Collage image of Church and exterior mural beneath towers (top left); William Walker, 1972 (top right); close-up of the exterior mural.

Stranger’s Home M.B. Church and exterior mural beneath Cabrini-Green's “White Walls” towers (top left); William Walker, 1972 (top right); close-up of the exterior mural; the whitewashed church building at 617 W. Evergreen St., courtesy of Karen-edid Barzman, Art & Architecture Historian, Newberry Library Scholar in Residence and the Save All of Mankind Coalition

Stories & News / Foundation News

Art Design Chicago Grants Awarded Spring 2024

April 29, 2024

Supported Projects

The Terra Foundation for American Art awarded 22 grants in spring 2024 through its Art Design Chicago initiative. Totaling nearly $820,000, these grants support projects that highlight Chicago’s unique artistic heritage and its creative communities. The grants include support for Art Design Chicago’s public programs, as well as research and learning resources.  

Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art in partnership with local artists and arts organizations across the city, is a special series of exhibitions and events with an emphasis on Chicago’s diverse and vibrant creative cultures and the stories they tell. Supported projects for this grant cycle include Art on Sedgwick’s public program “Intersections: An Exploration of a Neighborhood through the lens of William Walker’s All of Mankind,” Comfort Station’s public program “Edra Soto: GRAFT in the Public Commons (en los Comunes Públicos),” and Design Museum of Chicago’s public program “Chicago Sukkah Design Festival.” 

“Intersections: An Exploration of a Neighborhood through the Lens of William Walker’s All of Mankind” explores themes such as migration, place, and erasure in Chicago’s North Cabrini Green neighborhood. The project uses William Walker’s historic 1972 mural All of Mankind: The Unity of the Human Race as a source of inspiration to bring intergenerational audiences together for art-making workshops, discussions, and neighborhood history tours. 

“Serving as the focal point for our project are the once-thriving Stranger’s Home M.B. Church (built in 1901, originally as an Episcopal mission church of St. James) and the iconic murals painted by William Walker on its interior and facade (1972),” said Carlie Branda, Founder of Art on Sedgwick. “[The church’s] murals illuminated the triumphs and struggles of Black Americans, the mourning of civil rights and religious leaders lost to violence, and the hope for human equality and harmony across differences in race, gender, and religion. These iconic murals, now hidden beneath layers of whitewash, bear silent witness to the pulse of a neighborhood built on waves of multi-ethnic immigration, the resilience of Black community, and the traumas of urban renewal.” 

Greyscale rendering of block-like figures

Casa de Todos rendering, Edra Soto.

Comfort Station’s public program showcases the work of Chicago-based artist Edra Soto in an outdoor installation in Northwest Chicago. The outdoor setting functions as a communal space for additional art installations, performances, and participatory workshops to explore themes of displacement, collective grief, and neighborly care, as well as to pay homage to Latine heritage.  

“We’re thrilled to host Edra Soto’s latest work Casa de Todos, an iteration of her GRAFT projects, on our public lawn. To keep our outdoor project space reflective of Logan Square’s history, Comfort Station is collaborating with the fair-housing organization Palenque Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Edra Soto to curate our season-long programming of the public work,” said Jordan Martins, Executive Director at Comfort Station. “Casa de Todos will serve as a backdrop and launch pad for Chicago performers, youth arts groups, artist-led workshops, and culinary adventurers to connect organizers and artists while ruminating on and spotlighting the impact of the Latine communities that have built our neighborhood.” 

Casa de Todos will serve as a backdrop and launch pad for Chicago performers, youth arts groups, artist-led workshops, and culinary adventurers to connect organizers and artists while ruminating on and spotlighting the impact of the Latine communities that have built our neighborhood.” 

Jordan Martins, Executive Director at Comfort Station

Design Museum of Chicago’s “Chicago Sukkah Design Festival” pays tribute to the weeklong Jewish holiday, Sukkot, and the heritage of the North Lawndale Community, where the program takes place.

“The Chicago Sukkah Design Festival pairs community organizations in Chicago’s North Lawndale with diverse architectural designers to design and construct sukkahs temporary outdoor pavilionsduring Sukkot,” said Design Museum of Chicago Founder and Executive Director, Tanner Woodford. “This autumnal Jewish holiday celebrates the harvest and commemorates liberation. The festival celebrates the heritage of North Lawndale, building solidarity among the Jewish community that formerly lived there, the predominantly Black community there today, and the broader Chicago community.” 

Woodford continued, “Co-design teams explore design literacy, social justice, and neighborhood futuring through small structures with a big impact. Sukkahs are activated with programming by intersectional pairings of neighborhood groups. After the Festival, temporary sukkahs are usually relocated permanently under the care of the organizations that co-designed them, creating vibrant new program spaces. Former sukkahs have been reimagined as a neighborhood farmstand, literacy hub, rooftop playscape, heritage museum, meditation pavilion, community memorial, and tool library. This year, sukkahs will be reinstalled along 16th Street, revitalizing a disinvested corridor in North Lawndale.” 

For all foundation grants awarded, and for more information about these grants, please see the grants database. For information about the additional grants awarded in March 2024, please see the Spring 2024 Grants Awarded story. 

Spring 2024 Art Design Chicago Grants Awarded

Public Programs

Art on Sedgwick, Chicago, Illinois, Art on Sedgwick’s public programming series “Intersections” explores migration, place, erasure, and other themes that are resonant in Chicago’s Near North Side Cabrini Green neighborhood, $42,100

Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, “Never So Free: Black Queer Art + Assembly in Chicago” is a salon and program series that brings together a small intergenerational cohort of Black queer artists to research and develop projects about the rich history of queer Black arts spaces in Chicago, $43,000

Comfort Station, Chicago, Illinois, Chicago-based artist Edra Soto crafts an outdoor installation next to the cultural hub Comfort Station in the Logan Square neighborhood in northwest Chicago, $40,000

Design Museum of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, the third annual Chicago Sukkah Design Festival features design-literacy programming and pays tribute to the weeklong Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot, $22,000

Embarc, Chicago, Illinois, Embarc brings Chicago Public School high school students to various Art Design Chicago exhibitions to provide them with insights into Chicago’s rich art and design legacy and the city’s museums and galleries and to offer exposure to careers in the visual arts and design, $100,000

Folded Map, Chicago, Illinois, the fourth Englewood Music Fest features a maker’s space known as the Arts Village, $50,000

Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Illinois, Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) on Chicago’s South Side is introducing the series “Let’s Talk About Art,” a five-week program offering the 65+ community an opportunity to safely learn together, celebrate, and discuss projects and exhibitions that are part of Art Design Chicago, $10,000

Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, Chicago, Illinois, Lawndale Pop-Up Spot takes the lead in the community art installation segment of a multi-organization project, “Reimagining 16th Street,” intended to transform the 16th Street corridor in North Lawndale, $20,000

Mobile Makers Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, Mobile Makers Chicago (MMC) organizes the “Strength in Community Pop-Up,” a mobile classroom initiative that actively involves youth ages 8–18 in design activities that foster discussions about space, place, belonging, and positive community change, $35,000

My Block My Hood My City, Chicago, Illinois, to support “Downtown Day,” a daylong program that invites approximately one thousand youth (ages 13–22) to explore downtown commercial and cultural spaces and gain exposure to a variety of careers, $60,000

OPEN Center for the Arts, Chicago, Illinois, to support “The Stories of One LAWNDALE” project, through which ten to twelve youths in the center’s Urban Film Course delve into the history and current landscape of the South and North Lawndale communities on the West Side of Chicago, $50,000

Project Osmosis, Chicago, Illinois, to support “Design Explorers—Art Design Chicago 4.0,” a program that provides opportunities for high school students from communities underrepresented in the design fields to work with design and branding professionals and instructors who come from the same communities, $50,000

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago, Illinois, to support Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map project, a photography and video series that addresses the legacies of redlining and the inequity it created between the North and South Sides of the city, $46,650

Sixty Inches From Center, Chicago, Illinois, Sixty Inches from Center is hosting the reimagined Chicago Archives + Artists Festival, a multi-day event that serves as a platform to promote awareness of cultural archives, $30,000

The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, The Newberry Library hosts three collaborative public programs that foreground overlooked and underappreciated aspects of contemporary arts in Chicago and strengthen relationships between the Newberry and stakeholders across Chicago’s contemporary art scene, $20,000

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago, Illinois, to support A Tale of Today: Materialities, an exhibition challenging conventional interpretations of the Gilded Age–era Nickerson Mansion by inviting a diverse group of contemporary artists to develop new work offering a critical response to materials used in its construction and decoration, $20,300

Window to the World Communication, Chicago, Illinois, WTTW News produces and presents a series of eight to twelve digital stories about art and design in Chicago in conjunction with Art Design Chicago, $50,000

Research & Learning Resources

National Public Housing Museum, Chicago, Illinois, The Making of the National Public Housing Museum is a multiauthor publication that documents the process of developing a museum centered on the voices and experiences of some of our nation’s most marginalized communities, $25,000

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, to support “Chicago Designs: New Approaches to Teaching Social History and Design,” which introduces participants to design-related archives and collections across Chicago, $35,000

Sixty Inches From Center, Chicago, Illinois, Sixty Inches From Center, in partnership with the Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit (ACU), produces a multi-author publication, Finding Ceremony, with art publisher For The Birds Trapped In Airports and editor Kamilah Rashied, $25,000

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, to support the publication Supergraphic Landscapes (Applied Research and Design Publishing), a collaboration between architect Joseph Altshuler and graphic designer Nekita Thomas, both public art practitioners and faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, $20,000

Urban Gateways, Chicago, Illinois, the youth-led webzine MILDSAUCE: The Art and Fashion Issue explores the question, “How does art influence fashion and vice versa?” and considers the impact of art and fashion on Chicago artists Nick Cave and the late Virgil Abloh, $25,000

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