Art, Smart, and Social Change

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Personal Message

Art is powerful. Social change is critical. Your participation is vital. With art as a catalyst for social good, the Smart Museum is in the final stages of organizing Toward Common Cause (July 15-December 19, 2021), our most ambitious, far-reaching endeavor to date. Featuring projects by 28 renowned artist-MacArthur Fellows in collaboration with more than two dozen exhibition, programmatic, and research organizations citywide, Toward Common Cause explores environmental justice, racial equity, identity and representation, immigration, and our urban landscape. The Smart is working closely with a host of UChicago partners to bring Toward Common Cause to life. With goals of galvanizing dialogue, and grassroots and legislative action around today’s most pressing issues, your support is more important than ever.

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Thanks To Our Recent Donors!


The Fund for Art, Smart, and Social Change was developed as a vehicle to optimize the impact of Toward Common Cause, the sweeping, multi-site exhibition being organized by the Smart in concert with dozens of partner institutions, UChicago organizations, and community venues across the city (July 15–December 19, 2021). With immersive, collaborative projects involving 28 MacArthur Fellows in solo, group, and broader public presentations on and off campus, Toward Common Cause delves into the foremost issues of our time – environment, race, identity, immigration, and our built landscape. Based on the concept of art and activism, the exhibition will intentionally motivate dialogue between artists, city residents, youth, civic advocates, policy makers, and the UChicago community, while advancing actions that will help to foster a more just society. As the boldest, most expansive exhibition in the Smart’s history, we need bold support from UChicago and other community allies to bring our myriad artist projects and participatory programming to life.

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Your support at any level will have an immediate impact on our Toward Common Cause exhibition and our ability to fully engage and involve you in this and other Smart endeavors that bring you closer to art, to real-world concerns, and to each other.

Why are donations necessary?

The Smart Museum is committed to engaging our audiences with art, artistic practice, and the issues of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With cause for optimism this spring, the Smart is in need of resources we could not have anticipated a year ago. With your support on Giving Day, we will achieve an exceptional exhibition ‘toward common cause’ and continue to deliver dynamic programming built around our collections, artistic content, and big ideas. Your gift in any amount makes a real difference in our work and our community. Thank you for contributing to Art, Smart, and Social Change! Check our website for exhibition details. Please like our Facebook page and Instagram to see how the Smart supports audiences on campus, throughout the South Side, the city of Chicago, and beyond.