Community Engagement

Graffiti Institute, 2014, with Miguel del Real and students in the UIC Free Summer Art School.
Advocating for the power of the arts and creative culture to transform communities

We believe in the power of the arts and visual literacy to transform society and to unleash the creative imaginations of all people. We work as part of, and not simply in partnership with, communities across the city.

Socially Engaged Art Classes are undergraduate classes offered every year with a “Communiversity”—open performances and lectures that are free to the public. A rotating roster of artists and activists teach the history of art and make work with students in class. Examples of classes typically offered include: one with a focus on Hip-Hop co-taught by Kevin Coval, Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb, and another on prison aesthetics taught by Laurie Jo Reynolds.

Young Chicago Authors and UIC "Write to the City"

Young Chicago Authors Summer Writing Camp is a writing camp for curious youth that bridges the literary and visual arts and provides engaging experiences and exposure to the city’s most interesting, exciting artists and cultural institutions.

Donald Young Artists’ Library

A wide range of captivating art catalogues and books collected by the late Donald Young, one of Chicago's most prominent gallerists, and made available to the public through a generous donation by his wife, Shirley Weese Young.

Critical Care

The UIC School of Art & Art History is committed to the health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff. We are working hard to create a campus that promotes a culture that ends stigma around mental health concerns and promotes support, awareness, and empathy. 

Each semester the UIC School of Art and Art History offers a series of interventions, workshops, events that focus on what we are calling Critical Care. This initiative encompasses community building, mental health, and creating and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Holding the space in our creative practices to maintain our personal well-being, give into public exuberance, maintain relationships, face our emotions head on, and build community is what makes it possible for us to continue to do the important work of artists and scholars in the 21st century.