220 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Located between Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue), the MCA champions the provocative side of contemporary art and culture. Our innovative exhibitions, performances, and programs will inspire you.
Founded in 1967 as a Kunsthalle, or noncollecting art gallery, the MCA is now one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to the art of our time. Since our inception, it has been our mission to exhibit new and experimental artists working in visual art, music, stage, and film, paired with ambitious education programs. In 1974, the MCA expanded our mission to include collecting and preserving contemporary art for future generations with the inauguration of a permanent collection, which has grown to include more than 2,000 works. After 29 years in a storefront on Ontario Street, the museum moved to our current location in 1996, giving our collection, exhibitions, and programming room to evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century art and audiences.
The MCA is an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time.
The museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs to excite, challenge, and illuminate our visitors and to provide insight into the creative process.
The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community, and be a place for contemplation, stimulation, and discussion about contemporary art and culture.
The MCA is an artist-activated and audience-engaged contemporary art museum. We generate art, ideas, and conversation around the creative process. We are a cultural leader of local necessity and international distinction. —The MCA Vision Statement
The MCA Vision Campaign began in 2010–11 with a considerable amount of self-reflection and analysis: What kind of museum are we? Who do we want to become? What can we learn from similar arts organizations internationally? How do we serve the Chicago community and how can we do it better? What’s the future of the MCA and how do we get there?
We recognize that contemporary art is not for everyone and that it can be challenging. We strive to help our culturally curious audiences understand and interact with contemporary art and artists. Interpretive programming and publications often emphasize the creative process by showing finished works along with works in progress. The MCA frequently invites living artists to lead and help shape interpretive programming. These efforts to recontextualize postwar art take place within the museum and beyond our walls, with forays into current technology.
The goal of the campaign is to strengthen the museum’s commitment to the works of living artists as well as to engage diverse audiences with artist-led programs, multimedia exhibitions, and performances.
Significant gifts to the Vision Campaign support the museum’s efforts to reach this goal: $10 million from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund; $10 million from Helen and Sam Zell, on behalf of the Zell Family Foundation to create the Zell Fund for Artistic Excellence; and $10 million from Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, resulting in the naming of the Edlis Neeson Theater in their honor.
Former Board Chair King Harris emphasized the importance of balancing both sustainability and growth, recognizing that because of the Vision Campaign, “the museum today is on solid financial ground and can realize this ambitious vision.”
Tue 10 am–8 pm
Wed–Sun 10 am–5 pm
Tue 10 am–8 pm
Wed–Mon 10 am–6 pm
Closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas
Box Office: 312-397-4010