Sacred Places Fall 2011 - Page 15

Chicago Arts in Sacred Places Advisory Board Jennifer Armstrong Director, Community Arts Development Programs, Illinois Arts Council Pastor Erik Christensen St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square Deb Clapp Executive Director, Chicago League of Theatres Joe Antunovich Antunovich Associates Ginger Farley Independent Dancer & Choreographer Dawn Marie Galtieri Executive & Artistic Director, Voice of the City Jackie Samuel Director, New Communities Program, Claretian Associates of which have underutilized space. In the last decade, the area has become a magnet for Chicago artists, and as a result, there is no shortage of painters, sculptors, musicians, actors, and dancers looking for space in which to work, audition, rehearse, perform, and exhibit. creating new ways for the faith and arts communities to work together to transform the neighborhood. Initially, our work in South Chicago will focus on Our Lady of Peace, a Catholic parish and graduate of Partners’ New Dollars/New Partners training. The parish campus includes a three-story convent building that is completely vacant, but up to code. Working with local artists and arts organizations, Partners hopes to build a new home for the South Side arts community in the halls of Our Lady of Peace. Partners’ vision for AiSP in Chicago is to replicate our work at Logan Square and South Chicago in communities across the north, south, and west sides of the city. Chicago’s congregations and parishes have the potential to contribute millions of dollars worth of cultural capital to the city’s economy. Through the Arts in Sacred Places program, Partners will expand access to – and audiences for – the arts. It will build the capacity of congregations to serve their neighbors, revolutionize how faith communities and arts communities see each other – and transform the neighborhoods that they both call home. Working in partnership with local arts organizations, community leaders, and faith leaders, the goal for Logan Square is to foster new matches between local artists and churches or synagogues in their neighborhood. AiSP Advisory Committee member Dawn Marie Galtieri expressed her hope for the project, “I know there is underutilized space in Logan Square and it could so benefit local artists. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but I couldn’t do it on my own.” Having received a warm reception from artists, congregations, community organizations, and neighbors in Logan Square, Partners will be launching a parallel project in the South Chicago neighborhood. Once home to a booming steel industry, the mills shut down in the late 20th century, leaving behind 400 acres of vacant land, a devastated environment, and massive unemployment. While many challenges remain, a rich network of local grassroots organizations is working together in South Chicago to rebuild and revitalize. The faith and arts communities have been vital to these efforts, and through AiSP, Partners will help to build on the legacy, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church has housed the Backstage Theater Company since 2010. Its pastor, Erik Christensen, sits on the Chicago Arts in Sacred Places Advisory Board. Sacred Places • Fall 2011 • 14