Washington Park Arts Incubator

The University of Chicago

Funding Received: 2012
Chicago, IL
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
December 3, 2013

November is an exciting time for us. In partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, we have selected three artists for our 2013–14 artist-in-residence program. The new artists-in-residence are musician and composer David Boykin; poet and visual artist Krista Franklin; and artist, designer and educator Andres Hernandez. A distinguished jury of academics, community members, artists, and arts professionals chose Boykin, Franklin, and Hernandez from among the 160 applicants to the program this year.

Theaster Gates, Director of the Arts in Public Life initiative said, “David, Krista, and Andres are artists who have made the city of Chicago a truly integral part of their practice. Their work will both shape and be shaped by the Arts Incubator, the wider University, and the communities that surround them.”

Boykin, Franklin, and Hernandez succeed 2012–13 residents LeRoy Bach, Cecil McDonald Jr., Tomeka Reid, Cauleen Smith and avery r. young. “I’m grateful the residency is here for creative people to take part in, especially on the South Side, where we need more opportunities like that,” Reid said.

Recent Wins
-- We hosted several tours that cater to a broad range of guests throughout the city, including university-related and tourist groups. Within the last month, we welcomed more than 300 visitors through various tour experiences. For many of these guests, not only was it their first visit to the Incubator, but it was also their first visit to Washington Park.
-- The combination of regular monthly programs like our Monday Night Jazz events with one time performances and discussions has allowed us to begin building a diverse audience within a relatively short period of time. We just opened in March and we already have our “regulars.”
-- Investment along Garfield Boulevard continues. We anticipate that Theaster Gates’s new cafe will open in the space adjacent to the Arts Incubator in January 2014. This will provide additional opportunities for expanded conversation between artists, community members, and the city at large.

Often, project-based work helps us build relationships and construct new dialogues in more in depth ways than meetings or curated programs allow. On Saturday November 9th, students from our Design Apprenticeship program connected with University of Chicago students for a Design Olympics and worked in teams to develop some exciting pieces. This was a great way of addressing the need to explore the relationships between the university and the community.