By Magdalene Paniotte

When contemplating a contribution to arts organizations in the Chicago area, these noteworthy venues consistently exhibit a high standard in creative achievement. Put your money toward a cause that will show results everyone can enjoy.


Joffrey Ballet
10 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL  60601
(312) 739-0120

Price: $15.00 – $155.00
Hours: Mon to Fri 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.

Joffrey Ballet was originated in 1959 by Robert Joffrey, a visionary with the highest ideals for vibrant and varied artistic expression. The first company to perform at the White House, Joffrey focuses on creative, cutting-edge story telling of both contemporary works and masterpieces. This organization is involved in several community engagement programs and is committed to providing extensive training in ballet through the Joffrey Academy of Dance. The company accepts all donations including sponsorships, annual giving and gifts to the Star Society. Now based in Chicago, Joffrey continues to enjoy immense success for excellence in classical ballet.

Related: Best Chicago Neighborhood Theatres

Lyric Opera

(credit: Lyric Opera)

Lyric Opera Of Chicago
20 N Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 445-9873

Price: $50.00 – $300.00
Hours: Mon to Fri – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sat and Sun – Closed (unless matinee or performance)
Click here for a calendar of events.

One of the most highly-acclaimed venues in the world, The Lyric Opera of Chicago is distinguished among the best for its grand staging of spectacular events. Founded in 1954, the Lyric is a thriving and financially secure organization offering operas with some of the most well-known performers in the industry. Shows are held at the Ardis Krainik Theatre of the Civic Opera House, named in honor of the mezzo-soprano’s lucrative career and outstanding contributions to the theatre. With a focus on cultivating a lifelong appreciation for the opera, The Lyric provides personal enrichment and volunteer opportunities at all levels, establishing The Ryan Opera Center for professional artist development in 1974. Among the many forms of donations accepted are general contributions and designated gifts to personal enrichment community programs.


Art Institute of Chicago
111 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

Price: Adults – $18, Children, Students and Seniors (65 and up) – $12, Children under 14 – Free, Members – Free
Hours: Mon to Wed – 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thurs – 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri to Sun – 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.

Founded in the 1800’s, The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) has gained world-wide recognition in its endeavor to collect and preserve original, and now priceless, works of art in all mediums. The AIC houses the renowned School of the Art Institute, boasting one of the top-accredited interdisciplinary programs in the study of fine arts. The museum participates in many community enrichment programs, offering an abundance of volunteer opportunities for the purpose of inspiring and educating the public. The AIC gives generously to charitable organizations and accepts all forms of donations including portraits and corporate gift planning.


Old Town School Of Folk Music
4544 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 728-6000

Price: $15.00 – $30.00
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri to Sun – 9a.m. to 5 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.

Established in 1957, The Old Town School of Folk Music is a great concert venue and music education facility with two convenient locations in Chicago. A casual and nurturing atmosphere, the school is open to musically inclined students of all levels, providing an array of classes professionally taught in a friendly, down-to-earth setting that is conducive to both individual and group learning. Nationally renowned for hosting many talented artists in its intimate and versatile performance space on Lincoln Avenue, The Old Town School has recently expanded and continues to thrive as a unique and affordable destination. Charitable donations may include individual or membership giving, employer matched contributions and estate gifts.


Piven Theatre
927 Noyes St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 866-6597

Price: $15.00
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat and Sun – Closed
Click here for a calendar of events.

Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the highly-acclaimed Piven Theatre Workshop is considered one of the finest training centers for professional development on Chicago’s north shore. Founded by members of the famous Piven family, the organization is passionate about theatre and has received numerous awards and accolades for artistic excellence in the community. The Piven technique focuses on finding an actor’s unique voice by discovering ‘a sense of play’ to release inhibition in the creative process. An equity house with many outreach programs and scholarship opportunities for aspiring and talented actors, the company welcomes volunteers and accepts donations and charitable giving at all levels.

Related: Best Art Galleries In Chicago

Magdalene is from Chicago and very pleased to be a CBS Contributor. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and has written a few screenplays as well as a selection of short stories and poems.  Maggie recently edited a University student writing journal as part of her internship toward an online Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing.  She is currently working on her first fictional novel. Her work can be found at