As one of the nation’s most esteemed educators, Dr. Carol L. Adams helped to bring about the convergence of art and education in Chicago, particularly in its museums and public schools. As founding Director of MAPS (Museums and Public Schools), she worked with teachers and museum educators to develop curricula that utilized the museums as a living teaching resource and integrated their holdings into approved lesson plans for elementary school students in Chicago Public Schools. In addition, during her tenure as an Administrator at the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), Dr. Adams founded the Museum Consortium whose mission was for each major museum in Chicago to adopt a public housing development and mainstream its youth into their activities.
Dr. Adams has a proven track record in the fields of grantsmanship, administration and organizational development. A consummate fund-raiser, Dr. Adams has raised over $400 million for a diverse and varied group of institutions of higher learning, governmental agencies and not-for-profits. She was formerly the Chairman of the African American Studies Department at Loyola University; Director, The Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University; and most recently the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Educated at Fisk University, Dr. Adams matriculated at Boston University, the University of Chicago, and The Union Graduate School. She has also had additional courses of study at the John F. Kennedy School of Governmental Affairs at Harvard University, and Yale University. In addition, she holds the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa key.
Carol Adams has spent much of her career engaged in cultural arts research, analysis and production. Her unique perspective on art and its integral role in shaping and defining culture and community is informed by her parallel study of sociology and Africana history and culture.
Dr. Adams serves on the Board of Directors of eta Creative Arts Foundation, the Harold Washington Research and Policy Institute and is heavily involved in the City of Chicago’s “After School Matters” program and the State of Illinois, “Amistad Commission” among others. Her memberships in professional associations include: the American Sociological Association, the Conference of Minority Public Administrators, and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Among her many awards and honors are: Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100,” Crain’s “2012 List,” the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award in the Arts, the Outstanding Humanitarian Award from the NAACP, and the Outstanding Leadership Award presented by the Senior Citizens of the Chicago Housing Authority. She was recently inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the Certificate of Merit presented by the Board of Alderman, both in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.