CHICAGO A new grant for the South Side Community Art Center is helping the institution stay true to its mission to conserve, protect and preserve as the center highlights Black artists.

The institution opened at the corner of 38th Street and Michigan Avenue in 1940 and remains a hidden gem of the Bronzeville community.

The center was initially sponsored by the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the dedication ceremony.

“Art is a way to capture history and I love art because it allows you to see history in various forms,” executive director Monique Brinkman-Hill said.

Brinkman-Hill has been in her position for two and a half years and is overseeing the $75,000 grant the institution received to help preserve and digitize the works of Black artists.

“For us, the ultimate goal is to really get those narratives into the conversation so we really understand who we’ve been, who we are now and where we could go,” Ellen Wadey of the Donnelly Foundation said.

 The South Side Community Art Center is preparing to open a new public exhibit on April 15th – celebrating LGBTQ artists.