Chicago Art Department

A nonprofit organization

Chicago Art Department (CAD) provides space and resources for socially minded artists to grow and question the city we live in. CAD accomplishes this mission by providing artists with equitable and accessible opportunities for artistic development through Studio Residencies, Think-Tank Programs, Public Events, and contemporary Exhibitions. 

Rooted in East Pilsen since 2005, CAD’s physical space features 11,000 square feet comprising three public galleries, private studio spaces, and community event areas. Since starting the Studio Residency Program in 2012, CAD has worked with over 100 Resident artists, and through partnerships and exhibitions, has exhibited works by over 1,000 artists. 

Pre-pandemic, CAD was averaging over 120 community events for close to 10,000 people per year. 2nd Fridays made a comeback in 2021, and we produced 25 exhibitions and programs with artists, activists, and social justice groups.

For nearly two decades CAD has supported voices that otherwise might not be heard. CAD has a history of prioritizing BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities through residency and other programs. CAD is open to all artists regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, gender identity, citizenship, geographic location, and income. 

With a mantra of TRY IT, MAKE IT, SHARE IT—CAD stands by advocacy for a more just society, and is committed to providing resources for the betterment of the city we live in and call home—Chicago.

Organization Data


Organization name

Chicago Art Department

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture



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