Co-Director of Programs at Threewalls
Adia Sykes is an arts organizer and curator based in Chicago. Her practice seeks to center philosophies of improvisation, intuition, and care, engaging them as tools through which meaningful relationships between artists and viewers can be cultivated, while leaving space for the vernacular to mingle with constructs of history and theory.
As an administrator advocating for racial equity and sustainable ecosystems for creative practitioners, she has held roles with organizations like the Chicago Artists Coalition, where she started their SPARK Grant— a joint effort with the Joyce Foundation providing unrestricted grants to artists of color, not formally trained artists, and artists with disabilities. At present, Adia is Co-Director of Programs at Threewalls which is an arts organization that fosters contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, encouraging connections beyond art. She is also a Lead Organizer of the Chicago Art Census, a city-wide research project that collects, maps, and visualizes data that illuminates the lived experiences and working conditions of art workers in Chicago.
Her curatorial projects include Locating Memory (Chicago Mayor’s Office, 2018), Project Radio London (Centro Arte Opificio Siri in Terni, Italy, 2018), and The Petty Biennial.2 (Chicago, 2019-2020). She has also realized projects with the Art Institute of Chicago, Sullivan Galleries, Woman Made Gallery, ACRE, Material Exhibitions, Roman Susan Gallery, and Comfort Station. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Chicago Dancemakers Forum.
Adia earned a Masters in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.