Renowned artist Theaster Gates – the Director of Arts Programming, resident artist, and lecturer at UChicago – has been tapped to head the new Arts and Public Life Initiative. The project aims to enrich the connection between the University and the civil, cultural, and artistic communities of Chicago, with especial focus on the South Side.
As Gates adds “Director of Arts and Public Life” to his many accomplishments as a part of the University community, he will continue his longstanding community efforts through the initiative’s major goals: advancing artistic ambition through a program of artist residencies, amplifying cultural assets by promoting interactions between artists and cultural institutions on the South Side and the University’s faculty and students, and inspiring creativity in youth through apprenticeship programs and enhanced K-12 arts education efforts.
From the University News Office:
“Arts and Public Life is a way of framing how we imagine our relationship with our neighbors,” Gates said. “It also gives us a chance to hone in on ways that the University’s friendship to the South Side could be extended, and think about how the facilities at the University and the vast artistic knowledge that surrounds this place could act as platforms by which other emerging artists in the city could benefit.”
A hallmark of the initiative will be the Washington Park Arts Incubator on East Garfield Street. The Incubator will offer students, artists, and UChicago faculty resources and space to collaborate.
More information on the Arts and Public Life Initiative is available here.