• South Side Community Art Center Gets a Facelift Through Hands-On Preservation

    June 17, 2019

    On June 17, 2019, the National Trust announced a new HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) project at the South Side Community Art Center, a National Treasure. This groundbreaking institution was instrumental in launching the careers of renowned African American artists when many galleries would not exhibit their work, including poet Gwendolyn Brooks (the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize) and Life magazine photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks.

    Thanks to a partnership between the Fund II Foundation and the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), a team of African American young people will gain valuable vocational experience while performing needed repairs at this iconic Chicago landmark.

    Over a period of several days, crew members will conduct masonry cleaning work on the Art Center’s front facade under the direction of Tom Vacala with Restore Masonry and with overall guidance from Ed Torrez, an architect, National Trust advisor, and principal at BauerLatoza Studio.

    Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island, Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.

  • Thanks to African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, Chicago Art Center Is Restoring Original Windows

    June 12, 2019

    On June 12, 2019, the South Side Community Art Center kicked off the restoration of the building's original windows through a grant provided by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund in July 2018. The 1892 Classical Revival home in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood was converted into an art center in 1940, one of nearly 100 art centers in the country established by the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project in the 1940s.

    Since then, the Art Center has served as a cultural and artistic hub in Chicago, fostering emerging African American artists and showcasing established talent while connecting South Side residents to art through exhibits, classes, lectures, and other community programming.

    The Art Center's window restoration grant was part of more than $1 million provided by the Action Fund last year to support the preservation of sites and stories of black history. The next round of Action Fund grants will be announced on July 5 at Essence Fest in New Orleans.

    Watch the video below to learn more about South Side Community Art Center and the window rehabilitation grant, and stay tuned for an additional project at the Art Center through the National Trust's HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) program on June 17-18, 2019.

  • South Side Community Art Center Nationally Recognized

    September 25, 2018

    We are thrilled to share the news that South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of America’s historic places worthy of preservation. The National Register nomination was prepared by Carolyn Brackett, Senior Field Officer at the National Trust, and Bauer Latoza Studio, with the support of a Preservation Heritage Fund grant from Landmarks Illinois.

    Recognition for SSCAC’s national significance through its listing on the National Register is a key component of our National Treasure campaign, as we work to raise awareness about this important historic place.

    As the nomination states,

    “The South Side Community Art Center is the only WPA Federal Art Project community art center for African Americans to survive to the present day. It is also the only one of approximately 100 Federal Art Project art centers still in its original building and operating under its original ownership, charter and mission.”

    This recognition comes on the heels of several large preservation grants that will help support SSCAC’s rehabilitation, including one from the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund in July of 2018.

    Congratulations to our friends at South Side Community Art Center on this well-deserved honor!

All 3 updates

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