Director of Public Art Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE)

Lydia Ross, Director of Public Art, DCASE
Lydia Ross, Director of Public Art, DCASE


Lydia Ross is the Director of Public Art at the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), where she oversees the City’s Public Art Ordinance, other publicly-funded temporary and permanent projects throughout the city, and management of the City’s collection which includes more than 500 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities.

She was formerly the Manager of School and Teacher Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), where she co-developed and led the award-winning School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement (SPACE), which places artists in residence in Chicago public high schools. In 2017 she was named Museum Art Educator of the year by the Illinois Art Education Association. She served as an Artistic Producer for the Chicago Home Theater Festival, has lectured across the country, including institutions such as SFMoMA and Harvard University, and co-authored a chapter about the MCA’s Teacher Institute in the 2018 anthology Professional Development in Art Museums: Strategies of Engagement through Contemporary Art.

Lydia holds an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University, and a BA in American Studies from Columbia University. She previously worked in programming, production, and development at Creative Time, New York City’s vanguard public art organization, and in public engagement and advocacy at the Center for the Arts Education.