Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center wants artists to have long lasting careers in Chicago that enrich the cultural landscape for all Chicagoans. Our mission is to provide career-­strengthening opportunities for artists and curators and to engage and expand audiences in a welcoming exhibition space.

Our programming supports and uplifts artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; LGBTQ+ people; women, trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people; people with disabilities; immigrants, regardless of status; and people without wealth or economic stability. By mobilizing our resources – our space, networks, and funding capacity – we are committed to amplifying the voices of historically excluded and oppressed people in the art world. 

Two visual arts programs are the core of our programming: Double Exposure, which consists of exhibitions pairing two emerging and primarily Chicago-based artists; and CONNECT, which showcases curatorial projects by women, femme-identifying, and nonbinary of color curators, offering a three month residency and an exhibition to mount their projects.

Roots & Culture Staff:

Eric May, Executive Director

Bobby Luck, Program Director

Phia Morris, Gallery Assistant

Arend deGruyter-Helfer, Webmaster

Roots & Culture Board of Directors:

Lorelei Stewart, Chair

William Padnos, Treasurer

Sebastian Campos

Stephanie Cristello

Jen Delos Reyes

Todd Harding

Risa Puleo

Programming and general operating costs are partially funded by The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, DCASE, and generous grants from The Reva & David Logan Foundation and Builder’s Initiative