Around the Coyote has been in trouble for awhile (read Deanna Isaacs article on the organization’s woes in the January ’10 issue of The Reader here), but at the end of last week New City reported that, as of May 8th, the 20 year old Chicago nonprofit arts organization had officially closed its doors and ceased operations (and those doors are *really* shut: even ATC’s website no longer exists). By many accounts ATC’s program had been in decline for several years, and Executive Director Alison Stites was quoted in Isaac’s article saying that she’d been “trying to figure out if there is a natural time for this organization to end.” Looks like that time has come.  Duncan and Richard interviewed Stites on Episode 110 of the podcast, right around the time Around the Coyote made its controversial move from the Flat Iron Building in Wicker Park to the Splat Flats (a building which is now up for sale).  Here’s the text from the press release issued by ATC Board President Chris McVety:

After two decades of working with Chicago’s vibrant emerging arts community, Around the Coyote is regrettably closing its doors and ceasing operations as of May 8, 2010.  The staff and board of directors would like to express their thanks to all of the artists, donors and collectors that supported the not-for-profit for so many years. Through the years we did our best to add to the Chicago art dialogue,  support the start of strong art careers, and foster the collecting of the emerging arts. We are proud of what we accomplished, and we are confident that with continued vigor, good things lie ahead for the arts in Chicago.
Of course, while it is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of Around the Coyote, we are encouraged by the certainty that in our absence, other opportunities for artists will emerge. Our tireless and devoted staff have been working to allocate the remaining resources, knowledge and equipment we have to other local arts non-profits in hopes of encouraging continue growth in this area. Some of these Chicago-based arts non-profits are Three Walls and Chicago Artists Coalition. We encourage all of our supporters to get involved with these excellent organizations. Three Walls, which holds gallery exhibitions, residencies and special programs in the visual arts, is having a fundraiser on May 28 which we hope you will attend. Chicago Artists Coalition is entering an exciting time as they re-imagine their programming for emerging artists. They have put together a new team and are focused on advocating for artists, and providing professional development and exhibition opportunities throughout the city of Chicago.
Special thanks to Allison Stites, Around the Coyote’s interim Executive Director, for her passion and dedication to the organization through its final days of operation.
Chis McVety

Board President

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for Artforum.com and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.