Born in Lima, Peru, Juan William Chávez is an artist and cultural activist who explores the potential of the built and natural environment through creative initiatives that address community and cultural issues. He has exhibited at venues such as Art in General, Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, White Flag Projects and Van Abbemuseum. Chávez founded Boots Contemporary Art Space (2006-2010), a non-profit organization that offered support to emerging artists and curators. Since 2010, Chávez has focused on socially-engaged art projects and collaborations in North Saint Louis. Projects include Urban Expression for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary and Northside Workshop. He has received awards and grants from Creative Capital, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Art Matters and the Gateway Foundation. Chávez holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.