The Society for Arts was established in December of 1981, and was renamed in 1993 due to its increasing number of statutory objectives. The organization is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit institution focused on promoting cultural communication between Europe and the United States. Annually, we bring together film festivals exploring european cinema, art exhibitions, and concerts. Our objective is not only to assist in supporting the most ambitious cultural projects but also to provide assistance to individual needs of art collectors and enthusiasts of european art and culture. Given our dedication to stimulating the exchange of ideas in all areas of art and culture, the educational programming at the society for arts encompasses lectures and panel discussions, workshops and meetings with leading artists and scholars.

The Society For Arts building is located in the lower Milaukee Avenue corridor in the historical section of Chicago, now called East Village, although names of Wicker Park and West Town are being used as well. This area was within the original boundaries of Chicago in 1833 while Milwaukee Avenue, one of Chicago's few diagonal streets, originally served as an indian trail which followed a buffalo path to the Chicago river. The area has been always a vital part of the city adding to an important role of Milwaukee Avenue as pathway in and out of the inner city. The Society house was originally designed as a bank by Whitney & Williams. It was built in 1920, and purchased along with adjacent lots for the Society by Kamyszew family in December of 1993. It was officially opened on November 3, 1994.

The Society's mission is conducted through the following activities:

a non-profit art galleries

Aside from numerous exhibition projects organized in the U.S. museums and galleries, the society operates its two galleries in the chicago eadquarters. The exhibits here range from painting, sculpture, graphics and photography to three dimensional installations, and include gallery talks, workshops and lectures by visiting artists and scholars.

visiting artists and scholars

The society dedicates a portion of its resources to a program which brings artists, art critics and art professionals to the United States. The scholarships are meant for a one to two month's stay in the states. The grantees acquaint themselves with the rich cultural resources of the United States and establish grounds for future cultural exchange. The Society building has guest quarters that can accommodate the visiting fellows.

film festivals

The Society organizes nationwide film festivals and film projects which show european cinema in the States. The most extensive, Polish Film Festival in America, established in 1989, the world's largest festival of Polish Cinema, is held in 12 u.s. centers including Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Seattle.
Chicago International Documentary Festival was established in 2002.

film events

A mecca for the avantgarde, the Society's luxury 70-weat gallery theatre showcases the best independent film and video productions and works by promising new filmmakers from around the world.

art publications

The Society for Arts publisheds and supports publishing art books and exhibition catalogues, particularly of emerging artists to promote their work in the States.

educational programs

A substantial part of the society's programming is dedicated to enhancement of understanding art among young people through school trips to the exhibitions, concerts, and film events. The Society invites artists and curators to encourage students to their own artistic undertakings on workshops and camps. Lectures and discussions are organized as a continuing education programs for adults.