Transforming communities through arts and culture

Led by the Arts and Public Life initiative and driven by its model for artist-led urban transformation, the University is partnering with public and private organizations to develop an expanded cultural corridor along Garfield Boulevard in Washington Park. The cultural corridor will be anchored by the Arts Incubator and supported by the City of Chicago and neighborhood residents. Its mission is twofold. The corridor is a hub for artistic production and engagement, bridging local, citywide, national, and international communities, audiences, and stakeholders. The corridor is also a facilitator and venue for community organizations and activities for residents of Washington Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • Public sculpture, murals, and other artistic interventions can provide a creative spark for neighborhood change, inspiring community members to reimagine their neighborhood.
  • Public programs, from concerts to talks to community festivals, help create and strengthen a vibrant network of artists, scholars, creative professionals, and neighborhood audiences.
  • Research fellows in our new Place Lab program, working closely with University researchers, will study local placemaking efforts alongside efforts in sister cities in order to generate replicable strategies.
  • Incorporating a mix of adaptive reuse and new construction encompassing over 75,000 square feet along Garfield Boulevard, physical infrastructure could include up to a dozen new performance, workshop, and exhibition venues, including sites for independent businesses and partner organizations.