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submitted by
Karina Quintana

For Immediate Release 

Media Contact: Karina Quintana, karina[@]chicagoartistscoalition[.org], (847) 903-8855

Chicago Artists Coalition Announces Leadership Transition

Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) today announced that Teresa Silva, currently CAC’s director of exhibitions and residencies, has been selected as its new executive and artistic director. She will assume the new role on August 1, 2020. The Chicago Artists Coalition is a non-profit organization that has provided artists and curators with the resources to live, work and thrive in the city since 1974.

The new position and Silva’s appointment bring to fruition an organizational restructure that Caroline Older, CAC’s executive director since 2014, and CAC’s board of directors have been working on since February 2020. The plan called for a 6-month transition to enable Older to take the next step in her career while ensuring the long-term success of CAC. 

“In early 2020, as we entered CAC’s 45th year of supporting Chicago artists and curators, it became clear that to accommodate changing priorities among arts funders we needed to innovate to ensure CAC’s sustainability,” said Older. “The new management structure provides for a viable financial future while allowing Teresa Silva to lead CAC’s efforts to support Chicago’s artist community.”

During her tenure, Older’s accomplishments include relocating CAC to enhance services and accessibility for artists, launching CAC’s first capital campaign, refreshing CAC’s brand with a new website, increasing grants to artists by 2000% and developing a board of directors of esteemed Chicago leaders while improving board and staff diversity.  Older leaves CAC on sound financial footing with over four years of balanced budgets and substantial emergency funds secured since March 16.

“Caroline raised the visibility and impact of CAC, led its move to a new location and substantially increased CAC’s financial support for artists. Her dedication to the success of CAC has been remarkable,” said Carmelita Tiu, Board Chair. “Teresa Silva has unparalleled experience and passion for CAC’s mission and programming, and will undoubtedly continue to build on the foundation that Caroline created.”

Silva was Older’s first hire at CAC, and the two were recognized together in Newcity’s Art 50: Chicago’s Visual Vanguard 2019. Silva will be responsible for procuring financial support for CAC through grants and donations, leading programming, residencies and exhibitions, and overseeing day-to-day operations of the organization. She brings to her position a vast network of artists, curators and arts patrons. Karina Quintana and Aileen Cortez, who have worked at CAC since 2019, will support Silva.

“COVID-19 has heightened the need to support artists so that they can continue to work and thrive in Chicago,” said Silva. “I am grateful for this opportunity and that, thanks to Caroline, CAC is poised for a dynamic future that will continue to contribute to Chicago’s reputation as a world-class arts center.” 

As director of exhibitions and residencies since 2014, Silva has helped launch the careers of countless artists and curators. CAC alumni have gone on to exhibit in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Storm King Art Center and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art and galleries across the country. CAC alums also hold positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, EXPO CHICAGO, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About Chicago Artists Coalition 

Chicago Artists Coalition is a non-profit organization that supports contemporary Chicago artists and curators by offering residency programs, exhibitions, professional development and resources that enable them to live, work and thrive in the city. CAC is deeply committed to advancing the cause of art and its importance in Chicago’s culture and economy by cultivating a wide-reaching civic, philanthropic and public support network. For more information, visit

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