Through Beauty and Laughter, Local Artists Help Connect Communities

Intergenerational improv to artists-in-residence at local parks: how arts are connecting communities Tweet This

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We have each had a moment when a performance, or painting, or piece of literature resonates within us deeply enough to leave an indelible mark. That is the human bond that art forges, and its lasting effects define how we see ourselves and each other.

This summer, six Acting Up awards recipients are using their art to connect communities and forge bonds across many of the boundaries that divide us.


Enrich Evanston through the Arts

Evanston’s artists are working to break down the barriers between different arts communities in their area. Their award will help fund a keystone event at Dance Center Evanston to bring together Evanston’s artists for mutual enrichment through improved engagement.


Family Craftivism Unity Banner

Inspired by Craftivist Collective’s creative approach to activism, the Unity Banner combines the deliberate nature of craft processes with promoting family discussions that address community issues. Building on the theme of unity from this year’s On the Table, this program will partner with Chicago arts festivals like Bronzeville Summer Nights and Logan Square Arts Festival to show young people how they can take action to make a difference.


Improv 4 Everyone

This South Shore group will use their award to start the city’s first intergenerational improv troupe, working with community centers like the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative to host their workshops. Using improv training and performances to bring together old and young members of the community, this program will build confidence and social skills while breaking down the traditional roles and preconceptions that can divide generations.


Redefining Beauty through Art

At youth-led events in five West Side high schools, students will create art pieces that represent different traumas young people face. This effort to address community issues through the arts will help young people to share, and to build more compassionate understanding of others whose identities are affected by trauma.


Sound Art in Amundsen High School

The Diverse Learners program at Amundsen High School will be working with Experimental Sound Studio to create radio shows, sound art projects and other creative audio production through their school’s Sound Art project. Their award will help fund equipment and studio fees for students in the coming year.


Your Place at the Table

The Hamilton Park Cultural Center partnered with On the Table this year to host their event as the culmination of a year-long collaboration between artists and residents in the Englewood community. Their award will help fund the continued Creativity of the Senses program, in which local residents learn to create ceramic and textile art.

The Acting Up awards program is proud to support each of these arts programs striving to infuse new creativity and a new sense of community into the region we call home.