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Incubating The Arts

A community arts project of Theaster Gates and the University of Chicago just got a nice shot in the arm from the national foundation ArtPlace. Another $400K is going towards the under construction Washington Park Arts Incubator. What is it fixin' to hatch, exactly? More culture, duh. And economic opportunities. The project is adapting a two-story, 15,000 sf terra cotta structure which the University hopes to open in the fall. Gates has pioneered this model of academic institutions engaging underprivileged communities through creative placemaking. He'd like to see it become a national model. ArtPlace is developing a metric to measure changes over time in people, activity, and real estate value in the areas where they've invested. Then we'll really get a sense for how potent the arts can be. [UChicago News, rendering: Courtesy Built Form LLC]