CHICAGO—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant of $75,000 in support of the Homan Square Arts Initiative (HSAI), a suite of programs that SAIC is offering in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood.
SAIC worked with the Foundation for Homan Square to create a community-based space in the historic original Sears Tower, now the Nichols Tower. SAIC is leading three initiatives in the Tower: an artist in residence program, free community art courses, and civically engaged design projects. Programs are designed to beautify a post-industrial site, promote the work of local artists, and give underserved high school students mentorship and valuable skills to help them to achieve their goals.
The City of Chicago has signed on to be SAIC’s primary partner for the HSAI. DCASE is facilitating SAIC's relationships with various city departments and sister agencies such as the Department of Planning and Development and the Chicago Board of Education to advance the HSAI’s work.