• Contemporary Arts Center Contemporary Arts Center


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Mission Statement

The Contemporary Arts Center provides the opportunity for all people to discover the dynamic relationship between art and life by exhibiting, but not collecting, the work of progressive artists. It will continually increase its regional, national and international influence by providing changing visual and interactive experiences that challenge, entertain and educate.


Founded in 1939, the CAC is the third oldest museum in the nation devoted to 20th century art. It is a progressive, cultural force for the region and the nation, successfully attaining its mission to introduce innovative art that challenges, educates and entertains. The CAC is the museum that first brought the art of Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, and Le Corbusier to the Midwest. Past exhibitions have featured the works of artists Paul Klee, Alexander Calder, and Juan Gris, in addition to some of the first museum exhibitions of Pop and Minimal art. Distinguished artists such as Naum Gabo, I.M. Pei, Buckminister Fuller, Michael Graves, and Zaha Hadid have lectured on issues of contemporary art, architecture, and design. The CAC is one of the first museums in the nation to develop a multiple-visit program for school groups. The Scripps Schools Program, now in its 17th year, continues as the backbone of the Center's educational programs. Additional outreach programs for diverse ethnic, economic, and age specific populations are on-going efforts of the Center's education and curatorial departments. Today, as an international leader in contemporary art, the CAC initiates public forums where artists and professionals can refine and share views on issues in contemporary visual culture, directly supports artists' individual and collaborative efforts, and stimulates other cultural organizations to foster serious new visual art, music, and performance.



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