2015-16 Fellow: Theaster Gates

Photo of Theaster Gates

Named one of the hundred most important people in the art world by ArtReview and "Innovator of the Year" by the Wall Street Journal, Theaster Gates is a multimedia artist, activist, social engineer, curator, cultural entrepreneur and esteemed member of the elite global art world. His message that art and creativity are engines for attacking poverty, revitalizing neighborhoods and providing opportunity is motivated by a strong social justice agenda.

Of particular note are his founding of the "Dorchester Project" and "Arts Incubator" in Chicago, turning abandoned buildings into cultural hubs. He also founded Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on cultural-driven redevelopment and affordable space initiatives in under-resourced communities, which currently manages projects in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago

As director of Arts + Public Life at the University of Chicago, Gates builds creative connections on Chicago's South Side through artist residencies, arts education, and artist-led projects and events.

The Richman Fellowship will bring Gates to Brandeis from March 21 through March 24, including a public talk on Wednesday, March 23.