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In the Fall of 2018, City Open Workshop partnered with Catalyst Circle Rock in Austin to design a programming and space activation strategy for the Kehrein Center for the Arts, opening January 2019. Catalyst Circle Rock is a partnership between Catalyst Schools, Circle Urban Ministries and Rock of our Salvation Church in the Austin community of Chicago with a campus at Central Avenue and Washington Street.

How might cultural spaces extend their programming while remaining sustainable?


In partnership with Ravinia and the Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (November 2018), Catalyst Circle Rock redeveloped the original high school auditorium on-site into a 1,000 seat performing arts center. City Open worked with Catalyst Circle Rock in several ways from September to December. 


First, City Open helped to direct all past community input into the center into some themed options for creating interest and differentiation from the arts organizations of Chicago including thinking about the theater for groups focused on narrative or as a rehearsal resource for larger productions. A variety of programming options and image boards were created for public events such as Open House Chicago. Second, the group helped Catalyst Circle Rock in thinking through physical challenges of flexibility in the space as well as the center's budget and logistics. Finally, groups such as Austin Coming Together were involved to expand the idea of arts for community development to the larger neighborhood and coordinating efforts to attract performers, tourists and Chicagoans. 

Fall 2018


Elle Ramel

Bob Corporaal

Alice Walker-Lampani

Hiral Mangrola

Al Walker

Arnold Kasemsarn

Charlie Barlow

Kevin Dunphy

Eli Lechter

Jonathan Fair

Javier Pacheco


Catalyst Circle Rock

Final Presentations > December 6, 2018

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Kehrein Center for the Arts FINAL.jpg
Kehrein Center for the Arts FINAL (1).jp
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