A unique destination for food, culture, and art.


ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen is one of four winning projects of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a grant program that supports projects in which local governments work with artists to create public art that celebrates creativity, enhances urban identity, and inspires economic growth. The project transformed a 15,000 square foot facility in downtown Gary into a cultural hub showcasing culinary and visual arts.

The reimagined space ArtHouse provides access to a commercial training kitchen for local residents and emerging businesses, culinary business incubation (CBI) and operation space, a pop up café shaped by CBI participants, community dinners in Gary homes and the café, and gallery/exhibition space. 

ArtHouse is focused on creating a space that positively reflects the city of Gary and provides a platform for economic and artistic activity in the downtown area. The site will evolve continuously through the work of partner organizations and creative individuals. It is a dynamic destination for food, culture, and art lovers to meet, gather, and learn. 

Project partners: Bloomberg Philanthropies; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Gary Economic Development Corporation and Department of Commerce, led by Mayor Karen-Freeman Wilson's office; lead artist Theaster Gates; Place Lab at the University of Chicago; the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Daley Fellowship

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Local work. National impact.


Reimagining the Civic Commons is a $40MM national initiative that seeks to reverse the trends of economic and social fragmentation across the U.S. by supporting innovative, place-based efforts to catalyze lasting change through the connection and reinvention of civic assets. The City of Chicago is one of five cities in this initiative seeking to be a comprehensive demonstration of how a connected set of civic assets – a civic commons – can connect people of all backgrounds and yield increased and more equitably shared prosperity for cities and neighborhoods.

The City of Chicago project is called the Chicago Arts + Industry Commons (CAIC), a network of cultural hubs soon to be reimagined. CAIC connects sleepy civic spaces to recalibrate community activation, targeting resources as networks of neighborhood development, rather than as isolated assets. This civic commons approach for the South and West sides of Chicago increases the number of opportunities available for people who have been left out of the upside of economic development.

Project partners: Convener - Place Lab at the University of Chicago and Theaster Gates; Rebuild Foundation; Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago; Chicago Park District; Cook County Land Bank; Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago; Chicago Community Trust; City of Chicago; Chicago Community Loan Fund; Chicago 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston

Visit the Chicago Arts + Industry Commons