July 1, 2014

The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative has received a $200,000 grant from ArtPlace America to support a new program aimed at launching artist-led businesses in Chicago’s Washington Park community. The grant is among the 55 awarded nationwide by ArtPlace in 2014.

“Investing in and supporting the arts have a profound impact on the social, physical, and economic futures of communities,” said ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett. “Projects like these demonstrate how imaginative and committed people are when it comes to enhancing their communities with creative interventions and thoughtful practices.”

Arts + Public Life previously received an ArtPlace America grant in 2012. That award provided key support for programming at the University’s Arts Incubator in Washington Park, which has become a vibrant center of artistic activity in the year since its opening. It is now home to a residency program, which supports artists in all disciplines whose work will impact the city’s cultural landscape, a design apprenticeship program for teenagers in the community and a rich array of public programs.

About Arts + Public Life

Led by artist and urban planner Theaster Gates, Arts + Public Life builds creative connections on Chicago’s South Side through artist residencies, arts education, and artist-driven projects and events. Public events and exhibitions led by resident and visiting artists, as well as campus and community partners, take place at the Arts Incubator, the Logan Center, and in the surrounding neighborhoods. These programs act as catalysts for collaboration and exchange, creating dynamic and critical creative spaces.

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) advances the field of creative placemaking, in which art and culture plays an explicit and central role in shaping communities’ social, physical, and economic futures. To date, ArtPlace has awarded $56.8 million through 189 grants to projects serving 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia.

ArtPlace is a collaboration among the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.

ArtPlace seeks advice and counsel from its close working relationships with the following federal agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

ArtPlace has additional partnership from six major financial institutions: Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.