Around the Coyote, the arts organization that once produced the very high profile community art show of the same name, has called it quits officially. Although it’s been struggling the last couple of years, a decade or more ago its annual festival was either a lightning rod for anti-gentifrication conspiracy theorists, or a galvanizing force in the daunting battle to keep artists around Wicker Park in the face of gentrification depending on your point of view. The last decade saw its transformation into a year-round nonprofit, but it was never able to fully establish a new, broader agenda with adequate financial resources.
Here’s the text of their announcement:
After two decades of working with Chicago’s vibrant emerging arts community, Around the Coyote is regrettably closing its doors and ceasing operations as of May 8, 2010. The staff and board of directors would like to express their thanks to all of the artists, donors and collectors that supported the not-for-profit for so many years.
Through the years we did our best to add to the Chicago art dialogue, support the start of strong art careers, and foster the collecting of the emerging arts. We are proud of what we accomplished, and we are confident that with continued vigor, good things lie ahead for the arts in Chicago.
Of course, while it is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of Around the Coyote, we are encouraged by the certainty that in our absence, other opportunities for artists will emerge. Our tireless and devoted staff have been working to allocate the remaining resources, knowledge and equipment we have to other local arts non-profits in hopes of encouraging continue growth in this area.
Some of these Chicago-based arts non-profits are Three Walls and Chicago Artists Coalition. We encourage all of our supporters to get involved with these excellent organizations. Three Walls, which holds gallery exhibitions, residencies and special programs in the visual arts, is having a fundraiser on May 28 which we hope you will attend. Chicago Artists Coalition is entering an exciting time as they re-imagine their programming for emerging artists. They have put together a new team and are focused on advocating for artists, and providing professional development and exhibition opportunities throughout the city of Chicago.
Special thanks to Allison Stites, Around the Coyote’s interim Executive Director, for her passion and dedication to the organization through its final days of operation.