E(art)H Chicago will highlight important environmental issues in Chicago and the work being done locally to address them through visual and conceptual art — from sculpture, dance, film and more.
The intention of the program is to raise awareness, nurture both urgency and hope, and inspire action around climate change, resource utilization and environmental justice. Citywide placement of art in Chicago neighborhoods and downtown will bring together residents during a coordinated period in June 2023 to educate and activate on climate change.
Development of this initiative included over 30 meetings with leaders in the environmental, art and community development fields and input from over 75 Chicagoans of all ages and backgrounds. Artists, environmentalists, community leaders and organizers, scientists, and other Chicago residents participated in three project design sessions held in July and August 2021 to collectively co-create parameters (the how and the what including values, vision, form) around the project with partners and stakeholders. These sessions employed interactive techniques via an expert facilitator, which fostered creative thinking and collective decision-making.
A request for proposals (RFP) was widely circulated across Chicago in December 2021. Complete and program criteria-passing letters of interested that were submitted in February 2022 were then invited to submit a full application to be reviewed by the Review Committee.
The Review Committee scored full applications based on the following elements:
- Messaging: Message being conveyed through artwork and how it honors the values of the project.
- Artist Experience: Was there evidence that the artist(s) has/have adequate training and experience?
- Budget: Does the project seem economically feasible if awarded the amount requested? Is the budget complete, accounting for direct and indirect costs?
- Location: We wanted the art we support to impact people across Chicago, therefore, artworks were selected across various communities in addition to one physical art piece placed downtown. Extra consideration was given towards art proposed in low-income communities, communities in need of public art and communities located in environmental justice areas.
- Art Opportunity Areas: Extra consideration was given to art proposed in art opportunity areas. Art opportunity areas are loosely defined as community areas in which there are fewer cultural and public art assets.
- Physical Materials: For artworks using physical materials – the environmental friendliness of those materials and matching the longevity / sustainability of artwork to the length of exhibition.
- Community Engagement: Community collaboration and/or engagement. We gave preference to grant applicants who had community engagement plans.
- Other Considerations for final grant decisions:
- Grant size diversity based on applicant pool
- Art category diversity based on applicant pool
Physical artworks and live performances will be on display in June 2023 across the city.
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