Community

Connecting you with art and ideas

Week in and week out, the Smart Museum offers intellectually adventurous yet engaging programs for adults—from art lovers to casual visitors.

Presented for free, our public programs include gallery conversations, lectures, artist talks, workshops, tours, concerts, films, and more. These programs—often created in partnership with University of Chicago faculty or other cultural institutions from across the city—introduce multiple perspectives and examine alternative themes related to the art on view in our galleries. 

Community engagement

The Smart Museum has partnered with the Odyssey Project to provide professional training and paid docent opportunities to Odyssey Project alumni on the South Side.

The Odyssey Project is a free, yearlong course in the humanities for adults living at or below the poverty level that operates on the premise that engagement with the humanities has the capacity to transform people’s lives.

Odyssey Project docents serve as public ambassadors for the Smart and assist the Museum in fulfilling its educational mission by leading tours and other gallery-based learning experiences for a variety of audiences, including K–12 students, community groups, and university and adult audiences. Graduates of the Odyssey Project carry a deep passion for the humanities and offer unique perspectives that are certain to enrich any encounter with works on view at the Museum.  

At the Threshold

Hosted by the Smart's interpreter in residence, the quarterly At the Threshold social hour provides common ground for lively conversation surrounding art, culture, and ideas.