About E(art)H Chicago
E(art)H Chicago, pronounced “Earth Art Chicago,” harnesses the power of art as a means to incite social change.
We believe that bringing attention to issues such as climate change and environmental justice in non-traditional ways can drive people to think, feel & act.
We believe that artists can provide us all with new ways of thinking, and can influence how we all view ourselves in relation to the world around us. Art opens a portal of radical imagination that dominant narratives, led by data and facts, cannot access.
We are proud to have provided nearly $700,000 in grant funds to support the creation of 12 artworks across 12 Chicago neighborhoods in order to inspire new ways of thinking about Chicagoans’ responsibility to our communities, our city, and our planet.
The goals of E(art)H Chicago are to:
The process of co-creating this program was as important as its goals.
An initiative of the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF), the E(art)H Chicago program framework was co-created by over 75 Chicagoans of all ages including artists, environmentalists, community leaders & organizers, scientists, and other Chicago residents who participated in interactive co-creation sessions during the summer of 2021. The framework was then further built upon in partnership with many other trusted collaborators, listed below.
E(art)H Chicago diverges from the Foundation’s past grantmaking in both content and process. Since 2014, ISEIF’s grantmaking has supported public education outreach programs centered on energy and the environment.
Through the foundation’s experience, we learned that engagement is strongest when trusted community members are involved; that people listen to stories and want to tell their stories – and everyone has a story that relates to the climate or environment; that a concerted, deliberate and designed effort must take place to reach all people equitably, and the resources provided should match the effort.
Many of these lessons informed our intention and outlook when approaching E(art)H Chicago, but we knew this project would and should be very different.
Please note: Our grant program is closed. We invite other funders to learn from and adapt our processes as appropriate.