Dorchester Industries

Dorchester Industries has grown out of Rebuild’s workforce development programs. These programs connect contractors, master craftsmen and artists with residents of Chicago’s South Side to provide training in the building trades and creative industries.

Trainees get hands-on construction experience as part of the team that reimagines and renovates vacant properties across Chicago. By building a cohort of local skilled labor, our training program will increase the share of of Rebuild’s capital investment that stays local, amplifying the impact of our work.

Trainees also work in the studio with artists and artisans. The objects produced through the collaborative creative process are sold under the brand Dorchester Industries, with all proceeds supporting Rebuild’s work to promote culture-based, artist-led, neighborhood-driven community revitalization.

Pilot workforce development programs have focused on masonry, millwork, carpentry, and pottery – crafts and trades that are also a hallmark of founder Theaster Gates’ studio practice. For more on Rebuild’s mill and carpentry work, see The Ash Project.



Out of Easy Reach

Out of Easy Reach is a cross-institutional exhibition hosted by DePaul Art Museum, Gallery 400 at UIC, and the Rebuild Foundation, guest curated by Allison Glenn, Manager of Publications and Curatorial Associate, Prospect New Orleans. Countering conventional accounts of art history that have often overlooked the artistic contributions of women of color, Out of Easy…

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Maggie Brown

Maggie Brown embarks on creating a stage piece that would “edutain” the audience with music and dramatic reflection on the history & evolution of African American music. The show is called “LEGACY: Our Wealth of Music.” It is the vehicle of song, narration and a demonstration of love for a wide range of music styles.  Having… Learn More

Recent Blog Posts


Introducing: Southside Teen Poet Ambassadors Program

The Rebuild Foundation is piloting its first ever Southside Teen Poet Ambassadors Program, a program designed to cultivate a cohort of six disciplined, ambitious high school poets for a six-month ambassadorship from January-June 2018. Using the Stony Island Arts Bank as their home base, the Southside Teen Poet Ambassadors will write and critique extensively within… Learn More

Victoria Martinez: A Glorious Studio Visit in Little Village

Last week, we visited the studio of Victoria Martinez- an interdisciplinary artist that makes mixed media ephemeral (meaning not long-lasting) collages and oh! what a lasting impression she made!   Our studio visit group this month included Ken Stewart, CEO of Rebuild Foundation, Victor Ivy, a Greater Grand Crossing graphic artist and community member and me-… Learn More

Rebuild Foundation Community Cataloguing Workship

Since July 1st, Rebuild Foundation staff and neighborhood volunteers have been meeting every Wednesday and Saturday at Black Cinema House from 10am to noon, to catalogue the Johnson Publishing Company library. During this workshop series, there have been diverse activities for those who have come join and help with the organization of the books. Volunteers… Learn More