Vision and Mission

Vision Statement

The MCA is an artist-activated and audience-engaged contemporary art museum. We generate art, ideas, and conversation around the creative process. We are a cultural leader of local necessity and international distinction.

Mission Statement

The MCA is an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time.

The museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs to excite, challenge, and illuminate our visitors and offer insight into the creative process.

The MCA engages diverse audiences and creates a sense of community by providing a place to contemplate and discuss contemporary art and culture and issues of our day.

Featured image

MCA Chicago front steps. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

About the Vision

The guiding principles of our Vision are:

Civic Visibility

As an audience-centered facility that is constantly creating new ways to engage our public, the MCA is an important cultural hub within the city of Chicago. A rotating schedule of artwork, performances, and exhibitions draws local and national visitors, making the MCA integral to our community as a leading 21st-century museum for a diverse and energetic city. New and expanded avenues of communication—both in and outside of the MCA—facilitate dialogue and catalyze public imagination and engagement.

Program Excellence

The MCA’s programmatic initiatives engage our audiences in dialogues with living artists and include innovative exhibitions of works by emerging artists, a reenergized permanent collection and rotating collection-based exhibitions, and live arts and artist commissions on view throughout the museum. These programs drive our mission to be a lively center of local relevance and international repute, where culture and ideas are shared and tested.

Lifelong Learning

The MCA is a gathering place where people can share in groundbreaking art and ideas. Our expanded education programs—which include public programs, the launch of a teen program designed to foster student educators, and new opportunities for audience participation—establish the MCA as a vital site for lifelong dialogue and exchange.

Innovative Platforms

The MCA website is a digital platform on par with our physical site. It engages users around the world with an enhanced, cutting-edge design and content that delivers rich multimedia, including audio and video clips featuring artist interviews, curators’ discussions, in-depth exhibition microsites and behind-the-scenes tours, as well as unprecedented access to our collection.

Expanded Access to the Museum

Award-winning architectural firm Johnston Marklee has been selected to redesign the layout of the museum and create a master plan that includes expanded, dedicated areas for audience engagement as well as a new restaurant. The newly imagined space will encourage visitors to explore art and ideas and gain greater insight to the MCA’s exhibitions and programs. Our dining experience will feature a street-level, world-class restaurant, helmed by one of Chicago's most creative chefs, that invites visitors to gather, converse, and enjoy locally sourced, fresh cuisine. Stay tuned for more news and developments.

Vision Campaign

The MCA Vision Campaign began in 2012 and supports programs, learning, innovation, and community outreach. The goals of the Vision are fueled by a group of committed donors who have generously supported the Vision Campaign.