“We believe this will be an important addition to both the University and the South Side,” states University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer of the newly-renovated Arts Incubator on 301 E. Garfield Boulevard.
Housed in a 1920’s two-story, terra cotta building, the 10,000 square feet of studio space has been revamped by internationally-recognized artist and place strategist Theaster Gates to include room for artists-in-residence, a woodshop for design apprenticeship programming, and additional program space for exhibitions and events.
“Artists need space and resources to deepen their practices, share their wares, and perform their chops, and communities like Washington Park benefit from new sources of creative energy. That’s why artists are such an essential element of a successful social space,” notes Gates, director of the Arts and Public Life initiative. “I’m excited the University of Chicago has embraced this innovative model for community engagement and shown such willingness to think about new ways we can be good neighbors and collaborators on the South Side.”
“The University’s commitment to expanding our work in the arts takes many forms and our new Arts Incubator is the most recent addition to this arts fabric,” continues Zimmer. “It will provide a venue for artists, particularly those from the South Side communities, their work and experimentation, and their interaction with the University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff.”
“The University of Chicago is committed not only to supporting healthy, vibrant communities on the South Side, but also to pioneering new kinds of engagement with our neighbors,” adds Derek Douglas, the University’s vice president for Civic Engagement. “Projects like the Arts Incubator, which melds culture and community in novel ways, are integral to that mission.”
“We congratulate Theaster Gates and the University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life initiative on the opening of this exciting new arts space,” says Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
“The Arts Incubator will elevate and expand the cultural assets of the Washington Park neighborhood, foster cultural innovation, and help the City attract and retain artists and creative professionals in Chicago—all of which are priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan.”
For a full schedule of public events at the Arts Incubator and more information on how to participate, visit http://arts.uchicago.edu/artsandpubliclife/ai.