Hunter arts incubator 050422CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter is excited to welcome the St. Laurence Arts Incubator project in Grand Crossing, a $1.7 million initiative to open doors for Chicago’s artists of color.

The St. Laurence Arts Incubator is the newest and largest project to date from the Rebuild Foundation, which has worked to preserve cultural sites like the Stony Island Arts Bank, the Retreat at Currency Exchange Café, Kenwood Gardens, and the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative. 

“The work that artists do is impactful, and I am glad the city has invested in this new opportunity to support them,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “In particular, this incubator uplifts Black and Brown artists and entrepreneurs, and will be located right here in the Southside.”

The St. Laurence Arts Incubator will be a hub for creative investment, production, and education by providing Black and Brown artists and creative entrepreneurs with the space, resources, tools, and opportunities to develop their businesses in their communities.

A new era of creative empowerment and artistic production will be generated by over 40,000 square feet of artists' studios, makerspace, classrooms for creative entrepreneurship courses, an archive laboratory and more.

“I am excited for the ways this renovation will inspire and rejuvenate the community,” Hunter said. “We must preserve the spaces that elevate Black and Brown artistry and culture and provide opportunities for communal fellowship.”

State funding for the Rebuild Foundation includes $950,000 from the Illinois Arts Council for the Stony Island Arts Bank and $750,000from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, including $250,000 from DCEO’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment.

Established in 2010 by artist Theaster Gates, The Rebuild Foundation serves to provide a platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation. Through programming, residencies, and public engagement, artists will be celebrated while reinvigorating the potential of communities that have been historically underserved.