As part of a three-year plan to give $40 million in grants to organizations in Chicago’s South and West Sides, JPMorgan Chase has made a $300,000 philanthropic investment in the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit run by the artist Theaster Gates that facilitates free arts programming and various initiatives primarily intended to reach the black community in the South Side.
The Rebuild Foundation will put the JPMorgan Chase funds toward the final phase of its renovation of the St. Laurence School, which closed 16 years ago and has been vacant since then. Gates acquired the school in 2014 for $451,500.
The school will become the site of the foundation’s Arts and Innovation Incubator, a space that provides residencies for artists, education programming, and other resources. The incubator has, for the past few years, been based at the Rebuild Foundation’s Stony Island Arts Bank.
In a statement, Gates said, “Artisan entrepreneurs on Chicago’s South Side have the talent, drive, and innovative ideas they need to succeed—and now they also have the space and institutional support that all entrepreneurs need. We’re thrilled to partner with JPMorgan Chase to bring life-changing, hands-on training and mentorship to small business owners in this part of the city.”