Floating Museum

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$7,372 raised of $5,000 goal
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Funded on May 27, 2016
    • 147% contributed

Floating Museum is a mobile and adaptive exhibition structure that will move by land and water throughout the city of Chicago. Blending creative placemaking, activism, and the field of museum studies, the project will create a uniquely flexible platform for conversations and community engagement. As a visual artist, educator, and community facilitator, I am deeply interested in developing projects to support and highlight artists, people, organizations, and ideas that I am invested in. At its core, this project will create a structural interpretation of the DuSable Museum of African American History, drawing upon its historical significance and evolution in Chicago. Whereas many of our larger museums and cultural institutions have interests and challenges connecting with smaller organizations in many of the city’s neighborhoods, Floating Museum will connect to and highlight the work of organizations and individuals though a variety of creative collaborations. In leading this project, I am joined by my collaborator Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford and architect Andrew Schachman. After two years of planning, we are ready to begin the first phase of this project, which involves building a large-scale temporary Floating Museum structure in Calumet Park as part of a series of programmatic collaborations with the Chicago Park District this summer. We need your support to complete this first phase, which is a critical period to actualize design concepts and plan the second and final phase of building the movable version of the Floating Museum that will travel around Chicago in 2017. 

About This Project

Floating Museum is the largest project I’ve ever undertaken. It encompasses all of my interests in collaborative engagements and community-based practices, as well as my perspectives on curation, appropriation, and institutional critique. It aims to shift the conversation on how we think about our larger art institutions and creates a space of intersection between various institutions, artists, and diverse stakeholders while challenging the notion of value and where value can be “housed.”

This project will be a replica of the DuSable Museum, which is the oldest museum dedicated to African American art and history, originally founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Burroughs for the purposes of educating her community about the achievements of people of African descent. In 1968, the museum took its name to honor Chicago’s first settler, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Three years later, the museum moved into its current location, which was a former Chicago Park District administration building and lock-up facility designed by Daniel Burnham in 1915.

For the first phase of this project, we are seeking funds to build the temporary, “test build” structure of Floating Museum, which will be installed in Calumet Park, located in the south east neighborhood of Calumet City this summer. Once in place, we will host numerous exhibitions, performances, and programs in conjunction with numerous partners from around the city as part of a summer-long programmatic series with the Chicago Park District. Funds from this campaign will be used to support building materials, permit costs, and stipends for contributing artists and collaborators.

With Floating Museum, our team is aiming to do the following:  

  • Engage underrepresented communities where many cultural institutions have limited success, and create content that speaks to their interests and cultures;
  • Ask questions about museum audiences and challenge museum formats by asking who the museum is for, who is welcome, and who is represented;
  • Contribute to the fields of museum studies and architecture by proposing an innovative model that attempts to reverse the dynamics of brick and mortar cultural institutions;
  • Bring art with charged potential in a multiplicity of forms to neighborhoods with little access to the arts. 

Completing this first phase of Floating Museum will be critical to realizing it in its final form, which will consist of rebuilding a movable version that will travel around Chicago to additional neighborhoods and eventually float down the Chicago River to the plot of land designated for the Jean Baptiste Point du Sable commemorative park. Floating Museum is being developed in partnership with numerous entities, including the DuSable Museum, the City of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Museum Education, and the Chicago Park District.  

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    A personalized thank you on social media ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Above, plus donor listing on our website ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Above plus a unique “Floating Museum” thank you card by mail ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $200
    Special tour of Calumet Park site and project space, plus donor listing on our website, and a personalized thank you on social media ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    Original work on paper, plus donor listing on our website, and a personalized thank you on social media ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1500
    Original “Floating Museum” sculpture, donor listing on our website, and a personalized thank you on social media ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Faheem Majeed

Faheem Majeed is an artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator. He blends his unique experience as a non-profit administrator, curator, and artist to create works that focus on institutional critique and exhibitions that leverage collaboration to engage his immediate, and …

View Faheem Majeed's profile
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 Additional support provided by: 

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