Columbia College Chicago’s Wabash Arts Corridor Named to List of USA Today Best10 Arts Districts

a wide shot showing the wabash arts coordidor in the south loop from atop a building
Want to experience art while strolling the streets of the South Loop neighborhood? Look no further than our Wabash Arts Corridor, which was named one of the best places to view public art in the U.S.

The Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) in Chicago's South Loop, established by Columbia College Chicago, was named USA Today 2024 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards. The WAC was chosen by an expert panel as a nominee for Best Arts District and voted for by the public.  

According to USA Today 10Best, an inspiring arts district comprises “revitalized and renewed urban spaces in once derelict neighborhoods, big-name museums with architecture as impressive as the art housed within, or streets lined with small galleries and studios interspersed with trendy cafes.” The Wabash Arts Corridor was one of 20 nominees for Best Arts District.    

Since its founding by Columbia in 2013, WAC has grown to be one of the most expansive, diverse, and accessible public art programs in the country. This community-driven project weaves the visual, performing, and media arts into daily life, immersing residents and visitors into artist-reclaimed public spaces that transform the urban experience.  Meg Duguid is the chief curator and executive director of WAC and has seen the South Loop neighborhood artfully transform over the years. 

She says that WAC is fueled by community engagement and is excited to see the public arts program emerge victorious in the esteemed arts district contest.  

The WAC which features vibrant art projects, connects students, artists, curators, academic institutions, cultural organizations, and local businesses with educational and cultural programming for the visual, performing, and media arts.  In 2024, the most recent murals, Speak Up! By Dorian Sylvain and Votes for Women by AB Productions were added to the collection. These important works of art embody a collective commitment to acknowledge history, celebrate women’s achievements, and persist in the ongoing journey toward equality.  

Artists and curators from five continents have left their mark on WAC with murals, performances, installations, actions, and large-scale projections that are always free and open to the public. The Wabash Arts Corridor has emerged as a key player in the city with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and receiving press from all over the globe.  

Promoting the use of public space as a “living urban canvas,” the WAC provides artists opportunities to intersect with the cultural and educational assets of the South Loop.  

Learn more about the WAC by taking a tour or discover it all by yourself by following the map.