Chicago Art Department is excited to announce the launch of CORE, a new pilot residency program that will challenge artists, organizers, cultural producers to lead studio work, events and public programs that will tackle contemporary topics that matter. Residents of all disciplines represent the creative change agents embedded within Chicagoland neighborhoods. The CORE Residencies are thematic, fully-funded, with stipends and budgets to support professional development.

The Core Residency Program is an 11-month program that aims to support artists who are interested in expanding their practice beyond making cool art. Artists are underrepresented in conversations of civic discourse. Through the Core Program, CAD  aims to give artists space, opportunity and critical feedback on their answers to timely topics in our cultural or political atmosphere. With themes such as Crossing Borders, Gender Visibility, Citizenship, and Contemporary Conversations, to name a few, artists can use CAD as a lab for programs, exhibitions, object making, workshops and more.

CORE Residents will work alongside Current Resident Artists, who will continue the current program model. The 2018-19 CORE residency themes are Pilsen, Crossing Borders, Immigration and Citizenship, Racial Equity, Contemporary Conversation, Learning Resident, Gender Visibility, ALAANA, Justice Reform, Critical Writing and CAD Alum.

The 2018-19 CORE ARTISTS:

Free Write Arts and Literacy
Justice Core Artists

David Boykin
ALAANA Core Artist

Rae Chardonnay
Crossing Borders Core Artist

Tara Betts
Critical Writing Core Artist

Sam Kirk
Gender Visibility Core Artist

Marcela Torres
Learning Core Artist

Wargames Media Collective
(Steve Ciampaglia, Kerry Richardson, Eric J. Garcia)
Contemporary Conversations Core Artists

Amie Sell
CAD Alum Core Artist

Ahmed Ozsever
Immigration Core Artist

Joseph Josué Mora
Immigration Core Artist



1) PILSEN – It is important for CAD to support our neighborhood. As many are aware, Pilsen is currently going through many aspects of urban development that are changing its landscape, threatening its history, and in some instances pricing out long-time residents. As a result, we aim for this Core Residency to feature an artist, advocate, or citizen whose work will address themes such as Pilsen history, race, gentrification, immigration, urban development, and identity.

2) CROSSING BORDERS – While many recognize that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods often divided, this residency will work to bridge those gaps, through the theme of Crossing Borders. How can we support people coming to Pilsen from other parts of the city? How can we support people crossing borders to see new areas of Chicago? What does it mean to cross a border and enter into a new space? We aim for this Core Residency to feature an artist or community organizer whose practice is shaped by exploring the spaces, people and histories of Chicago’s 200+ neighborhoods.

3) IMMIGRATION – The topic of immigration is more important to explore than ever. We aim to support an artist whose work explores themes and identities around immigration, citizenship, political homes and native land. CAD aims to see this residency generate works and public events that highlight this topic and move the needle for our community.

4) CONTEMPORARY CONVERSATIONS – At its core, art is a series of conversations, initiated by a creator and continued with an audience. We see dialogue as being critical to artists work as well as larger civic efforts. To this end, we see this Core Residency being driven by an artist, advocate or citizen whose work is centered around conversations with individuals, small groups, and larger public audiences in person or online. We aim for this Core Residency to feature an artist whose practice is focused on public events, online outlets such as podcasting, video publishing, or social media campaigns.

5) LEARNING ARTIST – CAD’s mission and history is tied to learning. Started as an Intermedia arts lab, this Core Residency aims to continue asking questions around what it means to learn. Beyond seeing this residency generate learning opportunities and growth through studio and public events, the artist will collaborate other CAD artists to lead our annual 10-week program with middle school student from Walsh Elementary (Winter 2019).

6) GENDER VISIBILITY – In an effort to support gender equality, this residency will support visibility for the Core Resident, to highlight their practice as it relates to their residency goals. How can we support community building for gender equity? How can we support gender identity in general? With this Core Residency we aim to see an artist whose practice is focused on work that addresses work and audience development that highlights gender issues of any kind.

7) ALAANA – an acronym for Asian, Latino, African, and Native American, this merit-based Core Residency will support an artist of color towards growing their practice inside of the CAD community. Whether investigating someone’s own racial identity or exploring the larger topic as it relates to the diversity that makes up this city and country, this Core Residency is designed to support an artist’s practice towards racial discourse.

8) JUSTICE – A flawed justice system continues to need attention. This Core Residency is offered to address the work of someone who focuses on detention center and prison reform, justice reform, and highlighting the need for new and better ways to look at justice.

9) CRITICAL WRITING – There is a lack of coverage and discourse around the arts in Chicago, so this Core Residency will support a writer who write about our work at Chicago Art Department, as well as the larger arts landscape in Chicago. CAD’s online outlets, network, as well as print and partner options will support this residency and aide in promoting written works to the general public.

10) CAD ALUM – In an effort to further support our Resident Artists, this merit-based residency will push past CAD artists to continue to grow through a new set of goals, and our support to reach them inside of a Core Residency. With this opportunity we aim to see offer more opportunities for our artists, while also investing in deepening the goals and works of Chicago artists.


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