1/3/2017, midnight | Updated on 1/3/2017, midnight
Four professional Chicago artists will be awarded $20,000 each to paint viaducts in the Pullman community through Alderman Anthony Beale’s ...
Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale's (Artist's Mural Program) and the City of Chicago's 2017 Individual Artist's Program (IAP) are offering a total of $80,000 to local Chicago artists. Each of the four artists will receive $20,000 in cash awards for painting four murals to enhance several viaducts in the Pullman-Roseland communities.


By Safiyyah P. Muhammad

Four professional Chicago artists

will be awarded $20,000 each

to paint viaducts in the Pullman

community through Alderman

Anthony Beale’s Artist’s Mural Program,

and the City of Chicago’s 2017 Individual

Artist Program (IAP), according to Beale.

“This is something (mural painting)

that the community has been requesting

for a long time, but we did not have the

funds to do it. Mayor Rahm Emanuel

assisted us with matching funds that

came from federal funding to help with

the project,” the 9th Ward Alderman


Midwest Senior Regional Director,

for National Parks Conservation

Association, Lynn McClure who is now in

Chicago, has written several blog pieces

about the historic Pullman district. She

stated that the mural paintings serve

as an investment tool to beautify the

Roseland and Pullman communities.

“Since Pullman is a national monument,

there have been a lot of improvements

and investments in the 9th Ward for

Pullman and Roseland. These murals are

one more incredibly great investment in

the Pullman community, and I just think

these murals are great.”

Beale and the city’s Department

of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

(DCASE) are allocating $80,000 total for

the Mural initiative. According to a 9th

Ward press release, funds for the mural

program will come from the Illinois Arts

Council Agency through federal funds

provided by the National Endowment

for the Arts. Beale stated that each artist

would receive $20,000 to paint a mural

that reflects the history of the Pullman

community. “Having decent mural paintings help tell the history of

the community and the people who

live there. We want people to identify

with their community and know that

they have a rich history in the 9th

Ward, especially with the Pullman

Porter history.”

Beale pointed out that based

on the artists’ interpretation of the

community’s social and cultural

history, the artists will paint viaducts

located at South Cottage Grove at 95th

Street, 100th Street, 111th Street and

115th Street.

The Forgotten Tours website

stated that the Pullman community is

also where President Barack Obama

launched his political career in the

early years as a budding politician.

In an interview, Beale stated

that artists from local high school

including Harlan, Corliss, Gwendolyn

Brooks and Carver Military Academy

are invited to submit applications for

opportunities to paint the murals.

Beale’s press release stated that all

applicants must be residents of the

City of Chicago, with a valid street

address and must be a qualified artist

with specialized training.

Beale added that timeframe for

completion of the project is around

Black History Month, but he pointed

out that completion of the murals

has to do with the condition of the

viaducts and the necessary touch-up

work needed to enhance the viaduct’s

infrastructure. He stated that the

viaduct murals would become part of

the Pullman tours.

According to McClure, the

Pullman Foundation also offers

walking tours for visitors. She added

that the foundation has raised more

than $10 million to renovate the

Pullman Clock Tower into a visitor’s

center and renovations will occur

between 2017 and 2018.

To learn more about the 9th Ward

Artist Mural Program, please call

Brian Berg at 773-785-1100. To obtain

information about the historical

Pullman site, please visit