Our Process So Far

Our Timeframe

After several months of planning and coordinating, our work began in earnest in February 2021. The timeline below outlines key milestones in the project that launched this website to help jumpstart Imagine Just. It’s crucial to understand that Imagine Just is not a singular project with an end date, it is an ongoing, evolving, and living initiative that will continue to change as needed.

February – June (2021)

Research and Groundwork

June – July (2021)

Community Co‑Creation

August – September (2021)

Synthesis and Share-out

October 2021 and beyond

Community of Practice

Research and Groundwork

We began our work by exploring and analyzing the landscape of relevant work to date at the intersection of anti-racism and the arts, both in Chicago and around the country. This learning helped us to build our team of ambassadors, artists, and advisors, and informed our tools, materials, and outreach for community co-creation.

Explore the resources we used >

See the people involved >

Community Co-Creation

During this 6-week period, we hosted and facilitated a series of group-based workshops for Chicago’s arts and culture community to come together, share stories, and imagine ideas for an anti-racist future. We also invited the community to contribute their own ideas through our website. Ambassadors convened and hosted unique co-creation sessions with their communities to focus on specific topics. Embedded Artists participated, observed, and crafted creative responses to the sessions they attended.

See the ideas the community generated >

Read our event recaps >

Synthesis and Share-out

We read over 240 submissions from 6 co-creation sessions and 13 ambassador sessions while also re-familiarizing ourselves with the discussions from each session. There were so many inspiring and scintillating ideas so we spent a lot of time grouping them into similar affinity groups to quickly and clearly communicate their core points. This collaborative process helped us draft our pathways.

Read the shareout >

We are here!

Building a Community of Practice

Our living vision is held in shared ownership with a community of practice that can activate and hold Chicago’s arts and culture sector accountable to realizing this vision. We aim to fund existing and future community-led initiatives, projects, and campaigns that align with our vision through a community-advised fund; organize individuals and communities around key community actions and policy changes that advance our vision in solidarity with parallel groups and coalitions; and practice new ways of being and working together that center creative processes as a means for healing and transformation.

What we are working towards

Take a look at our three pathways to a just and equitable arts and culture ecosystem.


Join our community of practice

Want to be a part of our work? Send us a message and our Program Manager will get back to you.

Join Us