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New Program Director of Arts & Culture Announced

CHICAGO – The Board of Directors of the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) and Executive Director, Diane Burnham, are pleased to welcome Tiffany Mikell as Program Director of Arts & Culture Initiatives, effective February 2020.

The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) serves as a community development innovator.  For the past 68 years, SECC has been working to adapt to ever-changing economic and social conditions to create new possibilities for the field while best serving our constituents. 

Building upon the impact of the SECC Neighborhood Enhancement Grant, which since its 1999 launch (over 20 years), has awarded nearly $1 Million in beautification projects to enhance quality of life in south east Chicago communities — the SECC has secured 2 new funding sources — allowing expansion of its creative, culturally centered community development initiatives.

“In alignment with our strategic plan, alongside economic development and specific to the arts, SECC programs support Chicago creative entrepreneurs while also fostering neighborhood beautification and sustainable cultural growth.

As of February 2020, SECC has hired Tiffany Mikell to serve as Program Director for Arts & Culture initiatives. “

 ~Diane Burnham, Executive Director

In 2019, SECC received funds from the Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frederich’s Charitable Trust Fund to launch the Creative Entrepreneurship Initiative which strategically centers on closing knowledge gaps and providing skills in multiple areas of marketing, business and social media so that artists can master the complexities and ambiguities of both making art and establishing a career as a creative in the 21st century; this initiative addresses structural barriers and essential support to artists on the South Side, helping them think about their entrepreneurial options.   

Also, with new seed funding from the Joyce Foundation, SECC will launch a new Equitable Investment in the Arts Seed Grant Initiative, which will provide grant funds and support to artists and community arts organizations. Grants will be made to those based in communities with previous under-investment in the arts; for arts-based projects that directly contribute to short- and/or long-term community asset and wealth building.    

These new SECC programs will officially launch in March 2020 and are designed to increase support for a culturally diverse group of artists and prepare more artists of color to enter the creative entrepreneur network in Chicago. 

Click here to read Tiffany’s Mikell’s full bio.  Mikell has published a personal blog about her new role here

Click here to see the entire SECC staff.