A Year of Anniversaries in the Arts

Artennial is a celebration of the tradition and future of artistic excellence at the University of Chicago. It celebrates major anniversaries for five of UChicago’s innovative arts organizations and programs.  

In 2014-2015, Court Theatre mounts its 60th season, the Smart Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary, contemporary music ensemble Contempo and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel’s carillon concert series Bells of Summer turn 50, and the Renaissance Society reaches 100.

Together, these organizations have contributed 300 years of groundbreaking work to the city of Chicago and the wider arts community. 

Celebrating 40 years:
Smart Museum

In 1974, the Smart Museum became the central repository for the University’s extensive fine arts collection, and organizes innovative exhibitions like “Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art,” which have gained national attention for bridging art practice and scholarship.

Celebrating 50 years:

Contempo was founded in 1964 by renowned composer and conductor Ralph Shapey, and earned a reputation for outstanding performances of music by living composers. Its distinguished list of world premieres by both established and emerging composers includes works by Shapey, Roger Sessions, Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty member Shulamit Ran and MacArthur fellow John Eaton.

Celebrating 50 Years:

Rockefeller Chapel's Bells of Summer

Rockefeller Chapel’s Bells of Summer highlights the magnificent 100-ton, 72-bell Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and attracts the world’s top carillonneurs.


Celebrating 60 years:
Court Theatre

Court Theatre grew from an outdoor summer theater festival to one of the city’s most respected homes for classic theater. Today, through its Center for Classic Theatre, Court works to integrate the expertise of University of Chicago scholars into its productions.

Celebrating 100 years:
Renaissance Society

The Renaissance Society was founded in 1915 by UChicago scholars and went on to host exhibitions by some of the world’s most influential artists, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Marc Chagall and Louise Bourgeois—long before they were household names.