The collaboration between ART WORKS Projects (AWP) and Chicago Public Libraries began in fall 2016 with AWP’s Transitions exhibition. They co-created conversations exploring the impact of transitional justice on the global level and in local communities at six CPL branches. This collaboration continued in spring 2017 as part of the exhibition Sanctuary/Sustenance with two CPL branches in South Chicago and Uptown, fostering conversation surrounding the global refugee crisis in neighborhoods with large resettled refugee and immigrant communities.
ART WORKS Projects believes that community engagement is critical to advance an understanding about human rights and facilitate meaningful dialogue in local communities. As part of AWP’s mission to provide free human rights programming and to link international human rights issues to the issues affecting Chicago communities, the organization began partnering with Chicago Public Library branches throughout the city of Chicago in 2016. This programming partnership aims to expand the organization’s reach beyond its studio space in Chicago’s downtown River North neighborhood, in order to reach a broad audience and engage the entirety of the city in conversations about human rights abuses occurring both globally and in our own neighborhoods.