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Chicago Park District, Arts & Culture Unit

Chicago, IL

The Chicago Park District (CPD) engages youth, adults, seniors, and families with culturally vibrant, naturally diverse, and democratically accessible programming in each of Chicago’s 77 Community Areas. The mission of CPD is to: enhance the quality of life in Chicago by becoming the leading provider of recreation and leisure opportunities; provide safe, inviting and beautifully maintained parks and facilities; and create a community-focused and responsive park system that prioritizes the needs of children and families. Currently, the system has 8,800 acres of green space, 600 parks, and 15 cultural centers designed to offer a range of sports, recreation, wellness, arts, and nature programming options that enhance local citizens’ quality of life.

As part of this holistic vision for a vibrant public commons accessible to all, the Arts & Culture Unit (ACU) envisions parks and cultural centers as vital spaces that encourage all Chicagoans to explore the arts and their power to enhance quality of life, neighborhood development, and community dialogue. In a cultural resources portfolio including arts partnerships, community arts programming, and youth arts programs for all ages via the Young Cultural Stewards initiative, ACU strives to increase and maintain quality cultural offerings and experiences for all Chicago's communities. Signature programs include Arts Partners in Residence, Cultural Center Network and Re:Center Cultural Stewardship program, and Young Cultural Stewards comprised of TRACE (Teens Reimagining Art, Community, & Environment), Inferno Mobile Recording, YCS Fellows, and ArtSeed Mobile Play.