Art + Value is a series of conversations that address different aspects of how artists and artistic labor are valued in Chicago today. We hope to create space for Chicago artists to speak openly about how we are compensated and recognized, and how to feel more able to advocate for our work. Many of us artists have been having these conversations privately, and we think it’s time to get together as a community and connect more vocally and visibly around these issues.
Twenty-five curious, creative 15–19 year-olds from all over the Chicago area form the Teen Creative Agency (TCA), the MCA’s core program for teens.
The TCA meets every Saturday during the school year to develop projects with artists, museum staff, and other young people. This tight-knit community is passionate about creative and civic exchange and works to make the MCA a platform for fresh and emerging ideas.
FORT (at the edge of chaos)
FORT is a comforting, playful environment for confronting uncomfortable realities. Pillow forts are imaginative and nostalgic, evoking the first places where we, as kids, experienced agency, where we ruled. At the same time, forts represent exclusion, sovereignty, and the desire to hide from conflict. FORT asks us to explore this contradiction. This interactive performance invites participants to first build and then inhabit a massive pillow fort overtaking an average Pilsen apartment.
FORT was produced by John Harness & Grace Needlman for 2nd Floor Rear 2016. Performers included Chris Barboi, Jessie Brett, John Harness, Lyra Hill, Scott Merchant, Ray Rehberg, Leanna Savoie, and Brianna VanSchoyck.
Crosswalk is a partnership between Urban Gateways and a retirement home in Hyde Park called Montgomery Place. Teaching artists from Urban Gateways will be taking a small group of high school students to work with a small group of elders. Together, young and old artists created original pieces and show them in an exhibition.