SAIC at Homan Square is a community of dedicated North Lawndale residents and artists along with artists and scholars from SAIC who engage audiences and communities in collaborative processes to identify issues, promote public discourse, and catalyze social change within specific institutions, neighborhoods, and other public contexts. It is a platform to share, support, and amplify what is already there by adding resources and bringing in others.
SAIC’s work at Homan Square aspires to engage all kinds of artists’ backgrounds, working across disciplines, combining object making, performance, research, writing, and design with community organizing in projects that integrate studio art practices with civic engagement.
Programs and Classes
The North Lawndale community is directly engaged through a curriculum of free arts courses offered by SAIC’s Continuing Studies. Classes and workshops at SAIC at Homan Square deliver core education in the visual arts, introduce contemporary artists, and help students build their technical skills in design and technology.
Nichols Tower also houses seven other community and citywide organizations, a unique structure that helps faculty, artists, students, staff, and participants get to know and collaborate with each other.
At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), our five core values guide our whole purpose: We are explorers; meaning and making are inseparable; we are artists and scholars; Chicago; and we make history.
One of the five is simply Chicago. Chicago is a rich and diverse city with a thriving creative community and deep roots in contemporary art and social practice. SAIC’s location in the city of Chicago and our emphasis on institutional citizenship are integral to the School’s identity. For more than 150 years, the School has been rooted in the city, with all its complexities and contradictions. In a very real way we at SAIC are Chicago, in all its energetic, dynamic, and complex interactions. We encourage our students to take risks, investigate ideas, and produce bold works that make changes in the world.
Forming a symbiotic relationship with our home city benefits SAIC’s students, faculty, and staff by connecting them to Chicago’s diverse communities, and helps the school to practice good institutional citizenship by extending its resources outwards.
SAIC at Homan Square embodies collaboration, deep relationships, learning, and opportunities for the School to work with Chicagoans to amplify artistic culture and positive change. We support communities working together and participating in collective action that utilizes and builds on neighborhood assets.