City of Chicago awards Intuit a Community Development Grant of $5 million, supporting museum expansion

December 14, 2022

City of Chicago awards Intuit a Community Development Grant of $5 million, supporting museum expansion

Dec. 14, 2022—CHICAGO—Intuit received a Community Development Grant of $5 million from the City of Chicago as part of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Chicago Recovery Plan, supporting the museum’s renovation of its existing building to increase audience space and expand institutional reach.

Intuit is one of 61 finalists to receive the Community Development Grant in the third and final round of awards in 2022. Of the finalists, the museum is among 14 nonprofit organizations and neighborhood businesses to receive grants exceeding $250,000 and is the sole arts and culture institution to receive the highest award of $5 million. In addition to the funds raised through its ongoing capital campaign, Intuit will use this funding to support the renovation of its existing building at 756 N. Milwaukee Avenue, home to the 31-year-old museum since 1999.

“After 30 years of advocacy for self-taught, outsider and visionary art, this grant validates our mission,” said Jan Petry, founding member of Intuit and co-chair of the museum’s capital campaign. “We’re excited to renovate our facility to better serve the art, the artists and the community.”

Through renovation, Intuit will expand its usable audience space from one to three floors while improving the working conditions and safety for guests, staff and the art via upgrades to utilities and HVAC. The museum will add two more galleries, doubling its exhibition space; a dedicated education space and art-making studio; a community gathering space to host performances and lectures; and an updated exhibition on the art and life of renowned Chicago outsider artist Henry Darger. Plans include restoring the building’s historic second-floor façade and replacing its brick first-floor façade with windows and an accessible entrance, keeping its quirky character while creating a more welcoming atmosphere for guests. The renovated museum will connect growing audiences to the genre of outsider and self-taught art through on-site exhibitions and programs and serve as a home base for museum programs in Chicago Public Schools and neighborhoods.

“This incredible grant from Mayor Lightfoot and the City of Chicago will be transformative for our museum,” said Tracy Holmes, president of the board of directors. “We are excited about Intuit’s next chapter, to grow our footprint, and to increase our capacity to bring outsider and self-taught art to our neighborhood and city.”

Part of the Chicago Recovery Plan, the Community Development Grant program was created to support Chicago’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other forms of neighborhood disinvestment. Through federal and local funding sources, Community Development Grants fund workplace improvements, new construction, energy-system enhancements and other projects that support neighborhood vitality, economic development and local planning goals. Final grant recipients were selected from more than 600 applications with funding decisions based on project readiness, viability, location and neighborhood needs, among other factors.

Finalists are to complete their projects in the subsequent 18 to 24 months. Intuit plans to begin construction in fall 2023 and will share updates with the public throughout the process on the status of its reopening.


Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum of outsider and self-taught art, defined as work created by artists who faced marginalization, overcame personal odds to make their artwork, or who did not, or sometimes could not, follow a traditional path of art making, often using materials at hand to realize their artistic vision. By presenting a diversity of artistic voices, Intuit builds a bridge from art to audiences. The museum’s mission—to celebrate the power of outsider art—is grounded in the ethos that powerful art can be found in unexpected places and made by unexpected creators.

Intuit is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, please visit Plan Your Visit.