The Terra Foundation for American Art seeks a Chicago-based artist or designer with an established community-centered practice to fill the role of Senior Engagement Fellow. The fellow will engage staff representatives from a group of approximately 25 Chicago museums and cultural institutions to help them advance their community-engagement practices.
At this time of intense internal and external scrutiny of museums and cultural organizations everywhere, the field is evaluating and reconsidering its role and responsibilities to the communities it is meant to serve and represent. As a funder that supports the work of visual arts institutions, the Terra Foundation recognizes its role in upholding inequitable systems and practices that have contributed to the lack of access and inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and/or other People of Color (BIPOC) individuals and communities by cultural institutions. In this moment of change we are examining our own practices and are committed to supporting our grantees’ efforts to reverse historical imbalances and actively dismantle oppressive systems.
Key to this work is reimagining the ways that cultural institutions engage with the communities they currently, or hope to, serve. In partnership with the local cultural community, the Terra Foundation is developing a new grant opportunity and learning community to support advances in community-engagement practices by Chicago institutions. A component of the Terra Foundation’s ongoing Art Design Chicago initiative, the Engagement Learning Community is a platform for cooperative idea-generation, knowledge exchange, consensus building, and collective problem solving around equitable and inclusive engagement strategies. Together, participating organizations will develop and test new or refined models of engagement that can catalyze mutually beneficial partnerships with communities, leading to institutional growth and change.