The 345 Art Gallery in Garfield Park is adding a 1,000 square-foot addition by expanding into the vacant lot next door. The construction is financed in part by a Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grant, facilitated by SomerCor. This expansion means more room to showcase art, host events and teach classes at this West Side art destination.

Gallery owner Corry Williams says his drive for hosting these events is the same as his reason for expanding the gallery: to create more opportunities on the West Side for people to come together, have a good time and experience a creative culture in their own neighborhoods.

“It’s what people feel when they come in. This sense of, this is my community, this is my neighborhood. The pictures on the wall, I can relate to,” Williams said. “You know, just make them want to feel comfortable to come in. Community is big part of the reason behind this.”

You can read the full article in Block Club Chicago here.

The City of Chicago Neighborhood Opportunity Fund generates revenue from downtown developments to finance community and culture projects in local neighborhoods lacking private investment. NOF grants are for commercial property acquisition, improvement or new construction and can range up to $250,000. Click here if you are interested in learning more about this program.

(photo credit: Pascal Sabino, Block Club Chicago)