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Mission Statement

The mission of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (USA) is to build a just and equitable society in harmony with Planet Earth through empowering cultural dimensions of the social process. ICA programs strengthen the capacities of organizations, communities, and individuals to build and implement innovative plans of action that draw upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner.


For over 50 years, The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) has been a catalyst for positive social change. All of its work is grounded in a set of strategies which facilitate sustainable community development by drawing upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner. Our programs, some of which are listed below, strengthen the capacities of individuals, organizations and communities to build and implement innovative plans of action.

- ICA GreenRise - Uptown Learning Laboratory acts as a demonstration site for living and working intentionally. It's currently establishing an energy efficient eco-system that aims to take the entire building off of the grid. With 485 solar panels GreenRise has the second largest installation in Chicago.

- accelerate 77 project works to increase the role and positive impact of local community actions. The underlying strategy is to identify current sustainability initiatives in all of Chicago’s 77 community areas; connect them with one another to inspire ideas, practices, self-consciousness & motivation through peer interchange; collaborate with residents in systematic learning, planning, & collective action.

- ToP designs, delivers, and teaches people to use simple, yet highly productive, group leadership processes through our group facilitation methods called the Technology of Participation (ToP).


Average Review 2 reviews

Would you recommend Institute of Cultural Affairs?

by Jack M. from Chicago, IL (August 13, 2018)
I'm not totally sure of the dates I volunteered but I definitely enjoyed my short time working with IAC. I was invited to watch an interesting documentary and I learned a lot about their very interesting organization.
by Jinghan W. (October 29, 2015)
They are all nice people and it's also a good chance to learn more about sustainability.