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Art + Value Conversation #3 // Art vs. Capitalism

  • In House 3520 West Armitage Avenue Chicago, IL, 60647 United States (map)

Do you feel haunted by the specter of the "starving artist"? 
Do you feel cheated out of stability, self-confidence, control by a sense of discord between "art and capitalism"? Do you have trouble talking about money?

Art + Value is a series of conversations that will address different aspects of how artists and artistic labor are valued in Chicago today. We hope to create space for Chicago artists to speak openly about how we are compensated and recognized, and how to feel more able to advocate for our work. Our four topic-focused events will begin with a roundtable followed by open conversation. 

Conversation #1: The Ecology of Artist-run spaces
Sunday, November 13
Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
In this informal ‘audit’ of Comfort Station, participants will be asked to consider what value the space brings and what it owes to different communities, what audiences are most important, and what role it plays in gentrification. While considering Comfort Station as a test case, this conversation is an invitation to address broader trends and questions facing artists working in and with communities across the city. 

Conversation #2: Laws, Contracts, Definitions
Monday, November 14
Corner, 2912 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60618
Consider how we can be empowered by legal definitions, explicit expectations, and clear terms of service. Explore what relationships to institutions would look like if everything were more clearly out in the open. Discuss the philosophical and emotional weight of a contract. 

Conversation #3: Art vs. Capitalism
Thursday, November 17
In House, 3520 W Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647
While young artists manage to simultaneously over-professionalize and under-prepare for the real world, people in other creative fields such as entrepreneurship or technology, easily talk about the relationship between creativity and capital. While we learn to challenge established notions of success and strive for alternatives to the market, we also internalize shame and fear of money. 

Conversation #4: Affective Labor
Saturday, November 19
Hume, 3242 W Armitage Ave, Chicago IL, 60647
Artists are often charged with doing the emotional work of society and are often uncompensated for this labor. This conversation will range from addressing how social justice work, psychological support, teaching, and diversity training figure into the job descriptions of artists, to self-care, to rationales for non-monetary compensation. Come ready to discuss identity, diversity, social justice, feminism and more. 

More info at

Art + Value is partially funded by Illinois Humanities

Earlier Event: November 16
Homecoming Reception & Artist Talk
Later Event: November 25
Black Friday Zine Share