

In support of their Sound As Sight field recording project for the blind developed by Chicago artist Andy Slater

Homeroom Chicago

For a contemporary classical and jazz/experimental concert series entitled “Physics for Listeners”

Chicago Artist Guide

For the creation of an online hiring network to build equity & diversity in the Chicago theatre community

The Cabinet of Curiosity Events

In support of “Rites of Passage/Bowls of Fire” an outdoor fire-based show being developed to perform throughout Chicago

Links Hall

For “Eclipsing”, a five-day performance festival curated by Amina Ross including screenings of videos by performance artists and community workshop series focused on healing practices

Crossing Borders Music

For their ’23 – ’24 season featuring artistic programs celebrating marginalized cultural identities

We also continue to offer grant recipients the opportunity to present their work at the club. The Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation is proud to work in tandem with our membership to support the artists and arts organizations in Chicago whose work enlivens and enriches our lives.