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Cultural Asset Mapping Project (C.A.M.P.) Background

In 2020, the Arts & Culture Unit launched the Cultural Asset Mapping Project, or C.A.M.P., in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events and the League of Chicago Theaters with additional support from Enrich Chicago. C.A.M.P. is a community storytelling and data visualization project, where Chicago artists and residents collaborate to better understand artistic excellence and cultural vibrancy in our communities. C.A.M.P. is a creative response to the call for a deeper engagement with theater and performance spaces on the city’s South and West Sides. The Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture Unit has expanded the scope of the inquiry to allow for an even broader diversity of cultural forms and activity. C.A.M.P. is built upon the foundations, lessons, and connections of Re:Center, a creative placemaking initiative that gathered the cultural priorities of the Chicago Park District’s 15 cultural centers from 2015-2020.


Put Yourself on the Map

C.A.M.P. welcomes Chicagoans to contribute to the mapping of cultural assets (people, places, and programs) across Chicago neighborhoods, in two ways:

  1. Share your community story to our Cultural Asset Map
  2. Share your practice by joining the Chicago Creatives Network 


The Cultural Asset Map showcases resources compiled by the Chicago Park District’s Arts & Culture from: 

  • Past events or activities with partner organizations
  • Information compiled from the Re:Center process (2015-2020)
  • Datasets related to facilities and spaces
  • Preliminary “Cultural Assets in Chicago” survey distributed by the Chicago Park District in 2020
  • Chicago Creatives Network Survey for artists, designers, producers, and organizations to list themselves and their practices
  • Neighborhood Storyteller Survey gathering stories about people, places, and projects in their neighborhoods

Share a Memory With Us

Neighborhood Storytellers are artists, cultural advocates, civic leaders, and historians of all ages and expertise, invested in uplifting the artistic and cultural expression unique to their neighborhoods. 

C.A.M.P. is seeking Neighborhood Storytellers to share their experiences and memories about the different kinds of creativity that have shaped us as Chicagoans.
Who are the important culture keepers in your neighborhood? 
Where are the creative organizations?  
Who has made an impact in your life through theater, performance, and art? 
What are the cultural programs, memories, and places you think are important to share?

Share your cultural stories and memories - people, places, and programs that have made an impact.


Join the Chicago Creatives Network

Share your practice with us.

Are you an artist, designer, cultural producer, or creative entrepreneur working in Chicago?
Are you an employee or board member for an organization working in a creative field?  
Are you a part of a collective of artists, designers, or cultural producers? 
Do you identify as BIPOC or ALAANA, or is your organization/collective led by BIPOC or ALAANA individuals?

Add yourself as an artist, designer, and cultural producer to the Chicago Creatives Network.

join the Chicago creatives network

2020 C.A.M.P. Artist Cohort

Led by 13 artists with a range of creative practices, and situated within 9 communities across the city, the C.A.M.P. project aligns with INVEST South/West, an unprecedented initiative committing significant financial investment to the South and West Sides. We envision the C.A.M.P. project as cultural visioning and planning work at the neighborhood level, collaborating with Community Storytellers to develop a rich and interactive survey of cultural vitality. Ultimately, all data and selected stories will be available through a central hub. Funders, producers, community stakeholders, and anyone else will be able to engage the hub through an accessible, online portal.

2021 C.A.M.P. Artist in Residence - Join a workshop!

Residencies aim to partner artists with community, parks, and potentially other city departments or local businesses to embark on deeper creative engagements, identifying and actualizing neighborhood priorities at the intersection of culture and other aspects of quality of life. These residencies build off the community arts engaged projects began by Sojourner Zenobia and Chris Saint Martin during Phase 1 of C.A.M.P. Residencies supported through a Walder Foundation Grant. 

Artist-in-Residence Soujourner Zenobia at Douglass Park Cultural Center
Collaborative Living with the Earth Douglass


Artist-in-Residence Chris Saint Martin at Palmer Park Cultural Center
Roseland Sanctuary 

Attend a series of collective storytelling and found object scavenger hunts building up to the creation of a community-found art sculpture.

Open to all ages, register below.  

Workshop #1 - September 18, 2021 11 am - 1 pm  REGISTER NOW

Workshop #2 - October 1, 2021 4 pm - 6 pm  REGISTER NOW

Workshop #3 - October 16, 2021 11 am - 1 pm  REGISTER NOW

Workshop #4 - October 30, 2021 11 am - 1 pm  REGISTER NOW

Workshop #5 - TBA: Mid to late November 

Artists have been matched with a team of Business Volunteers in the Arts experts through the Arts and Business Council of Chicago to advise on technical and administrative components of the project such as creating a marketing plan and working with the Chamber of Commerce to make cultural/commerce community connections.

2022 and Beyond

Additionally, plans are underway for multi-year capital improvements at many of our Chicago park Cultural Centers. This investment will bring much-needed upgrades to stages, sound and lighting systems, and curtains, while expanding accessibility for people with physical disabilities. Once upgrades are completed, these facilities will be poised to become dynamic centers of cultural life in our neighborhoods, providing direct access to South and West Side artists living and working in these communities.

Check out our C.A.M.P. Report



Learn more about the Cultural Asset Mapping Project:  


Chicago Park District City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events League of Chicago Theatres Enrich Chicago