Arts + Public Life and Green Line Performing Arts Center
Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts, provides platforms for artists and access to arts programming through artist residencies, arts education, cultural entrepreneurship, and arts-led programs and events. Arts + Public Life advances and promotes a robust, collaborative, and an evolving relationship between the University of Chicago and the South Side’s vibrant civic, cultural, and artistic communities.
While working with Arts + Public Life, we have been able to produce the visuals for Arts + Public Life’s narrative of depicting the power of arts and culture to create connections where there is division, to raise critical questions that move discussion beyond the surface, and to unlock the possibilities where bleakness is abound.
We are honored to document Arts + Public Life’s partners and communities that explore ideas, offer their craft to audiences, and demonstrate the richness of cultural production existing on Chicago’s South Side through exhibitions and programming hosted at Arts + Public Life.
We have been fortunate to witness and archive exhibitions that tell the stories of Chicago residents; and we are proud to be a part of exhibitions that have dealt with and showcased artists and artwork on the topic of mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. By carefully and attentively capturing through photography, the artists and residence, exhibitions and programs, and youth education programming, Arts + Public Life is able to visually communicate their messaging to stakeholders, university faculty and staff, patrons, and the public.
We were able to accomplish the objective of documenting a historical and special moment of 2018 marking the 5th anniversary of Vends + Vibes, an annual, two-day boutique winter marketplace of handmade crafts, specialty foods items and other unique creative products. Vends + Vibes supports primarily South Side artists and entrepreneurs by providing a platform to sell their work. We were successful in providing images that expressed the joyful mood of the interaction between venders and attendees. It was important that we captured the commerce taking place that benefited the community economically and how the collaboration between business owners and Arts + Public Life had a positive impact on one another.
During the grand opening of the Green Line Performing Arts Center, we were able to document and provide images used for P.R. and communicating about the newest edition to the Arts Block under the direction Arts + Public Life. The Green Line Performing Arts Center, a 6,600 square foot facility, opened on November 10th, 2018, providing a vital new theater venue and rehearsal space to support the arts across Chicago’s South Side. The Green Line Performing Arts Center houses the E&A Theatre, a black-box venue with 80-plus seats; the Harris Studio, which can host rehearsals as well as performances; and a lobby and a courtyard for outdoor programming. The images captured and delivered were used throughout UChicago Arts and Arts + Public Life’s communications outlets including website, social media, newsletters, and public relations campaigns and reinforced who they are as an organization and their commitment to providing a destination for engagement with culture and as a resource for emerging artists.
While working with Arts + Public Life, each assignment begins with us actively listening with the purpose of determining the needs and goals set out to be accomplished. The process is completely collaborative in nature and we work closely together in the selection of style, mood, locations, and in the planning of shot lists and storyboards.Throughout the production of each project we carefully consider and analyze numerous perspectives to ensure we are heading in the right direction and on schedule to reach our desired outcomes. Post production is done with the highest attention to detail and with efficient prioritization to establish a quick turnaround.
Working with Arts + Public Life has positioned us to learn the importance of how it is necessary to provide resources to community members who can use their own agency to create the programs that they and their communities need. We have learned that to ensure inclusivity there should be a set of principles and systems designed to instill that the space remains fresh with a constant stream of diverse inputs and ideas.
We are continuously learning what it means to establish methods of ethical development between larger institutions and neighboring communities. Arts + Public Life, an initiative launched in 2011 to foster stronger connections between the University and the artists working in the surrounding neighborhoods, has been able to draw people from across the spectrum of performance arts to their spaces who can become a catalyst for creativity and cultural capital.