The Chicago Cultural Alliance’s mission is to connect, promote, and support centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive Chicago.
We are an active consortium of 41 Chicago-area cultural heritage museums, centers and historical societies who span 28 neighborhoods and 7 suburbs in the Chicago area and represent over 30 different cultures from around the world.
Our vision is a city where all communities have a voice, and cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration are an integral part of Chicago’s civic fabric.
The Chicago Cultural Alliance is the only organization of its kind in the US, representing 40 Chicago-area cultural heritage museums, centers, and historical societies, our Core Members. Through the Alliance, Core Members are connected to a wide range of civic and arts organizations, our Partners. Our Partners and Core Members works together to increase each other’s capacity, working towards our shared vision of a more culturally inclusive and equitable region.
The Alliance was formally created in 2008 after beginning at The Field Museum as the Cultural Connections program in 1998, created under the leadership of our founders Dr. Alaka Wali and Dr. Rosa Cabrera.
The Alliance’s programming and services celebrate diversity, preserve history, and honor tradition while amplifying cross-cultural collaboration. Offerings include large-scale collaborative programming that showcase our membership’s work and missions, shared services and professional development opportunities that build capacity, and promotion that platforms cultural events and exhibits across the city.
- First voice of Core Members and their communities is central to the Alliance’s operations and programs, leading to social change driven by community concerns and resources.
- Heritage is an asset not only to explain history, but also to address contemporary issues and to build leadership and innovation for the future.
- All programs are collaborative and cross-cultural, building greater impact than could be achieved by any one member or partner individually.
- The Alliance is an active community and not a loose network or a purely professional consortium.
- Engagement is not simply outreach; it is the co-development and creation of ideas, programs, and initiatives.
- Core Members contribute their professional and community expertise.
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