United States Artists Relocates Headquarters to Chicago
Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle Boone, Carolina Garcia Jayaram, Chief Executive Officer of United States Artists (USA) and USA's Board of Directors are announcing today that USA, one of the nation's largest grant-making and advocacy organizations, supporting artists across eight major disciplines, will move its headquarters from Los Angeles to Chicago. USA is in the process of hiring local staff and finding a location for the new office within the city.
"Chicago is an epicenter for creative activity and is currently experiencing an artistic renaissance. It is the site for many of the world's best visual and performing arts venues and is a home to thousands of artists working in all types of media, making it the ideal place for USA to grow as we enter the next phase of our development," said USA CEO Carolina Garcia Jayaram. "I look forward to strengthening USA from Chicago with vital support from the City of Chicago and local Board Members Shawn M. Donnelley and Jack Guthman."
"I'm pleased to welcome United States Artists to Chicago. Their decision to move here underscores our city's growing role as a center for artistic innovation on all levels," said Mayor Emanuel. "From architecture and theater to literature, dance, music, and the visual arts, Chicago has a diversity of artistic talent to match USA's commitment to supporting all kinds of artistic expression."
"The Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events is committed to providing access to art for all Chicagoans," added Commissioner Michelle T. Boone. "United States Artists has a proven track record of supporting some of Chicago's finest artists representing a wide array of disciplines. Having this important arts organization move to Chicago speaks to the city's growing reputation as a place where artists thrive."
USA is a non-profit funding organization that administers the annual USA Fellows program which has distributed unrestricted grants of $50,000 each to a diverse spectrum of artists across the United States, empowering them with the freedom to create. Founded in 2005 by the Ford, Rockefeller, Rasmuson and Prudential Foundations with $22 million to support artists in America, USA is currently funded by a broad range of philanthropic foundations and individuals. The organization honors some of the most talented, innovative artists working today with fellowship awards given in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Crafts & Traditional Arts, Dance, Literature, Media, Music, Theater Arts and Visual Arts.
In the past five years, USA has raised a $10 million permanent endowment and has granted $19 million to 371 artists, with more than 91% of awards used to develop new art. Past USA Fellows include visual artists Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker and Catherine Opie; designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (of Rodarte); performing artist Meredith Monk; jazz composer Jason Moran; ballet dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied; choreographer Bill T. Jones and writer Sapphire. Chicago-based USA Fellows include visual artists Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, David Hartt, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, William Pope.L, Catherine Sullivan and Chris Ware; architect Douglas A. Garafolo; dancers and choreographers Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixon and Bebe Miller; media artist Steven Robert James; musician Ella Louise Jenkins and writers Alexander Hemon and LeAnne Howe. New York-based Lar Lubovitch, who founded the Chicago Dancing Festival, also is an awardee. This year's group of illustrious fellows will be announced in Chicago in late 2014.
USA's Board of Directors consists of cultural and philanthropic leaders from around the country, and is currently made up of Susan V. Berresford, Mark Bradford, Elizabeth Collins, Peter D. Cummings, Shawn M. Donnelley, Andrew Glasgow, Jack Guthman, Samuel Hoi, David Horvitz, Diane Kaplan, Jeanne Klein, Rick Lowe, Rosalba Rolón and Todd Simon. The Board is led by Chairman Steven H. Oliver, president of the award-winning construction and development firm, Oliver & Company, based in Richmond, California. Oliver is well-known for his collection of contemporary art as well as his work in arts philanthropy, and is the former Chairman of the Board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as the former Chairman of a division of the National Endowment for the Arts.