You Can Propel Us Into 2020!

November 5, 2019 By anne-cauley

Arts of Life represents what the world can and should be. 

When I met Ronnie Cuculich, I was immediately taken by her playful, imaginative spirit. For decades, Ronnie had lived in institutions and worked menial jobs. Together we dreamed of something better – a work environment based on equality and equity.

In January 2000, nine intrepid artists joined us to launch Arts of Life. It took time for our culture to take root – many of our artists were not accustomed to having a voice. Over time, Ronnie’s self-advocacy fostered leadership skills in her colleagues. As our artists flourished, they began to speak up and push our organization forward. Twenty years later, the Arts of Life community has expanded beyond anything we could have imagined thanks to the voices of hundreds of artists, volunteers, staffers, and supporters like you.

Collectively we strengthen Arts of Life. Now, we ask for you to empower our community further with a donation, enabling artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities to develop their creative practices, compose and perform music, advocate for professional development programming and exhibitions, and grow as leaders.

Your contribution today ensures that the moments we are most proud of – from artists lending a helping hand and supporting each other to large-scale exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center and partnerships with Groupon and 7Greens – continue to proliferate.

We rely on generous individuals like you to provide 25% of our operating costs. Our goal is to raise $75,000 by December 31. Whether you can give $50 or $5,000, your tax-deductible donation will bolster our community with the trained staff, art supplies, studio spaces, exhibitions, and more needed to help our artists succeed. 

Not only that! If you donate $175+ online between now and Giving Tuesday (Tuesday, December 3rd), the Coleman Foundation will generously double your gift. Donate today to make your contribution go even further! PLUS, as a thank you to our #GivingTuesday supporters, all donations on Tuesday, Dec. 3 of $50+ will receive a 2020 Arts of Life calendar and all $175+ donations will receive a limited edition Cole Fox print!

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary, but we have only just begun. We dream of seeing our artists represented at a major international fair, projected onto the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, and participating in more creative and fulfilling projects. Your support now is critical for building on our two-decade strong foundation and propelling us into the next chapter of opportunity for our artists.

With much appreciation,

Denise Fisher

Co-founder and Executive Director

Our co-founder Ronnie had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed mixing traditionally female and male symbols. Inspired by a Rolling Stone magazine cover featuring Brad Pitt in a dress, Ronnie created thousands of “babydolls.” To this day, this image symbolizes the creative spirit of Ronnie and the hundreds of artists who have followed in her stead.