Arts + Public Life Curatorial Collective Residency 
Through this new residency program, Arts + Public Life (APL) provides one Curatorial Collective the necessary space and resources to realize innovative projects through the planning and execution of exhibitions at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park. The residency gives preferences to curators whose practices examine themes relevant to South Side communities both on and off campus of the University of Chicago; engage issues of race and ethnicity including, but not limited to, questions of discrimination, anti-racism, and institutional manifestations; and that deepen understandings of race, class, gender, and sexualities, as well as their interconnections and implications.

Curatorial Collective: La Keisha Leek + Sadie Woods​. Photo: Edra Soto

2016-2017 Curatorial Collective
Focusing mostly on the practices of emerging artists of color, women, and queer-identified artists, La Keisha Leek and Sadie Woods work to further the reach of regional art practices. Through exhibition making, collaboration, and research Leek and Woods expand on academia through social conversation on the arts, community, and politics.

La Keisha Leek is the Exhibitions and Community Programs Manager at Mana Contemporary Chicago. As an independent collaborator and exhibition-maker, select projects include: Yelling At the Sky, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (2016); an Artistic Producer, the 4th annual Chicago Home Theater Festival (2016); Closer Still, Chicago Artists Coalition (2015); Another Plan, Terrain Exhibitions and Terrain South (2015); How to Make A Hood, the Arts Incubator in Washington Park (2014). From 2012-2015, she was the Executive Administrator and Special Projects Manager to artist Theaster Gates where she coordinated artist-led programs and artist collection-based research residencies with Leslie Hewitt and Bethany Collins, and was Curatorial Assistant for Retreat co-organized by Theaster Gates and Hamza Walker at Richard Gray Gallery. Leek has held other position with artist Maria Gaspar and Open Engagement, a conference dedicated to the field of socially engaged art. She was a 2014-2015 Chicago Artists Coalition Curatorial Resident, 2016 Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Curatorial Fellow; 2016 participant of Independent Curators International's Curatorial Intensive in Dakar, Senegal; and 2017 Arts + Public Life Curatorial Collective Resident with Sadie Woods. Leek received her BA in Art History from Columbia College Chicago.

Sadie Woods is a Chicago native with a childhood steeped in performing and visual arts training. She received her BLA in Music from Columbia College and MFA in Sound from the School of the Art Institute. Her practice includes sound art and design, deejaying, exhibition making, and collaborations within communities of difference. Woods has held deejay residencies throughout Chicago with a focus in arts and culture and is currently a resident deejay of Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel. She’s been a resident artist at the Hyde Park Art Center Program; participant for Ecole du Magasin’s “Harald Szeemann Independent Methodology” project through their International Curatorial Program; resident curator at the Chicago Artists Coalition’s HATCH Projects; collaborator of the Independent Curators International’s Curatorial Intensive in Dakar, Senegal; resident artist at ACRE and SAIC’s Nichols Tower Homan Square; Sponsored Artist at High Concept Labs; recipient of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Artist Residency program. Woods is a teaching artist at the School of the Art Institute; sound designer for the Brujos web series; Resident Curator of the Terrain-HATCH Curatorial Residency; Resident Curator for Arts + Public Life Curatorial Residency with co-curator La Keisha Leek.


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