Launched on November 11, 2015, the MCA’s website rethinks what a museum website can do, providing visitors with greater access than ever before to contemporary art and culture. It offers extensive coverage of MCA exhibitions, collections, and events, as well as a broad spectrum of stories about our extended community of artists, audiences, and partnering organizations. It also serves as a rich archive of our past exhibitions and programs, and a demonstration of the long-term relationships that the MCA has forged with art communities and audiences in Chicago and throughout the world.
Design, development, and content management system:
Tomáš Celizna, assisted by Asger Behncke Jacobsen and Sebastian Ly Serena
Sina Bahram, Prime Access Consulting
The site showcases the visual identity developed for the museum by Linda van Deursen and Armand Mevis of the Dutch design firm Mevis en van Deursen and the MCA font designed by Karl Nawrot.
The MCA website is produced by the Design, Publishing, and New Media department at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: Chief Content Officer Susan Chun, Director of Digital Media Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Production Editor Shauna Skalitzky, Digital Media Associate Bridget O’Carroll, Senior Editor Sheila Majumdar, Design Director Dylan Fracareta, Senior Designer Gabriel Melcher, Production Designer Dorothy Lin, Associate Editor Leah Froats, Manager of Planning and Production Joe Iverson, and Administrative Assistant Fontaine Capel, along with Manager of Rights and Images Bonnie Rosenberg and Rights and Images Assistant Elyssa Lange. Former team members who have made key contributions to the site design, content, and functionality include Senior Interactive Designer Tobey Albright, Digital Media Designer Paul Esposito, Editor in Chief Lisa Meyerowitz, Editor Lindsey Anderson, Rights and Images Assistant Lauren Reese, Rights and Images Assistant Analú Maria López, and Rights and Images Coordinator Jared Sheldon, as well as web developers Marty Spellerberg and Nathan White.
The site is the result of a collaboration with many members of the MCA staff and our extended community. We are grateful to current and former staff members and interns who have researched, created, and proofed content for the site, especially Amanda Abernathy, Matti Allison, Annie Breckenridge Barrett, Phill Cabeen, Michelle Clairmont, Gina Crowley, Radu David, Kamila Farshchi, Nicholas Fattore, Alex Field, Linsey Foster, Pat Fraser, Sarah Grosspietsch, Kristen Kaniewski, Nathan Keay, Martha Koch, Molly Laemle, Amy Louvier, Karsten Lund, Erin Matson, Diandra Miller, Peggy Papaioannou, Phongtorn Phongluantum, Adrienne Quint, Matthew Renton, Mary Richardson, Abraham Ritchie, Tola Ros, Lily Yates, and Steve Zirbel.
The design and production of the site is made possible in part by the Kovler Web Fund. The digitization and cataloguing of works from the MCA Collection was supported by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Accessibility on the Web
Accessibility on the Web
This website was designed with accessibility in mind, and every effort has been made to comply with the website standards articulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (WC3) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Our efforts to create a site that adheres to best practices in accessible design and that is also generous and experimental in its accommodations for visitors with vision, hearing, or cognitive impairment have been supported by Sina Bahram, one of the museum community's leading accessibility consultants and advocates. Together, we have developed a series of projects that we hope will serve as a model for art museums hoping to reach and support members of the disability community.
One of the most exciting and groundbreaking of these initiatives is Coyote, a toolkit and project to create and publish visual descriptions of the images on this site. Our Coyote software, developed with Sina Bahram's team at Prime Access Consulting, is an open source tool that we are pleased to be able to share with the museum community. Here at the MCA it has been used by staff from across the museum to produce image descriptions that allow people who are blind or visually impaired to engage more fully with the visual arts.
The popularity of these image descriptions—previously available only to people equipped with screen readers—has encouraged us to share them with all site visitors. As of January 2018, an on/off toggle allows a website visitor to turn on visual descriptions for many of the images on our site.
We are happy to hear from members of the community who have questions about our website accessibility practices; please write to us at [email protected] with any suggestions or questions.
The Coyote project has been supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Lois and Steve Eisen and The Eisen Family Foundation.