Gallery 37 is a job training program and was created in 1991 by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs' Lois Weisberg and Maggie Daley, wife of the city's former mayor, Richard M. Daley. Its purpose is to attract artistically inclined city youth to work as apprentice artists at a vacant downtown lot known as Block 37, bound by State, Dearborn, Washington, and Randolph streets. Nevertheless, Gallery 37 maintained satellite sites at Grant Park, and many of Chicago's public high schools. Gallery 37 is currently run by After School Matters, a not-for-profit organization that partners with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Community-Based Organizations to expand out-of-school opportunities for Chicago teens.
The program was open to young people between the ages of 14 to 21 living within the city limits. Gallery 37 initially was a summer program, but later expanded its operations during the fall and spring at hours that allowed apprentices to continue attending school during the day. More importantly, Gallery 37 offered young people the opportunity to work with professional artists, such as Gladys Nilsson .
Programs run in Block 37, or Gallery 37 Downtown run through Spring, Summer, and Fall. There are programs currently available in Culinary Arts, Dance, Literary Arts, Opera Workshop & Theater, and Visual & Media Arts. Students earn stipends by the end of the program. There are several other programs all over Chicago run privately by high schools and parks.
- About Us, After School Matters, http://www.afterschoolmatters.org/about/
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