Acting Up Awards
Each year, On the Table brings together excited and passionate community members who share their ideas, hopes and the ways in which they want to make a difference on a local level. And following On the Table, we want to help make those creative and actionable ideas come to fruition.
Launched in 2016, the Acting Up awards provide On the Table participants with small prizes to help them implement their ideas, work together and take action for the public good.
The Acting Up awards are made possible by The Chicago Community Trust in partnership with Goodcity.
2017 Acting Up Winners
In the weeks following On the Table in 2017, The Chicago Community Trust received nearly 300 video submissions describing actionable ideas for projects or activities that could make a real impact on the region’s communities.
With the help of Goodcity Chicago, the Trust convened a selection committee of 25 community leaders and activists who reviewed and evaluated the submissions, and made recommendations for the second annual Acting Up awards. On June 28, we were excited to announce that 71 of those ideas received awards of more than $135,000, to help neighbors take action.
Click the links below to watch the short video submissions that pitched these Acting UP winning projects.
$2,500 Award Recipients
- A Family Unity Biking
To combat the issues of gang violence, community fragmentation and stress, Universidad Popular will host a Family Bike Out in Little Village to unite people in the community.
- A Sense of Place
Create a video featuring the story of the Old Soldiers’ Widows Home in Maywood – currently being considered for the National Register of Historic Places.
- A Vision for Washington Heights
Fund a two part discussion series hosted by a local business owner discussing the challenges and solutions facing their community that will inform a comprehensive strategy to be delivered to the local alderman.
- AeroStar Aviation Exploration Program Grades 5-8
The AeroStar Aviation Institution will introduce science and technology to low-income elementary and middle school students through field trips, drones, expert speakers and simulation programming at the Harold Washington Cultural Center.
- Anti-Racism Training on the Near North Side
Fund a one-day training entitled “Introduction to Systemic Racism” at Fourth Presbyterian Church, open to church members and staff.
- Art Xellence Pilot Summer Program
An after school and summer program in Englewood and Austin aimed to reduce teen violence and recidivism through arts programming, while preparing youth for the workplace.
- Bridging the Divide Between the Police & Community
ABJ Community Services will produce a spoken word and musical soundtrack for the independent film, “Bridging the Divide,” which highlights the divide between the city’s 3rd District police and the surrounding community.
- Building Peace in Joliet Schools
Basic and follow-up trainings in restorative practices that will be used to educate Joliet teachers at the University of St. Francis.
- Cannabis On The Table
Hue Platform will create educational and entertaining short films to help answer frequently asked questions about the use of medical cannabis by minorities.
- Chasing23 Mentor Drive
Recruit college students to serve as mentors to students from Wendell Phillips Academy High School.
- CIS Student Advisory CounSEL
Communities in Schools will launch its first-ever Student Advisory Council to talk about ways to use their voice at the school and community level.
- Creative Chicago Swap Circle
Establish a citywide creative reuse program led by the Chicago Creative Reuse Exchange that connects surplus materials from local businesses to teachers who could use them in the classroom.
- Edgewater Public Art Initiative and Maintenance
Continuation of a large-scale public art project in Edgewater – painting murals on neighborhood facades, underpasses and alley walls.
- Farm to Table Community Program
Implementation of a farm-to-table program at the Center for Disability Service in Joliet, including an indoor/outdoor classroom maintained by individuals with developmental disabilities in collaboration with community partnerships.
- Groceryships in Chicago
Provide funding for a pilot program with families in Humboldt Park – including food and education on the best ways to feed your family nutritious meals on a budget.
- “Grow & Bike” for Healthy Communities 2.0!
Girls Bike Club, sponsored by West Town Bikes, will expand its two local gardens with new tools and new plants.
- GROWing Community Schools
GROWCommunity will bring together Lake View and Amundsen High Schools to create community gardens with students from their feeder schools and the community.
- Hairpin Arts Center Latinx Arts Festival
Sponsorship for the first week of the September festival at the Hairpin Arts Center, including compensation for the artists and marketing support.
- Joliet Area Little Free Library Community Project
Installing 12 little libraries for residents who may otherwise not be able to access Joliet’s public library.
- Kids Compost
Pilot a program led by Zero Waste Chicago for pre-K students at a Mt. Prospect school, teaching the importance of daily sustainable habits.
- Latino Arts Research Division
Engage Latino arts administrators throughout the city in summits that will advance mentorship opportunities, best practice sharing and promote diversity in the arts field.
- Loving Lawndale to Life
A series of programming at Carey Tercentenary AME Church to bridge the generation gap and promote community engagement in North Lawndale, including resource fairs, creating of a community quilt, voter registration drives, mentoring and a college fair.
- Make Way for People on 47th Street
Provide programming to connect local businesses, artists and youth at the People Spot in the 600 block of East 47th Street to promote walkability and commerce.
- McKinley Park Development Council
Fund the formation of a council focused on sparking and supporting economic development in the McKinley Park community.
- Men Making a Difference Summer Youth Program
Purchase equipment for the program, including chess boards used to teach participants the basics.
- Mini Documentaries by Rohingya Teens
Engage teens through the creation of mini-documentaries showcasing their families’ personal refugee experience at the Rohingya Culture Center of Chicago.
- Mobilizing Working Bikes in the Community
Strengthen relationships in communities by hosting follow-up events – maintenance clinics, pop-up events, bike rodeos and more – in places where Working Bikes has distributed bicycles in the past.
- OG Healing Circles
I Grow Chicago will train two community members (one youth, one elder) to host a monthly ‘OG Healing Circle’ to promote intergenerational community and share diverse perspectives.
- Pilsen Community Narratives Podcast
The Chicago ACT Collective will create a 12-episode podcast featuring stories of community members about the impact of and challenges they’ve faced related to gentrification in Pilsen and Little Village.
- Scholars With Drive
CPS students will partner with Lyft on a pilot program to provide safe transportation that gets students to school in time for breakfast.
- Social Media 101
The Sydney Epstein Chicago Youth Centers of North Lawndale will host two events to educate youth and their parents about the negative impacts of social media.
- South Shore Front N’ Center
Creation of a web-based video blog that will tell the inspiring stories of South Shore business owners – focused the community’s food, arts and entertainment.
- Surprise For West Humboldt Park
Our City organization has surprised the New Life Centers of Chicagoland with funds to expand its summer mentoring program by hiring additional mentors and making field trips possible.
- The Beauty of Peace Project
Global Girls Inc. will partner with the Eighth Ward to clean up litter, distribute brochures about beauty and host a pop-up theatre show.
- The Georgia Doty Female & Male Veteran Program
The Georgia Doty HIV/Hepatitis Outreach organization and Jesse Brown VA Social Services Hospital will provide life skills, resources and support through programming for elder veterans who are homeless or in low-income situations.
- The Health Club Garden
The Health Club (for everyone) will plant a community garden on the south side of Chicago and develop a youth program for students to teach them the power of a healthy diet.
- Too Soon to Forget
The Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center will translate and include Spanish subtitles for its documentary “Too Soon To Forget,” which features nine families impacted by the disease.
- U-Turn Permitted Annual Alumni Networking Event
A number of organizations working together with the North Lawndale Employment Network will host a reunion for U-Turn Permitted alumni, providing networking opportunities, resources and support.
- Walkable, Bikeable Diversity Fest
The Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative and Beverly Area Arts Alliance will host a daylong event to encourage their car-centric community to bike, walk and experience all the neighborhood has to offer.
- What Does Justice Look Like Where You Live?
The Westside Justice Center will create a Community Advisory Council to identify issues of broad concern and ways to address them.
- Woodlawn Community Summit Youth Poetry Series
Help fund an event targeting youth in Woodlawn featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tuehimba Jess.
- Woodstock Co-Working at the Cafe
Establish a pilot program to provide infrastructure to use the City of Woodstock-owned Stage Left Cafe as a free co-working center.
- Word Play Way
The David L. Hoyt Education Foundation in Lincoln Square will install a giant word grid alongside Wells Park to act as a catalyst for literacy outreach.
$1,000 Award Recipients
- 1 in 4 Rally for Mental Health Awareness
Thresholds will organize a rally in downtown Kankakee to raise awareness of mental health issues, share treatment resources and promote recovery.
- Bees of Buttercup Park Uptown
Work with youth in the community to create and display at least 200 images of bees in Buttercup Park to pollinate peace with inspiring messages.
- Bilingual Peer Connect of Chicago
The Junior Economic Club Youth Council of Chicago will implement a mentoring program for newly enrolled ESL elementary students, matching them with a nearby high school student with a similar background, home language and interests.
- Brass Band: A Free Community Band Program
Hyde Park Youth Symphony and Progressive Beulah Pentecostal Church will provide free musical instrument lessons for up to 20 students from Auburn Gresham throughout the next school year.
- Building Towards Freedom
A series of events this summer hosted by Love and Protect will raise awareness of the criminalization of survival for black transwomen and gender nonconforming people.
- Combating Colorism in the Classroom
Support a local teacher’s colorism unit, including a photo gallery of black-and-white photos at the school.
- Community Assets Tours for Student Teachers
Roosevelt University will offer community tours to student teachers who have been placed in urban settings and communities unlike where they grew up.
- Community Bike Riding
We Keep You Rollin’ Bike & Wellness Center will purchase repair supplies to recycle bikes back into the community and create a bike box where bikes can be stored for the community to use.
The John Howard Association will provide Polaroid cameras and film to Illinois prisons so inmates and their families can take a photo together during visits.
- Embedding Mental Health in Diverse Communities
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will launch four new community-specific classes, each with a newly trained teacher, for families living with someone with a mental illness in the Pakistani, Korean, Filipino and Syrian communities.
- Empowering Through Television Broadcast
Two nonprofits and a high school student will receive training in TV broadcast from the Chicago Access Network TV (CAN TV) to produce their own programming that tells positive stories for broadcast.
- Englewood Speaks
A series of storytelling events will be held in Englewood over the next year with teens, parents, the elderly and other local stakeholders.
- Feasts of Resistance
A series of gardening and cooking classes for 40 refugee teen girls, providing them the opportunity to share their stories and learn from one another.
- Get Global
Local high school students will create and offer workshops for other teens to hear from experienced professionals about globalization in today’s political climate.
- “Have Your Say” Youth Leadership
Events hosted by the Renaissance Bronzeville Toastmasters and Englewood Toastmasters Clubs for youth, ages 8-17, to develop leadership and communications skills, culminating with a contest to show off their new skills and have their voices heard.
- La Salud, Arte y Tradición / Health, Art & Tradition
A community art exhibit in Little Village or Pilsen to showcase the art of older Latino/a adults and to raise awareness of topics related to healthy aging.
- Lunch N Learn
Urban Circle will bring inspiring adult speakers to middle and high schools in Austin once a month for lunchtime conversations to help pre-teen and teenage boys understand values in their lives and their choices.
- Neighborhood Fruit
A Pilsen teacher will bring students together to paint a mural representing health and wellness and initiate conversation on these topics.
- Owens Male Mentor Program
Program will provide 30 low-income students at Owen Scholastic Academy with mentoring and social skills for facing conflict and confrontation.
- Pop-Up Resource Fairs for the Homeless
Kickstart fundraising for a series of pop-up events providing resources for the homeless in Logan Square, hosted by Church of the Spirit.
- Southside Dads’ Conference
A conference for fathers in the Woodlawn, Englewood, Garfield Park and Hyde Park neighborhoods to focus on social-emotional skills, job resources and more.
- Supporting Black Business
A three-part marketing and branding workshop for 20 black business owners from South Shore, Woodlawn and Grand Crossing.
- The Dream Investment Project
Teach financial literacy to a group of ten high school sophomores in Austin, introducing the young adults to the stock market and how securities work.
- The Telling Project: Embracing Veterans
The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute will engage “The Telling Project” to recruit and train veterans to tell their stories on stage and put on six performances.
- Warming the Hearts & Minds of Chicago Children
In October, 150 children will receive a new winter coat and two new books to read at libraries in underserved neighborhoods of Chicago.
- Washington Park Empowerment
In an effort to combat violence, cards with #RespectLife will be created and distributed door-to-door for homes in the neighborhood to display.
- Wellness Management in Urban Communities
Host ‘RXercise’ exercise and health programs for youth and seniors at community centers and churches in Englewood.
- Young & Dumb (WE Youth Council)
Junior male students from Kenwood Academy High School will participate in monthly conversations with adult men from their community and will also create a YouTube channel to host interviews with men about the “dumbest” things they did as a teen, and explain how viewers can learn from them.
- A Family Unity Biking
2016 Acting Up Winners
Over the course of the three weeks following On the Table in 2016, The Chicago Community Trust and Goodcity Chicago received nearly 400 video submissions describing actionable ideas for projects or activities that could make a real impact on the region’s communities.
A selection committee of 30 community leaders and activists reviewed and evaluated the submissions in late June. In July, we were excited to announce that 64 of those ideas received $1,000 awards for implementation through our inaugural Acting Up initiative.
Click the links below to watch the short video submissions that pitched these Acting UP winning projects.
West Side – Chicago
- Addressing Youth Violence in Our Schools
- Backpacks 4 Kids
- El Paseo Community Garden Bench Murals
- Honest, Open, Proud
- Livin’ Large Lots for Youth
- New Progressive St. Jams MBC Church Community Day
- Raby Food Pantry
- Sexual Assault Survivor Coloring Books
- Urban Gardens + Bicycling = Healthy Living
- Why Not Local? Manufacturing Career Paths
- Working Bikes Cycle of Peace 500 Bike Giveaway
- YOUTHink Politics-Chicago
Southwest Side – Chicago
- Colores Project/Projecto Colores
- LA BROCHA – The Paintbrush
- North Lawndale Youth Summit
- Summer Business Program 2016
- Support the Continuation of Mental Health Training
South Side – Chicago
- A Portable Word of Hope & Encouragement
- Black Entrepreneurial Experience
- Breakin’ It Down
- CommunINCubator SouthEast
- DIVAS In The City
- Eat Healthy, Be HEALTHY
- Expanding Horizons for Southside Youth
- GED Drop in: Preparation and Instruction
- Healing Courts
- Improv 4 Everyone
- Light Up the Night, London Towne Houses Co-Op
- Never Go Without: Pad Pop-Ups
- The Couch Tour
- The TrendSetters Program
- Your Place at the Table
Northwest Side – Chicago
- Family Craftivism Unity Banner
- Feeding the Soul, Feeding the Body
- Hermosa Works!
- Queer Heritage Exchange
- Surviving the Mic
- The Healing Corner
- United For a New Playground
- Virtual Manufacturing Career Fair
North Side – Chicago
- BACKBONES Dance Revolution
- Chicago Film Screening to End Sexual Harassment
- Conversation Starters in Albany Park
- Edgewater Youth Little-Free-Library Initiative
- Humboldt Park Peace Rally
- Liberating Youth Through Ent. Summer Program
- One Stock One Future
- Redefining Beauty Through Art
- Sound Art in Amundsen High School
- Student Community Summer Project
Downtown – Chicago
- Black Girls Lead TedX Conference
- Mothers In The Workplace
- Programming for Reparations Won Community Center
- ScreenABLE Saturday
- Students Run Chi
Chicago – Suburbs
- All About Your First Paycheck – Video & Training
- Enrich Evanston through the arts
- Free Little Library 5th Ward
- Galewood’s Little Libraries
- Importance of Interaction: Parent Night
- Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration
- Project Talk of the Town
- Ready, Willing and Able* to Work
- Uber Rides For Veterans