Jane and I are both on the Board at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, which we joined [when?] because [Bob insert motivation or your general thoughts about the museum and why you two are happy to be part of the museum].
The MCA is a museum with a fascinating story. Before 1967, the city of Chicago did not have a contemporary art museum. A group of artists, critics, architects, and other collectors understandably thought this was a problem and decided to do something about it. But rather than establish a permanent collection, their idea was to create a place that would be able to host temporary exhibitions for new up-and-coming artists.
The museum started out in a small building that used to be the headquarters for Playboy, before eventually moving to its current location at the site of the Illinois National Guard’s Chicago Avenue Armory building. The Armory building was demolished before the current museum, designed by Berlin architect Josef Paul Kleihues, was built in 1996.
Before establishing a permanent collection in 1974, the MCA focused on producing interdisciplinary exhibitions that allowed for experimentation and collaboration amongst artists working in different mediums. They sought to enhance the exhibitions with “lectures, symposia, roundtable discussions, films, and musical performances.” The museum has always tried to merge together art and performance.
Today, the MCA is a site for the contemplation and discussion of contemporary cultures and the issues we face as a society. Art is one medium for these important conversations and allows the museum to have a considerable impact in engaging the public on these subjects. Being involved in the museum allows Jane and I to support the work of artists who are inspiring social and cultural innovation and to contribute to the important conversations of today.