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Chicago Into the World: Artistic and Cultural Exchange Along a Continuum

Art Fair, Talk

Julien Creuzet, Installation view for In/Situ during EXPO Chicago 2023, Courtesy the artist and DOCUMENT, Chicago | Lisbon

21c Museum hotel
55 E Ontario street
Chicago, IL, 60611

Sunday, April 14 | 10 am – 11 am


21c Museum Hotel, ART WORKS Projects, CEC ArtsLink, and Villa Albertine invite you to a thrilling conversation, over coffee and pastries on the last day of Expo Chicago, on gaining insights into how distinctive platforms facilitate international artistic and cultural exchanges.

If we understand artists as change makers, organizers, and civic leaders locally, how might we expand the impact of their work through intentional connection with relevant artists and communities across the globe? Join us to learn about the ways these unique platforms support international artistic and cultural exchange for artists, partner with civic and government entities, as well as private foundations, and forge new pathways supporting the essential role of artists in society. 

Hear from artists and collaborators who have worked with these organizations about the network impact that can be achieved when we work together. 


Assia Drame aka Azzeazy, Visual Artist, Poet, 2023 laureate of the SARR Prize and Villa Albertine resident in Chicago
Azzeazy is a multidisciplinary artist, studying a Master degree at Beaux-Arts de Paris. She was the laureate of the 2023 Sarr prize – Villa Albertine in partnership with Beaux-Arts de Paris awarding her with a one-month research-residency in Chicago. She repairs and play with neuronal pathways through drawing-installation, video art and soundscape. She previously integrated an exchange program at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, and worked on creating collective performance around meditation, sound and  themes of parasitism and symbiosis.

Catherine Sarr, founder and CEO of ALMASIKA and the SARR Collection
Catherine Sarr is the founder and CEO of ALMASIKA, a fine jewelry brand rooted in symbols, shapes, and stories that transcend cultural boundaries. Through the SARR Collection, with her husband Mamadou-Abou Sarr, she supports emerging artists, notably with the SARR Prize, in partnership with Les Beaux-Arts de Paris, and a residency program in the United States, in partnership with Villa Albertine. Sarr is involved in several philanthropic and civic activities, including being a board member of the Terra Foundation for American Arts and the Committee on Arts of Africa of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was named Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) by the French Governement in 2022.

Megha Ralapati, Program Director of Fellowships at CEC ArtsLink
Megha Ralapati is the Program Director of Fellowships at CEC ArtsLink. Prior to this role, she developed and oversaw the Jackman Goldwasser Residency at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, where she forged partnerships with the French Embassy, Goethe Institut, Asian Cultural Council, Northwestern University and other institutions to design intentional cross-cultural artistic exchanges. Megha specializes in artist mobility and has collaborated with community-centered organizations based in the US and internationally like Project Row Houses, ARTPORT Tel Aviv, and Center for Contemporary Art Lagos. 

Bora Un, Managing Director of ART WORKS Projects
Bora Un is a nonprofit leader with two decades of experience working across the arts and culture, higher education, NGO, and policy sectors. Under her leadership, AWP celebrated an important 15-year anniversary milestone and executed on a strategic sustainability and growth campaign including securing foundation status in the EU and securing foundational support to scale their signature program, the Emerging Lens Fellowship. As a culturally competent strategic consultant, Bora has advised and worked with a range of global clients on strategic alignment and advancement initiatives leveraging her personal and professional passion for authentic storytelling. 

Ivan Arenas, Senior Associate Director at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Trained as an anthropologist and architect, his research focuses on how social movements use creative art practices to establish solidarities beyond the state. Dr. Arenas is a practicing artist and has curated three yearlong exhibits at UIC that have mobilized and extended his research on the intersection between protest practices, social transformation, and aesthetics. Beyond the University, he is active as chair of ART WORKS Projects‘ Board of Directors, a member of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Chicago United for Equity, the Pilsen Housing Cooperative, and the Chicago ACT Collective.

Jennifer Murray, Museum Manager at 21c Chicago
Jennifer Murray is an artist, educator, and cultural producer who lives and works in Chicago. As the current Museum Manager at 21c Chicago, she collaborates with artists and arts organizations to create diverse exhibitions and programming. She is the former executive director of Filter Photo, a nonprofit festival, exhibition, and educational space.  She was an Instructor of Photography at Loyola University Chicago for fifteen years and consults and mentors artists on project development and exhibition preparation.

In partnership with

21c Museum Hotels

21c Museum Hotels was founded by philanthropists and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. They launched 21c in 2006 with a vision to combine contemporary art, boutique hotels, and culinary experiences. Their goal was to support urban renewal and regional agriculture. 21c has expanded to multiple locations across the United States, each offering a unique blend of art, hospitality, and dining. The exhibition displayed at 21c Museum hotel in Chicago proposes 100 multi-media artworks by 60 artists from across the globe. The public is invited to browse the museum at its leisure and to enjoy regular  cultural programming.

For more information


ART WORKS Projects (AWP) is a Chicago and The Hague based visual arts non-profit dedicated to advancing social justice and human rights through documentary film and photography. Founded in 2006, AWP’s projects have been presented on five continents, in 35+ countries, with 225 partners, and in collaboration with more than 200 artists to produce visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels.

For more information

CEC Artslink

CEC ArtsLink advocates and supports transnational cultural mobility and collaboration, empowering artists and arts leaders to engage communities in dialogue and creative projects for a more equitable, compassionate, and sustainable world. We resolutely embrace inclusivity, independent expression, human rights, and the development of civil societies.

CEC ArtsLink supports dialogue between artists and communities through individual encounters, public events, transnational networks, and virtual platforms. Founded in 1962, CEC ArtsLink believed that it was essential for citizens of the United States and the Soviet Union to meet and build mutual trust, while their governments engaged in the Cold War. Today, artists and arts leaders play a vital role in nurturing civil societies. Through the simple act of bringing people together in a shared experience, through exploration of the unfamiliar, art can dissolve borders and help communities overcome distrust and insularity. As nations increasingly retreat behind their borders, it becomes imperative for the work of artists and arts leaders to catalyze communities in mitigating conflict and prejudice locally, nationally, and globally.

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Expo Chicago

EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, features leading international galleries alongside the highest quality platform for contemporary art and culture. The city of Chicago has proudly hosted a global contemporary and modern art exposition for nearly forty years and serves as the site of the first international art fair in the Americas. Since its inception, EXPO CHICAGO has remained dedicated to supporting local, regional, and international arts communities, with strong regional support throughout the Greater Midwest, both US coasts, and maintained a growing international commitment from Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
For more information 

SARR Collection

Catherine and Mamadou-Abou Sarr passionately collect and support Art Initiatives and institutions in the U.S., France and West Africa.  With a large focus on contemporary photography, the SARR Collection spans over seventy years of production, crossing over into mediums of painting and sculpture with work from iconic artists but also focusing on emerging artists. In 2021, they created the SARR Prize in partnership with Les Beaux-Arts Paris to support and empower artists at an early stage in their practices.

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