Day Tour: Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation & South Side Art Wed. June 22, 2016

Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation
and Art  on Chicago’s South Side

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Suburban pickup: 8:30am, Edens Plaza, Wilmette
City pickup: 9:15am, Oglivie Station, Chicago

City drop-off: 4:15pm    Suburban drop-off: 5pm

Member fee: $110   Non-member fee: $120

Includes bus transportation, lunch, private guide and entry.

We begin our day meeting Ra Joy, Executive Director of Change Illinois in his beautifully renovated home.  As we enjoy his collection of African Art and contemporary paintings, Ra will talk to us about his experience as the former Executive Director of the Arts Alliance Illinois. Ra has received numerous awards for his commitment to social change including the 2015 Chicago Community Trust Fellowship, the 2015 Cultural Champion Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International

Feast your eyes and pallet  as we lunch at the Currency Exchange Cafe opened in Washington Park, next door to the Arts Incubator Theaster Gates developed last year as part of the Arts + Public Life Initiative at the University of Chicago. The interior of the cafe is recognizably a Gates project: it is decorated with salvaged pieces, including signs from its former incarnation as, yes, a currency exchange!  Choose from a selection of soul, Mexican and traditional food.

After lunch, we’ll explore Rebuild Foundation, the creation of Chicago native, artist, urban planner and Wall Street Journal’s 2012 “Innovator of the Year”, Theaster Gates. Gates renovated and re-purposed abandoned buildings for cultural arts programming using creative community resources and artistic intervention to build a thriving neighborhood. Our private guide will provide access inside buildings not often open to the public.  We’ll tour the Stony Island Arts Bank, Black Cinema, Dorchester Art and Housing Collaborative, Archive House & Listening House.

We end our day at the South Side Community Arts Center to see the current exhibition celebrating its relationship with the Art Institute of Chicago. Founded in 1940 through President Franklin Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration, the SSCAC is the only surviving art center of the original 110 and is the oldest African American art center in the country.