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South Side Community Arts Center Designated a National Treasure

Margaret Burroughs (BA 1942, MA 1948, HON 1987) stands with Howard Seals during an exhibition at the SSCAC in the mid to late 1960s in Chicago. Courtesy of the "Chicago Tribune"

The South Side Community Arts Center (SSCAC) was recently named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation reports the Chicago Tribune. Located in the Bronzeville neighborhood, SSCAC was founded in 1940 by a group of artists led by SAIC alumni Dr. Margaret Burroughs (BA 1942, MA 1948, HON 1987) and Eldzier Cortor (SAIC 1936–37), and was the first African American art center in the United States. SSCAC was the place where many iconic Chicago artists like Gordon Parks, Archibald Motley, and William Carter (SAIC 1930)  honed their craft, exhibited work, and shared their knowledge with the community. 

"The South Side Community Arts Center helps to tell an important story about African American artists at at time when segregation and racism prevented many of them from more fully contributing to the cultural life of the United States," said Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust.

Being named a National Treasure opens the door for fundraising assistance from the National Trust and is one step toward the center becoming listed on the National Register of Historic Places, said Masequa Myers, Executive Director of SSCAC. Read more about this local treasure that is now a National Treasure in the Chicago Tribune article. 

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