The SECC Arts & Culture Capital Lab (ACCL) is a neighborhood initiative anchored by the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) with founding partners, The Joyce Foundation and the Illinois State Treasurer Charitable Trust, focused on the intersection of economic development and arts and culture initiatives.

Our focus is supporting capacity building and increasing pathways to economic self sufficiency for artists and creative entrepreneurs currently living in and serving Chicago neighborhoods.

This focus ensures that artists can master the complexities and ambiguities of both making art and developing their careers in the 21st century. Our program offerings include:

  • We believe an artist is an asset that exists in every neighborhood.
  • Every Chicago neighborhood deserves a thriving cultural district.
  • Community Artrepreneurship is our driving principle.


ACCL is working to increase support for culturally diverse groups of artists (including but not limited to music, theatre, film, dance, other performing arts, painting, sculpture, printmaking, fashion, photography, and other visual media) and to prepare more artists of color to enter the local creative entrepreneur network.

Our goal is to support community and economic development through the arts while advancing hubs of creativity and innovation in divested neighborhoods of Chicago.


NICE is a program that expands upon SECC’s role as a Neighborhood Business Development Center — focusing on artists and creatives specifically, while strategically closing knowledge gaps and providing skills in multiple areas of marketing, business and social media.


ACCL is creating collaborations between arts and culture agencies/commissions and other key sectors to co-design, invest, and deliver on equitable development while addressing structural barriers for artists of color and ethnic diversity of the arts in the region.

We’re actively recruiting strategic partners, as well as growing our Creative Entrepreneur Network.