Chicago Officials Debut Art-Centered Mixed-Income Community in the City’s Grand Crossing Neighborhood

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, together with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and artist Theaster Gates recently announced the grand opening of the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, a 32-unit mixed-income community in the Greater Grand Crossing area on Chicago’s South Side.

Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, together with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and artist Theaster Gates, recently announced the grand opening of the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, a 32-unit mixed-income community in the Greater Grand Crossing area on Chicago’s South Side.

The Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative is the result of a collaboration between Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation, the CHA, Brinshore Development, and Landon Bone Baker Architects. Located at South 70th Street between Dante and Harper, the community provides affordable residential and long-term rental opportunities, featuring 32 two- and three-bedroom townhomes on the city’s south side. The project was built on vacant CHA land and includes a CHA investment of $3.5 million, according to a news release.

The centerpiece of the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative (DAHC) is the 1,500-square-foot Art Center, complete with a dance studio, public meeting space and community garden. Scheduled for completion in early 2015, the Art Center offers artistic and cultural activities for residents and community members interested in the arts.

“For years, this was an abandoned housing project but thanks to Theaster’s vision, this land has been reimagined, reinvented, and revitalized as a place for residents to live and artists to create,” Emanuel says. “The Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative proves that investing in art and culture can bring both economic revitalization and a sense of community to every neighborhood.”

Five artists have been selected to live in five of the townhouses and contribute to the Rebuild Foundation’s vision by volunteering 10 hours per month. This year’s selection includes make-up artist Jill Mitchell, photographer/videographer Edward Steave, poet/rapper Justin Booker, potter/ceramics artist Jordan Taylor, and Nakia Mosby, mother of a promising teenage artist.

“This exciting project will work to meet the affordable housing needs for low-income residents while supporting cultural arts in the city,” says CHA CEO Michael R. Merchant.

Image courtesy of the Rebuild Foundation

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