The South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) preserves, conserves and promotes the legacy and future of African American art and artists while educating the community on the value of art and culture.
As the oldest independently owned African American art center in the United States, the SSCAC takes pride in its past and present contributions to the development and showcasing of emerging and established artists. An established resource for the art community locally, nationally and abroad, the SSCAC seeks out and educates young artists; exhibits the work of emerging and international recognized artists; presents and hosts a variety of cultural and educational programs and serves as a repository for African American artists, scholars, collectors, and the community. The SSCAC is committed to creating a community that values: Creativity, Excellence, Respect, Collaboration, and Stewardship. We successfully advance our work as curators, educators, collectors and preservers because of our resourcefulness, resilience, and commitment to meaningful community engagement. Since being founded by
Dr. Margaret Burroughs and others in 1940, the South Side Community Art Center has been instrumental in the careers of many nationally and internationally established African American artists - from the WPA era to the present. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks wrote and taught at the Center, photographer Gordon Parks had his first darkroom in the Center’s basement and Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett shared what they learned from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with other artists who could not afford the tuition. In recent years, the SSCAC has supported the careers of B. Rael Ali, Candace Hunter, Kerry James Marshall, Faheem Majeed, and Joyce Owens. These names are just a few of the many artists who have contributed to the Center’s rich legacy. In 2018, the South Side Community Art Center was named a historic landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over the next five years, the South Side Community Art Center seeks to become a thriving pillar of excellence in African American art and culture that contributes to a more culturally enriched Chicago while ensuring that its historic landmark arts center can meet the needs of artists, youth and our community long into the future.

Graduate Archives Assistant  
A unique opportunity is seeking a unique individual.

Position Summary

For a project funded by grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the South Side Community Art Center  (SSCAC) seeks candidates with a focus on the preservation of African American historical records for two positions as Graduate Archives Assistant to work on a project processing a collection of archival documents at the heart of the Center's history on a part-time, temporary basis. We are seeking candidates who are passionate about management, documentation, preservation and providing access to archival holdings centered on African American art and the study of African American art and artists with a focus on Chicago. This position is intended to provide hands-on experience for emerging historians, museum and information professionals who are currently enrolled in graduate programs in Library and Information Science, African American Art History, Museum and Exhibition Studies, American History, African American Studies or related areas. Applications should be sent to open until filled; candidates applying by April 1 will receive fullest consideration.

Please send cover letter and CV including list of three (3) references to rzorach@sscartcenter.org.

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Arranging, describing and digitizing archival materials: re-organizing fragile materials into archival folders and boxes, handwriting information onto folders, scanning and photography of designated archival and art collection materials.
  • Conducting research to provide information to support the collection
  • Producing documentation to support the physical and digital collection (Metadata, Finding Aid, Tagging, LOC Subject Headings)

Candidates must possess:

  • Coursework in Library and Information Science, African American Art History, Museum and Exhibition Studies, American History, African American Studies, and/or related fields
  • A demonstrated interest in African American art
  • A demonstrated interest in archives or archival research
  • Excellent organizational skills, accuracy, and attention to detail; 
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written; 
  • Strong interpersonal skills; team-oriented but also capable of working independently with minimal supervision; 
  • Ability to multi-task and be flexible in work assignments.

The ideal candidate would also possess:

  • Knowledge of cataloging procedures and standard nomenclature; 
  • Knowledge of standard museum collections management practices and procedures; 
  • Physical coordination/ability to handle and move fragile collection objects; ability to lift up to 40 pounds; 
  • Understanding of the proprietary nature of museum collections and documents and ability to adhere to museum policies regarding confidentiality; 
  • Familiarity with museum collections software; knowledge of PastPerfect preferred​​

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status. The South Side Community Art Center is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer. Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact the

South Side Community Art Center by calling

(773) 373-1026 or by emailing info@sscartcenter.org