Craft Alliance Center

Apply for a 2015-16 Residency

The Artist-In-Residence program encourages emerging and mid-career artists by providing them a work space free of charge, access to a built-in audience, and an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work.

Artist Stories

Zachary Johnson

Far From the Art World

I made my first foray into public art in Chicago in 2012. Or rather, attempted to. For months I struggled with pessimistic ward office secretaries, confusing city government bureaucracy, and unresponsive city departments. I sought out advice from a veteran art planner in the city and tried to rebound from each bureaucratic defeat. I asked the artist I was working with for patience and pushed our spring installation proposal into summer. I was moving to Japan at the end of July, so time was running out.

Casey Smallwood

Made-Up with Danny Volk: Casey Smallwood

I think it’s really great when artists agree to be in front of the camera on MUwDV. Many visual artists are accustomed to not being seen. Casey Smallwood is one such artist. Smallwood, an artist working often with video as a director and cinematographer, is at home behind the camera where she directs non-actors and documents and explores the sort of acting we do in daily life. We convinced Casey to do a little acting with us. As with a lot of situations with which we are less at ease, a glass of wine can help.

"I don't think there is an ultimate viewer. I think that keeps going."

Neysa Page-Lieberman

Mentoring with Pastries and Vodou

CAC HATCH curator talks about learning from a mentor to pass the knowledge onto others.

In reflecting on my role as a mentor to students and emerging curators, I drift off into memories of my greatest mentor, Marilyn Houlberg. Arriving in Chicago in 2000, fresh out of grad school, I was on a mission to meet her. My master’s thesis on feminism and the art of Haitian Vodou had her influence all over it.

Randall Albers by Shane Welch

Mentoring is More

When mentorship becomes a lifelong endeavor.

"… we are going to a drum battle!” A drum battle? The voice on the phone was my mentor and writing teacher, Randy Albers. This is the man who made sure that the students ... not only received the very best instruction while learning the craft of creative writing, but that we also regularly submitted our work and benefit from professional organizations ... through conferences like the one we were attending in New Orleans.

Lin Hixson

Lin Hixson: Choreographer, Teacher, Director, Mentor

Mentorship as a way of life.

Lin Hixson is this amazing director, you see. From a 21 year run with Goat Island to her now thoroughly established performance project Every House Has a Door with Matthew Goulish, not to mention teaching for years at the School of the Art Institute and running this amazing summer program called Abandoned Practices – Well, let’s just say, many people could call her their mentor.

Tim Stone & Mike Paro collaboration

Growing through Collaboration: The Arts of Life Mentorship Partnership

A special opportunity for equal growth and learning on both sides of an artistic partnership.

What does it mean to look up to someone? To respect, learn and grown? A mentorship is a relationship based partnership. At The Arts of Life, an alternative day program for people with and without disabilities, artist-mentors play a big part in the community.


Janet Ecklebarger

What Kind of Money did you Make Last Year?

As a freelance artist, it's important to distinguish where your money came from in order to understand your taxes.

As artists, we are fairly used to the fact that we must wear many hats. Many of us freelance – We work multiple part-time jobs, devote time to our artistic practice, and continue to seek alternative ways to make a few extra bucks. When it comes to the end of the year and tax time, many of us aren’t thinking of how all this affects our tax situation.

Granted: Adam Rose

An interview with Adam Rose, Lab Artist Award recipient.

Adam Rose discusses his Lab Artist Award project, “Against Being” places dance within the context of the philosophical debate between being and becoming.

Maria Gaspar

Granted: Maria Gaspar

An interview the 2014 Maker Grant recipient.

This year’s $1000 award was granted to Maria Gaspar, who is engaged in transdisciplinary practices that individually or collectively mediate or occupy different sites to create ephemeral and permanent scenarios.

Cheri Coons

Remarkable Theater Mentor: Cheri Coons

Theater is by its very nature a community endeavor, and mentoring, therefore, can be a group activity...

Elizabeth Doyle sits down with Cheri Coons to discuss the importance of mentorship in musical theater, including the "mentor food chain," the origin of the actual word in Greek theater and how sharing of both successes and failures can help others in their journey.

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