Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other African American artists banded together determined to find a venue to showcase their art. Through dedicated fundraising efforts, 3831 S. Michigan was purchased as the home of the SSCAC. President Roosevelt's WPA Initiative paid artists' salaries.
The SSCAC is the only African American Art Center of its kind opened under the WPA Initiative to remain continuously open. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt delivered the dedication speech at the SSCAC Saturday, May 7, 1941 at 3:00p.m. The event was covered by all major local and national networks of the day. The SSCAC became a Chicago Historic Landmark in June 1994.
South Side Community Art Center conserves, preserves and promotes the legacy and future of African American art and artists while educating the community on the value of art and culture. SSCAC continues to serve as an established resource for the art community locally, nationally and abroad.
As the oldest African American art center in the USA, SSCAC takes pride in its past and present contributions to the development and showcasing of emerging and established artists. SSCAC seeks out and educate young artists; provide gallery space; educational and art programs as well as serve as a repository for African American artists, scholars, collectors and the community.
The South Side Community Arts Center’s Classical Revival style building hasn’t undergone a major rehabilitation in decades and requires substantial renovation. Its HVAC system is antiquated and isn’t adequate for either the center’s art exhibits or its expansive repertoire of public programs.
The center is actively seeking support to address these issues so that its mission can continue to be fulfilled.
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