Laura Harper Leaves Chicago Artists Coalition

August 15, 2009 · Print This Article

The Chicago Reader reports that Laura Harper, executive director of the Chicago Artists Coalition, has resigned “for personal reasons” after only eight months at the post. Her last day had been July 31st. Read more in Deanna Isaacs’ Reader story here.

5 thoughts on “Laura Harper Leaves Chicago Artists Coalition”

  1. Olga says:

    The Reader article is so funny….”Database problems” caused by Oliver Bosche and Olga Stefan. Blame the former director, since she’s far away… When I came to the CAC, the website and the database were so old, that not only did we have to recreate the whole database system, but also create a completely new way of online interactivity, to engage our constituents and maintain a relationship with them. Before resigning his webmaster position for obvious reasons, Oliver Bosche left for the CAC, in Laura’s possession, a whole document outlining the type of database he had created, how it would need to be maintained, the language it was written in, and all other details needed by a new programmer to be hired. He indicated that someone did indeed need to be hired in his stead to manage the website/database. It’s too bad that a database is being blamed for a resignation….And the insinuation is that the former director is at fault….

  2. Claudine Ise says:

    Hi Olga, I purposefully did not include any of the bits about the database in my post because that part of the news story seemed speculative to me (tho I noticed that it’s been mentioned in other blogs). I hope you didn’t feel called upon to explain further here – I was more interested in letting our readers know that Laura Harper had left her position, not so much in “why” — so many artists are invested in what’s happening with the CAC and want to know who’s at the top.

  3. olga stefan says:

    Oh, no worries. Thanks much for your nice answer though. It wasn’t an explanation necessarily to you, but in response to the Reader, since Deanna felt it necessary to insinuate that somehow my husband is at fault (and of course, me as former-director)… for having resigned as pro-bono webmaster after accepting a real job in Zurich??? And of course, she didn’t really question why a database should pose such an insurmountable problem that would lead to a resignation…Especially after such success with a new space, artists studios, and a collective gallery, that all sound very interesting as projects.

  4. Laura Harper says:

    Despite what was speculated in The Reader, I did not leave the CAC because of the database or for personal reasons for that matter. I left because I was hired under false pretenses without the finances, resources, structure and support promised. I made the best of the situation for as long as I could, but felt the board was too uninvolved and oblivious to the day-to-day realities. This was the case before my hire (as made apparent through misinformation provided to me upon hire) and continued to be the case. Thankfully, my leaving had the desired result and the board has begun to become more involved.

    I did not initially respond to The Reader because I did not want to make the organization look bad or to cause bad blood. I believe that the organization has great potential and a strong membership base. I was glad to have the opportunity to conceive of and implement revitalizing new programs including Coalition Gallery – Cooperative gallery of the CAC and the artists’ work studios in my short time there, as well as to move the organization to a vibrant new location and to give it a face in the community. As always, I wish CAC the best of luck in the future.

  5. RAY YEAMANS SR. says:


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