The Clayco Foundation and CRG Cares Donate $1 Million to Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation to Benefit Arts Incubator at the former St. Laurence Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side
CRG’s grant will help fund construction for incubator in Grand Crossing neighborhood, helping
Black and Brown artists and creative entrepreneurs establish and scale their businesses
CHICAGO (May 5, 2022) — CRG, the national real estate investment firm, in conjunction with parent company, Clayco, today announced it has donated $1 million to Rebuild Foundation, the non-profit platform for art, cultural development and neighborhood transformation founded by artist and social innovator Theaster Gates. CRG’s grant will help Rebuild Foundation fund its largest project to-date – rehabbing the former St. Laurence School, located in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, into an incubator for artists and creative entrepreneurs.
CRG is making its donation through CRG Cares, its philanthropic arm that provides funding, services and volunteers to enhance communities in cities where it operates, and will be funded through The Clayco Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit of CRG’s parent company, Clayco.
“We are honored to support Theaster Gates and Rebuild Foundation in delivering this transformative project that aligns with CRG Cares’ commitment to build community in under-resourced neighborhoods through meaningful spaces and programming, particularly in support of minority artisans,” said Shawn Clark, president of CRG. “This project is the next step of Theaster’s vision to bring life-changing growth and business development opportunities to the local creative community.”
Housed in a former elementary school that was abandoned and slated for demolition, the innovation hub at St. Laurence will offer 40,000 square feet of artist studios, makerspaces, classrooms, and co-working spaces, along with a permanent archival space for Rebuild’s expansive collection of culturally relevant objects. It will be the first space of its kind dedicated to helping Black and Brown artists and creative entrepreneurs scale their ideas to build income and operate a business. CRG’s grant will help fund the first phase of construction, which is already underway and includes plumbing, electrical, mechanical operations and HVAC systems. Building completion and programming is slated for Fall 2023.
“St. Laurence is as much about preserving our histories and community assets as it is about giving new life to creative possibilities on the South Side,” said Theaster Gates, artist and founder of Rebuild Foundation. “This project enhances our ability to support artists and artisans with the tools, training and resources that will enable them to experiment and pursue innovative projects right in their own neighborhood. We’re thankful for the community partners like CRG who are supporting us in this important effort.”
With a long-held mission to strengthen communities, CRG and its parent company Clayco have invested considerable resources in non-profits throughout Chicago and in communities across the nation in which it operates.
For more information about Theaster Gates’s transformative projects on Chicago’s South Side, the Rebuild Foundation and the St. Laurence Arts Incubator, visit rebuild-foundation.org.
CRG is a privately held national real estate development and investment firm that has developed more than 10,000 acres of land and delivered over 210 million square feet of commercial, industrial, institutional, and multifamily assets exceeding $13 billion in value. CRG leverages a powerful North American platform with local market expertise and offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Southern California, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Phoenix. CRG’s philosophy of developing for the future and anticipating the enhanced needs of next generation users led to the creation of its industrial brand, The Cubes, and its multifamily brand, Chapter. For more information, visit CRG’s website at realcrg.com.
About The Clayco Foundation:
Founded in 2015, The Clayco Foundation, the philanthropic arm of national design-build firm Clayco Corp. and its development arm, CRG, provides critical funding, volunteer support, material resources and direct grants to projects and charities that build healthy, sustainable communities and improve lives. With a focus on communities where Clayco is actively engaged, the non-profit 501(c)(3) strives to leave a positive impact beyond the structures it builds by supporting initiatives in education, the arts, medical research, and disaster relief, along with programs that strengthen opportunities for underserved populations. Among the programs sponsored by The Clayco Foundation are Girls on the Run, a physical activity-based positive youth development program; Pedal the Cause, a cycling event raising funds for cancer research; the Juneteenth Program, an educational and awareness program dedicated to furthering the cause of equity and justice for the African-American community; and Illumination, an annual signature event that has raised nearly $6 million to support ground-breaking research to cure RVCL.
For more information on The Clayco Foundation, visit https://claycorp.com/our-commitment/.
About Rebuild Foundation
Founded by artist Theaster Gates in 2010, Rebuild Foundation is a platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation. Rebuild strengthens creative communities through grants, classes, residencies, access to our collections and free public programs. The Foundation is well known for innovative, ambitious, and impactful arts and cultural initiatives, hosting projects and programs that amplify the history, value, and promise of Black creativity at local, national, and international scales. Rebuild operates a constellation of sites on the South Side of Chicago including the Stony Island Arts Bank, Retreat at the Currency Exchange Café, Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, Kenwood Gardens, and the forthcoming arts incubator at the former St. Laurence Elementary School. To learn more about Rebuild Foundation, please visit: https://www.rebuild-foundation.org/.