One Chicago invests in local heroes who are tackling challenges and amplifying positives in Chicago’s 77+ proud, diverse neighborhoods.
Welcome to the One Chicago Fund
Working with residents, our support helps strengthen neighborhoods.
Oh, what a night: BUILD Chicago gala shines light on local youth and supporters.
Kudos to the entire BUILD Chicago team for a wonderful gala full of great music, deserving award presentations and touching testimonials. Using the musical theme of “Westside Story,” the evening opened with songs that shared BUILD’s story of helping west side youth escape gangs, overcome trauma and achieve positive futures.
The event continued with award presentations celebrating BUILD’s 2022 honorees – including One Chicago Fund board member, J. Thomas Hurvis, who was received the BUILDer For Life award. Then, attendees provided standing ovations to two youth BUILDers and BUILD’s first distinguished alumni who shared moving testimonials about their respective journeys to creating better futures.
Next up for BUILD Chicago: the grand opening of its new multi-million dollar headquarters.
My CHI. My Future. launches new mobile app that keeps youth connected
For teens looking to access resources such as employment, seasonal or community-based programs and events, there’s an app for that! The first-of-its-kind My CHI. My Future. mobile app provides a custom experience for teens and youth-serving organizations to connect with safe, enriching out-of-school opportunities based on the user’s age, interests and location.
Available on all smartphone app stores, the app is the result of a public-private collaboration with Chicago’s civic departments, philanthropic, corporate and community organizations, as well as consultation and critical feedback from teens.
From the little engine that could, to the Austin chess team that did!
The chess team of Ella Flagg Young Elementary School is taking the city, the state and the nation by storm. Formed in under a year, this team of 50 or so African-American girls and boys – representing one of Chicago’s most disadvantaged, underserved communities – is defying the odds by learning the game of chess and using chess skills to harness the value of teamwork, conflict resolution, leadership and patience.
This Spring, the team qualified for and participated in numerous state and national tournaments in Grapevine, Texas, New York City, Chicago and Peoria, Illinois; walking away with 2nd place trophies and individual medals. These young people are broadening their horizons and poised for success on the chess board and in life… stay tuned.
BUILD the Future: an evening of storytelling, art and youth voices
“Halloweek 2021” with more treats, few tricks
Costumes and candy and live acts… oh my! Halloweek 2021 got off to an unBOOlievably great start with the Upside Down Parade in Washington Park. The week of fun includes several Halloween-themed activities, community-focused events, and safe trick-or-treating; and is presented by the City of Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Blommer Chocolate Company; produced by Luma8 in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, additional City departments and community partners.
Back to school, return to basics
Summer’s end marks new beginnings
Back-to-school parades and festivals traditionally mark the end of summer; and, this year, Chicago returned to many of its standard favorites. From the 92nd Annual Bud Biliken Parade (one of the nation’s largest) to smaller community events such as the Roseland Matters/Tim Hardaway basketball and technology skills boot camp, students were able to return to classrooms equipped with school supplies, masks, life skills and other necessary resources to help them succeed.
Birds of a feather, enhance communities together
Renovated Douglass 18 mini golf course opens
Golf enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy a birds-eye perspective at each hole of Douglass 18, a miniature golf course located behind the Douglass Park Cultural Center on the city’s west side. A multi-year, community-led project, Douglass 18 was designed by 40 teens who researched the more than 200 species of birds that migrate to the park, then featured fun facts at each tee. This collaborative effort includes artists, elected officials, community organizations, the Chicago Park District, architectural influencers and generous funders.
Turning up summer fun for teens
Summer Kickback Series comes to 15 neighborhoods
Teens across the city were treated to good music, delicious food and fun activities every Friday night during the summer courtesy of the Summer Kickback Series, a collaboration between local community organizations, the mayor’s office, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library and Amazon. Parks and 15 neighborhoods – including Roseland, West Pullman, Austin, North Lawndale, Marquette Park, Back of the Yards, Auburn-Gresham, Englewood – were the backdrops for teens to enjoy VIP tent seating, smoothie bar, the sounds of DJ Mike P, neighborhood culinary favorites and much more.
Building up hope on the westside
BUILD Chicago expands its Austin headquarters
What begin in 2016 as a one-story, 10,000 square-foot hub for Austin kids in response to rising gun violence will soon expand to a three-story, 50,000 square-foot safe space for youth. In August, BUILD Chicago broke ground on its new headquarters that will enable its community resources and offerings – including education, arts, music production, physical fitness and mental wellness – to increase from accommodating 100 to 2,000 residents of all ages.
Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes new leadership
Kevin Bell announces his retirement
After more than 25 years leading the Lincoln Park Zoo, president and CEO Kevin Bell will retire at the end of the year. Under Bell’s leadership, the Zoo preserved its momentum and commitment to conservation and science; built a team of more than 40 scientists and established the Urban Wildlife Institute to help the public learn how to coexist with wildlife; and remained free admission. Bell’s successor, Dr. Megan Ross, has held leadership at the Zoo for more than 20 years and is committed to continuing the high standards of animal and plant care.
A global response to changes in the way we gather, engage and learn
Enriching Chicago with new concepts for shared spaces
Using a reinvented, responsive global platform, the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s fourth edition will explore the intersection of architecture and design, and critical issues such as health, sustainability, equity, and racial justice.
Titled “The Available City,” the 2021 edition considers the impact that collective spaces and vacant lots can have in metropolitan areas. Chicago-based designer, researcher and educator David Brown serves as artistic director of the Biennial which opens September 17, 2021.
Since 2011, from Maggie Daley Park to North Lawndale housing and beyond, One Chicago Fund supports organizations through sweat equity and direct investments.
Neighborhood Heroes, Partners & Connections
Neighborhood heroes and partners include residents, community organizations, businesses and elected officials – all connected by a shared vision of a one Chicago and striving for a better future. Take a glimpse at a growing list of the heroes we celebrate, support and have connected with along the way.
For additional information or to connect with the One Chicago Fund, please contact us at email@example.com, 312-894-3455; or send us a note.