Visiting artists are an integral part of the ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue at the University of Chicago, frequenting classrooms, lecture halls, screening rooms, and exhibition and performance venues across campus. Lasting as short as a day and as long as several years, these intimate exchanges feature such world-renowned artists as the GRAMMY winning ensembles-in-residence eighth blackbird (2012, 2008) and Pacifica Quartet (2009).
Visiting artists are integrated into the curriculum throughout various programs and graduate workshops, which may be open to the public. Some of these programs are highlighted below. Please visit the department websites and the UChicago Arts Calendar for complete and up-to-date event schedules.
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
The interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture brings outstanding Chicago-area artists whose work addresses issues of race and ethnicity to campus to teach courses and present public talks, readings, performances, and exhibitions. Participants have included artists Bukari Kitwana, Natsu Onoda, Coya Paz, Charlotte Sáenz, and Bibiana Suarez. The center also supports and sponsors film and documentary screenings, panel discussions, and poetry readings.
Committee on Creative Writing
The Committee on Creative Writing has been proud to host readings and lectures by such writers as Daniel Alarcón, Charles D’Ambrosio, Eula Biss, Alan Burdick, Michael Earl Craig, Lydia Davis, Ben Doyle, Darcy Frey, Neil Gaiman, Danny Hoch, Denis Johnson, Nick Laird, Karen Russell, Elif Shafak, Zadie Smith, Dawn Turner Trice, Sam White, Scott Wolven, and Steve Yarbrough. Ongoing programs include the Robert Vare Nonfiction Writer-in-Residence Program, the Pearl Andelson Sherry Memorial Poetry Reading and Lecture, the Dedmon Writer-in-Residence, and the Kestnbaum Writer-In-Residence.
Department of Visual Arts (DOVA)
Visiting lecturers, such as DOVA's faculty members, cover a wide range of disciplines and intellectual interests that reflect the interdisciplinary spirit at the University Chicago. They are both internationally celebrated artists and serious scholars, committed to the rigorous investigation and production of art. In addition, the department collaborates with other entities on campus, particularly the Open Practice Committee, to bring in visiting artists each quarter.
Plena and bomba are distinctive musical styles of Puerto Rico, and the virtuoso musicians of Plena Libre are their contemporary masters. The four-time GRAMMY-nominated ensembles joins the Department of Music as the 2019-20 Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence, presenting concerts with UChicago graduate student composers, with the University Symphony Orchestra, and on UChicago Presents' Music Without Borders series. The ensemble will also visit Spanish language and music classes during their residencies, present Puerto Rican dance workshops, and offer matinee performances for CPS students.
The University of Chicago’s resident Spektral Quartet is an invaluable part of the Department of Music’s mission to enhance students’ artistic life on campus and complement their academic pursuits and to further the musical art. Spektral Quartet actively pursues a vivid conversation between exhilarating works of the traditional canon and those written this decade, this year, or this week. It is known for creating seamless connections across centuries, drawing in the listener with charismatic deliveries, interactive concert formats, an up-close atmosphere, and bold, inquisitive programming. Each quarter, the Spektral Quartet presents a public concert at UChicago as well as an interactive open rehearsal.
The New Budapest Orpheum Society is an Ensemble-in-Residence in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. NBOS presents 1-2 concerts each year, drawing upon a wide range of repertories, many forgotten, others preserved in European archives, all poignantly bearing witness to the great tradition of Jewish cabaret.
Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry
The Gray Center’s signature initiative is the Andrew Mellon Residential Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship program, designed to foster intensive, experimental, and interdisciplinary collaborations between artists and scholars. The program aims to enliven the intersection of academic theory and artistic practice, bringing artists to campus for groundbreaking collaborations with Chicago scholars and bringing scholars to campus for inventive collaborations with our arts faculty and practitioners.
International House Global Voices Programs
Under the Global Voices umbrella, International House brings leading figures on the world stage to campus to exchange ideas on the major issues of the day. Scholars and journalists consider major news stories in the World beyond the Headlines public lecture series. The film series and performing arts series showcase a wide range of Chicago-area cultural institutions and artists.
Theater & Performance Studies / University Theater
The University’s academic and performance programs in theater draw from the rich expertise of the Chicago area theater community for adjunct lecturers, artists in residence, and visiting playwrights and performers who collaborate with students in workshops and productions. Each summer, several small but bold theater companies develop new pieces in the Summer Inc residency program at University Theater.