University of Chicago Receives $2 Million for Arts Center

University of Chicago Receives $2 Million for Arts Center

Photo by Jean Lachat

The University of Chicago has announced a $2 million challenge grant from the Efroymson Family Fund in support of the planned Green Line Arts Center in the city’s Washington Park neighborhood.

The grant — and matching gifts — will support construction of an interdisciplinary hub for the visual, performing, and media arts on the city's underresourced South Side. To be administered by UChicago's Arts + Public Life initiative, the center is expected to magnify the artistic, cultural, and economic impact of the city's Arts Block — a planned cultural corridor along East Garfield Boulevard, a major entryway into the Washington Park community and the University of Chicago campus. Among other things, the center will host live performances and film screenings; incubate local artists and businesses; provide space, equipment, and resources for professional and amateur filmmakers; and host accomplished artists from around the world. It also will be a place where adults and youth from the neighborhood can expand their skills and get training and employment experience.

Construction of the center, which will include a black box theater, rehearsal space, dressing room, and lobby space for gatherings and exhibitions, is scheduled to begin this summer with the renovation of sixty-six hundred square feet of vacant storefronts along Garfield Boulevard. In recognition of the gift from the Efroymson Family Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the university will name a theater in the center for the family.

"The Green Line Art Center is an important next step in the University of Chicago’s culture-led community redevelopment efforts and the transformation of the Arts Block in Washington Park," said Bill Brown, senior adviser to the provost for arts at UChicago. "The generous grant from the Efroymson Family Fund makes it possible for the university to begin building the new arts center and to expand the impact of Arts + Public Life’s community and artist-focused programming."