NICOR Gas provided the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) Black Creativity Program with a $25,000 grant in celebration of African American achievements in science, technology, engineering, art, and medicine.
Since 2013, the largest natural gas provider in Illinois has donated $250,000 to the museum’s Black Creativity Program and more than $500,000 to educational programming since 1999. MSI’s Black Creativity programs and exhibits currently reach over 10,000 students and families in underserved neighborhoods annually.
“At Nicor Gas, we are committed to supporting organizations that promote access to diverse programming throughout our communities. We believe that when the next generation has access to educational resources inside and outside the classroom, we can help enable economic opportunities and contribute to thriving communities,” said John O. Hudson III, president, and CEO of Nicor Gas. “We are proud to support MSI’s celebration of African American contributions to STEM fields throughout history and today.”
The Black Creativity Program offers a wide range of targeted, culturally relevant STEM education programming supported by the Museum’s “Welcome to Science” Initiative. Through this initiative, MSI is dedicated to helping children achieve their full potential by creating learning experiences inside and outside the classroom and removing barriers that exclude them from participating.
At this year’s exhibit, guests can view pieces from 91 adult artists showcasing 121 pieces, as well as 22 teenage artists showcasing 64 pieces. MSI receives between 700-800 entries for the exhibit every year. With the support of Nicor Gas, MSI has been able to waive all submission fees for artists since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MSI’s vision goes hand in hand with Nicor Gas’ commitment to creating prosperous communities and improving quality of life through educational investments. This year’s grant will support MSI’s Innovation Studio and Gallery where guests can experiment and explore new, innovative design ideas firsthand using narrative, sketches, and model-building to solve problems. In the Innovator Gallery, guests will learn about Black innovators who are rebuilding the Chicago area and inspiring the next generation.
“We are grateful for the continued support of Nicor Gas to our annual Black Creativity Program that is a rich testament to black artists and students across the Chicago area and beyond,” said Chevy Humphrey, president, and CEO of MSI. “With their gift, we have been able to provide more opportunities for our community to participate in and attend this year’s program that has been an achievement of the Museum since 1971.”
To learn more about Nicor Gas’ commitment to the community and investments in ensuring diverse, equitable, and inclusive programming and learning opportunities for generations to come, visit www.NicorGas.com/Community.