Abstract painting of a city.
George Josimovich, Illinois Central, 1927, oil on canvas, 41 x 46 1/2 in. (104.1 x 118.1 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2004.1

Art Design Chicago 2024 FAQs

If you have any additional questions not addressed on this page, please contact the Program Director for Education Grants & Initiatives, Jenny Siegenthaler, at siegenthaler@terraamericanart.org.

Why is the Terra Foundation for American Art investing in ADC?

The Terra Foundation is committed to fostering engagement with art of the United States among audiences across the globe and across Chicago, where the foundation is headquartered. Art Design Chicago provides a platform for collaboration and collective action to explore and elevate Chicago’s visual-art and design histories and the diverse community of artists and designers working in the city today. By sharing the multiplicity of voices and stories that shape city’s artistic identity and cultural history, the initiative contributes to fuller understandings of American art history and contemporary artistic practice, and helps to redress omissions and inequities in how they are portrayed.

Goals for Art Design Chicago are not only scholarly but also civic: to strengthen vital connections between Chicago’s cultural organizations, creatives, and communities; and to help organizations meaningfully advance their work to become more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible. Through the initiative, the Terra Foundation seeks to stimulate conversations and experiences that strengthen the fabric of civic life.

What constitutes a Chicago project?

Projects that examine one or more of the following:

  • Visual artists and designers who spent time living and working in Chicago, and whose time and interactions in the city were formative in their development.
  • Works of art or design created, fabricated, and/or commissioned in Chicago.
  • Organizations, events, or experiences that shed light on Chicago’s history as a source of American art and design.

How is the foundation defining “visual art” for this initiative?

Painting, sculpture, drawing, illustration, printmaking, photography, conceptual art, performance art, video art, and installation and environmental art.

How is the foundation defining “design” for this initiative?

Graphic design, commercial art, product design, decorative arts, crafts, textiles, interior design, and costume/fashion.

What is the definition of a “diverse maker” for this initiative?

For the purposes of Art Design Chicago 2024, “diverse makers” refers to artists and designers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); LGBTQ+; women; immigrants; artists with disabilities; and other groups whose creative contributions have been under-examined in histories of Chicago art and design.

Will projects on architecture be considered?

The Terra Foundation’s mission centers on the history of art of the United States. Art Design Chicago focuses on Chicago’s visual-art history along with aspects of its design history that have received less attention than the city’s architecture, built environment, and urban plan have received. The foundation will not support projects that focus exclusively or primarily on these latter topics.

Will the foundation support projects on contemporary art and design?

Through this initiative, the Terra Foundation seeks to fund projects that contribute to the understanding of Chicago’s art and design history. To this end, the foundation welcomes projects that bring historical works of art and/or design into dialogue with contemporary works in meaningful ways, to illuminate the present moment and bring new perspectives to understandings of US history and art history.

Is funding only available to Chicago-based institutions?

Yes, funding is available only to institutions based in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Does the initiative only support exhibitions and academic convenings that are presented in Chicago?

Exhibitions must originate in Chicago, but the foundation encourages travelling them to venues beyond Chicago as well, following the local presentation, and may be able to provide travel support. Academic convenings must take place in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Do all exhibitions and public programs that receive funding need to take place in 2024?

Yes. Exhibitions must open between May and the end of November 2024. Public programs must take place between May and the end of 2024.

How does Art Design Chicago 2024 differ from the first iteration of Art Design Chicago?

Art Design Chicago 2024 shares many elements in common with Art Design Chicago 2018, including its celebration of Chicago’s art and design history, the broad participation of Chicago cultural organizations, and a common period of concentrated programming (for the 2024 edition, from May through December 2024). It differs from the first initiative in its strong emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The foundation calls for projects that highlight the histories of and provide opportunities for Chicago’s diverse makers; are led or informed by a multiplicity of voices; and reach audiences that reflect the diversity of Chicago’s communities through inclusive, equitable, and accessible programs. Art Design Chicago 2024 will feature more contemporary art and design and will elevate awareness of artists and designers working in the city today. This second iteration has a new content focus as well, which centers on the confluence of cultures and ideas in Chicago that have shaped the city’s art worlds, and ways in which the city’s culture has been formed by migration: of people across geographies, of ideas across disciplines, and of influences across time.

Is this initiative replacing the grant program that the Terra Foundation has had in place since 2005?

No. The foundation will continue to fund other projects on art of the US through its ongoing, core grant program. Those grant guidelines are available here.