The Terra's Art Design Chicago Will Return in 2024
By GINNY VAN ALYEA
Nearly two years after The Terra Foundation for American Art launched Art Design Chicago in January 2018, an expansive, year-long initiative to highlight the city as an international hub and crossroads of visual culture, the Terra just announced that they are going to revisit the program again in 2024. The undertaking of such a far reaching, varied and ambitious program in 2018 provided $6 million in funding to the year-long event, in addition to a $1 million donation from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and $1 million raised from smaller donors.
The city-wide partnership of more than 40 cultural organizations gathered cultural powerhouses and mass creativity and collaboration under one mission: to explore Chicago’s art and design legacy through some 25 exhibitions and hundreds of public programs in order to elucidate Chicago’s rich art and design history for all and to demonstrate that art can lead the way in changing lives in the city.
Largely viewed as a resounding success, Art Design Chicago will return in 2024. Through exhibitions, academic and public programs, and publications, the initiative will examine Chicago as a critical site for the exchange of ideas and meeting of cultures, from the past and into the present, and highlight the ways in which these dynamic confluences within the city have shaped creative innovation and civic life. Building on the success of Art Design Chicago 2018, which drew approximately 2.5 million people across its yearlong run, the 2024 edition will place additional emphasis on community outreach and audience engagement efforts, highlight the work of contemporary artists and designers, and encourage more projects that capture the narratives and contributions of immigrant and other under-represented groups. The anticipated budget for Art Design Chicago 2024 is $11 million, with the majority of funds going toward grants to institutional partners. The Terra Foundation will invest $9.5 million toward the realization of the initiative—an increase of nearly $3 million from 2018—and seek to raise the rest through philanthropic partnerships. Art Design Chicago 2024 will kick off in May 2024 and run for approximately eight months.
“We are delighted to announce that Art Design Chicago will return in 2024. When we first launched the initiative, we envisioned it as a beginning—a first step in rediscovering, and in some cases discovering for the first time, the depth of Chicago’s artistic legacy and its dynamic position as an incubator for innovation in American art and design. We have been inspired by the passion and enthusiasm for Art Design Chicago, from both our cultural partners and our wider audiences. We look forward to once again collaborating with Chicago’s cultural communities to create fresh and exciting experiences for the public, and to further expanding knowledge about Chicago’s history, its diverse communities, and its contemporary culture,” said Elizabeth Glassman, President & CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art.
New scholarship is an essential aspect of Art Design Chicago, and the 2018 edition enhanced awareness of and presented the work of a wide range of cultural figures, including Ralph Arnold, Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Barbara Jones-Hogu, Jesus Torres, Bill Walker, and Ray Yoshida, as well as groups such as AfriCOBRA, the Hairy Who, and the artists and designers affiliated with the New Bauhaus, among others. For 2024, the Terra Foundation is again offering exhibition research-and-development grants—and will make them available to more organizations—which provide cultural partners with the financial support to examine underexplored topics, collections, and archives; connect with other specialists; and hire fellows to support research into content that is rich in historic context and relevant to contemporary experience. These grants, which range in scale from approximately $25,000 to $75,000, offer an avenue for curators and organizational leadership to undertake expansive research projects that might otherwise be out of financial reach. First-round grants will be awarded in summer 2020 and second and third rounds in fall 2020 and spring 2021, respectively, following inquiry and proposal processes. Organizations will also have the opportunity to apply for larger exhibition-implementation grants in 2022 to bring their research to bear in new exhibitions.
For Art Design Chicago 2024, the Terra Foundation is also offering separate research-and-development grants for audience- and community-engagement efforts related to exhibitions within the initiative. The addition of these grants is a direct acknowledgement that establishing well-rooted and forward-looking connections with communities and the public takes both time and sustained commitment. Organizations can use these funds toward exploring new strategies for interpretation and programming as well as for developing partnerships with other cultural organizations or community-based groups. Along with these grants, the Terra Foundation will support a learning-community focused on engagement (to commence in 2021), which will provide opportunities for partners to convene, collaborate, and cross-pollinate project concepts. These audience-engagement research-and-development grants will be awarded in fall 2021, following inquiry and proposal processes.
"Art Design Chicago was first established through a robust series of listening sessions, which allowed us to create a platform that spoke directly to the needs and interests of cultural partners, who had been seeking new opportunities to investigate Chicago as a place rich in artistic heritage and to deepen relationships across the city’s many neighborhoods and cultural enclaves. Plans for Art Design Chicago 2024 are informed by feedback from partners and advisors, ensuring that we remain responsive and engaged as the initiative evolves,” said Jennifer Siegenthaler, Program Director for Education Grants and Initiatives at the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Art Design Chicago 2018 marked the most expansive exploration to-date of Chicago’s essential role as an innovator and incubator of visual art and design in the US. In 2018, 95 partner institutions presented 46 exhibitions, 36 scholarly convenings, and more than 300 public programs, drawing a total audience of approximately 2.5 million. Partners additionally developed 29 publications and 15 new digital resources. With a total budget of $8 million ($6.8 million of which was contributed by the Terra Foundation), Art Design Chicago had an economic impact of more than $55 million, according to Choose Chicago, the city’s official destination marketing organization.
“At its core, Art Design Chicago is about leveraging the strength of the city’s cultural institutions to animate communities and encourage civic engagement and dialogue. We know, from our experience and the experiences of our partners, that art, in its many permutations, has the power to stimulate conversation, contribute to mutual understanding, and invite reflection and new ways of seeing the world. Through this collective effort we hope to inspire projects that display essential connections to civic life and that resonate with this contemporary moment,” said Amy Zinck, Executive Vice President of the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Further information on exhibition research-and-development grants can be found at terraamericanart.org/art-design-chicago-grants. The Terra Foundation will open grant opportunities in support of publications and academic programs related to the initiative in January 2020. Details regarding grants for audience-engagement research and development, exhibition implementation, and public programs will be announced at a later date.
About Terra Foundation for American Art
Since it was established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art has been one of the leading foundations focused on art of the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, through its grant program, collection, and initiatives, it is committed to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of American art among national and international audiences. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them. terraamericanart.org