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Press Release: Mayor Emanuel Announces New Public Art in All 50 Wards as Part of the Year of Public Art


2017 Year of Public Art Chicago

50x50 Neighborhood Arts Project

Year of Public Art  >  50x50 Neighborhood Arts Project

 Marcus Akinlana (CPAG) "The Great Migration," 1995 and Kevin Orth, "Circus Shrine" 1995

(click on image to enlarge)


Managed by DCASE, the 50x50 initiative will provide up to $1 million for new public art projects. The initiative was inspired by Chicago's 50 wards and the 50th anniversary of two of our most seminal public artworks (the Picasso in Daley Plaza and the Wall of Respect which once stood at 43rd Street and Langley Avenue on the South Side).

Aldermen may opt in to the program by choosing to dedicate a portion of their 2017 menu allocation to commission public art for their ward. These menu funds will be matched up to $10,000 by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

An open call process invites artists, artist teams and arts organizations applying with a lead artist (Artists) to submit their qualifications for the project. DCASE and representatives from Chicago’s cultural community will review the applications and create a pool of pre-qualified Artists for Aldermen to choose from. The selected Artists will work with DCASE, Aldermen and residents to develop public artworks. The application to prequalify is available via CaFE at

Application Deadline is March 10, 2017 (Extended)


Year of Public Art 50x50 Request for Qualifications (PDF)


Applicant Workshops at the Chicago Cultural Center

  • January 23 -  3-5pm/6-8pm
  • January 24 - 12-2pm
  • January 25 - 10am- 12pm

Please rsvp to