Apply to Live in Theaster Gates’ Chicago Artist Housing Project

Theaster Gates' Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative.
Courtesy Landon Bone Baker.

Chicago artist Theaster Gates has been leading the effort to transform a cluster of 32 boarded-up buildings in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side into housing for artists, and now the refurbished live-work spaces are taking applications. Dubbed the Dorchester Art+Housing Collaborative, the complex is being revitalized by the Gates-chaired Rebuild Foundation, along with Illinois developer Brinshore and architecture firm Landon Bone Baker.

The artists’ community is offering two- and three-bedroom houses for between $722–910 and $869–1,150, respectively. In addition to the homes—nine of which are equipped with double-height rooms that will make for ideal studio and rehearsal spaces—the campus is equipped with a central art center that houses an exhibition and performance space, in addition to flexible rooms that can serve as artists’ studios or teaching spaces. Of the 32 houses, 9 have the loft-like central rooms, 11 are affordable housing reserved exclusively for artists, and another 12 are public housing units earmarked for families curious to live in an artist enclave.

Pre-applications are now open (information on how to apply is available here) for housing in the exciting and innovative art village. It is located near other Gates rehabilitation projects in the Grand Crossing neighborhood including the Black Cinema House and the Dorchester Projects.

“I was always making art that was asking questions about the city, and why the city functioned the way it did,” Gates told the Chicago Reader in a feature about his plans for Grand Crossing. “How does cultural and economic disparity happen? How can we fight it? I was trying to present these questions in the form of little abandoned ceramic houses and drawings or performances that spoke to the issue. And I just got tired of pointing a finger at it and wanted to actually do something about it, challenge it in a real way.”

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