Stony Island Arts Bank

The Stony Island Arts Bank is a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center – and a home for Rebuild’s archives and collections. Designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, the bank at 68th Street and Stony Island Avenue was once a vibrant community savings and loan. By the eighties, the branch had closed and the building remained vacant and deteriorating for decades. Reopened in October 2015, the radically restored building serves as a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage – and a destination for artists, scholars, curators, and collectors to research and engage with South Side history.

The Arts Bank collections include:

Johnson Publishing Archive + Collections: books and periodicals donated by the Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazine

University of Chicago Glass Lantern Slides: over 60,000 slides of art and architectural history from the Paleolithic to Modern eras

Edward J. Williams Collection: 4,000 objects of “negrobilia” – mass cultural objects and artifacts that feature stereotypical images of black people

Frankie Knuckles Records: “Godfather of House Music,” Frankie Knuckles’ vinyl collection

Our collections are in various states of accessibility. Please direct all inquiries and research requests to We are currently seeking volunteers to help with collections management and programs at the Arts Bank. Apply here.

Arts Bank hours are Friday – Sunday, 12PM – 6PM. On Fridays, the first floor galleries and Johnson Bar and Lounge are open, there is no public access to the second floor or special collections. Public tours of the Arts Bank are held Saturdays and Sundays at 12:15pm. At this time, access to the Johnson Library is only guaranteed during public tours. Photo shoots in the Johnson Library during public hours are not permitted. You can learn more about our photography policies and book a private shoot here. Private tours of the Arts Bank and other Rebuild sites are available for a fee. Learn more and request a tour here.

Rebuild Foundation hosts regular programming at the Arts Bank as well as Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative. View our full calendar of events here.

Hours & Location



In The Absence of Light: Gesture, Humor and Resistance in The Black Aesthetic

In partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, Art in America, and the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Rebuild Foundation is proud to present the exhibition In The Absence of Light: Gesture, Humor and Resistance in The Black Aesthetic at Stony Island Arts Bank. Organized by Theaster Gates, in collaboration with Beth Rudin DeWoody and Laura Dvorkin, this exhibition…

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Ayesha Jaco

Ayesha Jaco is a Senior Director, Choreographer, and Philanthropist. Over the course of her year-long residency at Rebuild Foundation, she will dig into topics of heritage, legacy, and migration through movement, sound, film, and participatory archiving. The outline of her residency is as follows, sign up for our newsletter to remain up to date on… Learn More

Recent Blog Posts


Announcing Writing through the Unthinkable: an 826CHI Writing Workshop Series

We are pleased to announce our new programming partner 826CHI, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. In partnership with Rebuild, 826CHI is hosting writing workshops for young people ages 14-24 at the Stony Island Arts… Learn More

Announcing Tricontinental ’66 and Other Acts of Liberation

Rebuild Foundation and Stony Island Arts Bank are honored to host, in collaboration with HotHouse and Casa OSPAAAL, Tricontinental ’66 and Other Acts of Liberation. This exhibition and accompanying program examine acts of liberation from imperialism/s and colonialism/s through multiple avenues of creative expression both contemporary and from the revolutionary era of the 1960’s and ’70’s…. Learn More

The Jiā 家 Project: South Side :: Family Portraits by Nancy Wong

Come have a FREE family portrait taken by Chicago photographer Nancy Wong ( This photo project is in collaboration with Gorman House Publishing and the Rebuild Foundation. The Jiā Project celebrates families on the south side by visually documenting their beauty, diversity, and emotional strength. Jiā 家 means “family” or “home” in Mandarin Chinese. The… Learn More