College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > Stockyard Institute > About
Founded in 1995 by artist and College of Education professor Jim Duignan, the Stockyard Institute is a civic, artistic, and social practice project that approaches issues of community, equity, and representation through art and activism. The Stockyard Institute began in Chicago’s Back of the Yards community and soon expanded its reach throughout the city and later internationally. Director Jim Duignan’s early influences by local activists, artist collectives, teachers, neighborhood artists, and the City of Chicago itself inform and inspire his work and mission.
Stockyard Institute projects span platforms ranging from small watt radio stations, various publications, artist residencies, architectural interventions, curricular models, community performances, city-wide programs, public art, and much more.
Summarizing the driving force and ultimate pursuit of 25 years of art and activism is no easy feat. With work that evolves with the changing needs of Chicago’s communities, but ever dedicated to the longstanding spirit of these neighborhoods, the Stockyard Institute’s mission is far more straightforward than one might imagine. Simply put, the Stockyard Institute is a platform for building relationships throughout Chicago. Jim Duignan shares, “I work in the cracks and along the edges of the city, and the practice is rooted in love.”