Chicago launches first-ever artist-in-residence program to develop South, West Sides

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a news conference in Hall A at the COVID-19 alternate site at McCormick Place in Chicago, Friday, April 10, 2020.
wls-AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago is launching its first-ever artist-in-residence program as part of an initiative to invest in communities on the city's South and West Sides.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Department of Planning and Development announced the new ISW Artist-In-Residence Program on Wednesday.

The program aims to create public art and community-specific cultural programs in four neighborhoods: Englewood, Auburn Gresham, New City and Austin.

Each chosen artist will work with local planners to find areas for development. They'll also partner with city agencies, local organizations and residents to develop and launch community engagement, public art and cultural programs that reflect each neighborhood's history and residents.

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"We are incredibly excited to see the artworks and creative strategies our city's talented artists will bring to this project - working in close collaboration with community members," said Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "This program addresses the need for urgent cultural investment in neighborhoods on Chicago's South and West sides - and furthers our ongoing commitments to equity and access to the arts through financial grants, artist commissions and cultural events."

Any professional artists or artist teams who live or work in Chicago can apply for the opportunity. The city is encouraging artists who live and work within the four selected neighborhoods to apply.

Applications must be submitted online by July 26 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, visit