Carrie Gates | April 18, 2019
Chicago is home to hundreds of works of Latinx public art that are both captivating and politically provocative. But there’s no good place to go for comprehensive information on where they are, who made them or how they reflect the Latino experience in Chicago.
Jason Ruiz is changing that.
Ruiz has been awarded a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to create a set of walking tours and digital tools to explore Pilsen — the changing neighborhood at the heart of Chicago’s Latinx community — through its vibrant, historic murals.
Ruiz, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, was one of just seven scholars in the U.S. to receive a fellowship this year through the Whiting Public Engagement Program, which seeks to empower humanities faculty who embrace public engagement and to amplify unheard stories and infuse complexity into public discourse.
“Winning the fellowship means the world to me,” Ruiz said. “It puts me in the company of incredible scholars who are working to engage the public with complex intellectual questions and gives me resources for building a project that will be far more sophisticated than I originally imagined.
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