Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Launches New Citywide Registry to Catalog Area Murals
Mural of Chicago Blues legend Muddy Waters by artist Eduardo Kobra (photo courtesy of the City of Chicago).
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) recently announced the launch of the City of Chicago Mural Registry, a publicly-accessible database of Chicago’s growing collection of murals found at chicago.gov/muralregistry. In October 2018, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins introduced an ordinance to the City Council to create a registry of murals, including graffiti art. Maintained by the Public Art Program of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the registry has been developed as a resource tool that will help communities identify, explore and preserve murals in our neighborhoods. As part of the registry’s release, DCASE will work with city agencies, aldermen, community groups, block clubs, chambers of commerce and residents to populate and promote the resource.
“Chicago is home to talented artists, working across all mediums, creating public art and adding to the cultural fabric of our communities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This registry will strengthen Chicago’s legacy of public art and enable artists to share their work with the world.”
“Public art in Chicago is very much a part of the spirit and quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the city,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Not only will the new registry help protect these critical cultural assets, it will also create a portal for the public to access and explore where murals are located in every corner of the city.“
The Mural Registry catalogues and acknowledges Chicago’s collection of murals and will include a growing list of completed murals created on both private and public property. Artists, organizations and property owners are encouraged to register completed murals by submitting an application. Accepted murals will be assigned a unique Mural Registration ID and will receive an official emblem from the City of Chicago. There are no fees associated with the Mural Registry. For the registration criteria and application, visit chicago.gov/muralregistry.
DCASE will hold two public information sessions about the Mural Registry and the registration process on Monday, April 22, from 5–6 p.m. and Tuesday, April 30, from 12–1 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) in the Millennium Park Room, 5th Floor South. Artists, arts organizations and business/property owners are encouraged to attend.
In 2017, the City of Chicago celebrated the "Year of Public Art," which culminated with hundreds of new works of public art throughout the city and the creation of Chicago’s first Public Art Plan. The new plan is a blueprint that will help shape the future of public art in Chicago and shift how we interact, talk about and support works of art that can be viewed by all. Chicago was one of the first municipalities in 1978 to implement an ordinance mandating that 1.33% of the cost of public buildings be set aside for the creation of original artwork.
The Chicago Public Art Collection managed by DCASE includes more than 500 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations. The Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists. For complete details on the Chicago’s Public Art Program, visit chicago.gov/dcase.
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