Renowned artist Theaster Gates has made it his mission to turn empty Chicago spaces into incubators for culture. So when he sought to transform a century-old, abandoned bank building in Chicago's South Shore community, he sought traditional sources of capital to see his vision through, but found they did not want to invest in his idea to use arts and culture for community development. That's when he connected to Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), who was able to provide the critical financing needed to transform the space into an arts and culture hub.
CCLF provided $2.7 million for the project and The Arts Bank officially opened on October 3, 2015 as one of only three official sites for the City of Chicago’s Biennial Architectural Tour. This transformational project provides local jobs and is part of the redevelopment of Chicago’s South Side spearheaded by Rebuild Foundation which includes the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, that also offers mixed-income housing for artists and community members.