See for yourself what the Art Center is all about! Join us for our Open House on Saturday, December 7, from 1p to 3p at the Art Center, located at 3217 E. 91st St in the South Chicago neighborhood. See student artwork and meet the young artists who call the space "home."
RSVP for the event on our facebook page.
10 Year Anniversary Video
Watch our 10 year anniversary video to learn more about the Art Center, the work we are doing in the community, and the amazing youth that call the Art Center home.
Board Member, Theaster Gates, Speaks at "I Heart Art" Annual Fundraiser
We would like to thank all of our friends and supporters for attending the “I Heart Art” fundraiser on October 16th at our Satellite Studio in the Pilsen neighborhood. The event, our most successful to date, raised funds to support the over 5,000 young people and their families that the Art Center reaches each year. This support allows the Art Center to continue to offer free visual arts programs for youth in the South Chicago neighborhood; a neighborhood riddled with poverty, gangs, and violence.
At the event, board member Theaster Gates, an artist who is committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through combining urban planning and art practices, shared with us how a space can have the capacity to make people think differently. How a cultural space allows extraordinary things to happen, but one has to have access to it. This is one of many reasons why the Art Center is looking to move out of its 800 square foot space to a larger, more centrally located space in the South Chicago neighborhood. This expansion of space and programs would allow more young people access to cultural programs as well as give them a place of refuge from their hostile environment. This expansion will bring new life to an abandoned building; the Art Center will be a cultural anchor for the community and by revitalizing this space it will attract other important institutions and centers. This effort could help to break the cycle of poverty and violence for the young people in the South Chicago neighborhood. Our future of expansion seems more and more promising and because of this we would like to reach out to you for future support. View the video below to see Theaster’s remarks.
In collaboration with the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary students the University of Dayton Artstreet program, the Art Center is taking a stand against the atrocities of gun violence and has asked young artists to join in that stand. "Bullet" pieces created by students were assembled throughout the gallery at our Satellite Studio space in the Pilsen neighborhood. Each one represented the hundreds of lives impacted by gun violence every day; the hundreds of thousands affected each year. Close to 300 individual pieces were on exhibit and were created by Art Center students and students at Chicago’s Bowen High School. Eighty seven of the pieces traveled to Dayton, that number represents the average number of people killed a day by guns. Executive Directory, Sarah Ward led discussions in three college classes in the hopes of activating and informing young students about gun violence in Chicago and solutions to these problems that plague our communities.
From our humble beginnings in 2001, the South Chicago Art Center began with just 18 students and was open only two days per week.
Today, we are open five to days per week and reach more than 5,000 young people and their families. We have grown from one employee to three, from 1 teaching artist to 24, from no paid interns to 12. We offer an oasis where youth can learn, explore, and be a kid. Our students come here—many of them multiple times per week—because they want to, not because they have to. In addition to learning visual arts practices, they find friendship, solidarity and peace in a community troubled by poverty, crime and racial tension.
“The Art Center is more than a place where youth can come and just hang around, more than a building in a bad neighborhood. It's a place where dreams, love and inspiration are established.” –Alanna Garth, former student
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cubs President, Theo Epstein pay a visit to the South Chicago Art Center to announce a substantial contribution from Pearl Jam, the Chicago Cubs, and Theo Epstein's own nonprofit, Foundation to be Named Later. Read more on the visit from the Mayor and Cubs President and the generous donation from Pearl Jam, the Chicago Cubs, and Epstein's Foundation to be Named Later here.
Purchase an Art Kit!
Purchase an art kit for the young artist in your family! The art kit comes with a variety of art supplies that will keep your young artists engaged; including decorative paper, scissors, water colors, pipe cleaners, and much more!