City hands off its vaunted Chicago Artists Resource website and programming to Chicago Artists' Coalition | Bleader

Thursday, August 23, 2012

City hands off its vaunted Chicago Artists Resource website and programming to Chicago Artists' Coalition

Posted By on 08.23.12 at 08:12 AM

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Chicago Artists' Coalition announced Wednesday that it is the new owner of the city's innovative and ambitious Chicago Artists Resource project—a website, e-newsletter, and related programming.

Launched in 2005 as an all-inclusive hub for visual artists—with job and space postings, along with news and professional development features—CAR eventually expanded to cover music, dance, theater, and literature, as well as visual arts.

CAC executive director Carolina Jayaram said in an interview Wednesday that CAR's major private funders have committed to at least two years of continued support. The acquisition will double the size of CAC's three-person full-time staff and will add about 30 percent to its annual budget, Jayaram said. CAC moved last year to an 8,000-square-foot space at 217 N. Carpenter that will accommodate the growth.

With the exception of director Barbara Koenen, who will remain on the staff of the city Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the CAR staff (including part-time researchers for each discipline) has moved over to CAC, Jayaram added.

CAC is a membership organization that until now has been limited to visual art. (There was no membership vote on the acquisition; a CAC spokesperson said the board approved it.) But Jayaram says the timing is opportune, since the group "just went through a strategic plan, and wants to expand to the other disciplines." She also says that plans to expand CAR to other cities through a franchising or licensing arrangement is a possible future source of revenue.

A redesign of the CAR website, undertaken by the city, will debut this fall.

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