Viaduct Beautification Fundraisers in action

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In addition to its work in education, housing, and public safety in the UIC community, Connecting4Communities also devotes a great deal of time, and energy organizing, and activating neighborhood residents to help beautify our community, and to promote it as a place to live, work, or just enjoy as a visitor. C4C’s Executive Director was recently interviewed on camera, and in print by the Chicago Sun Times feature The Grid: Exploring the Little Italy neighborhood.

C4C has also long been successfully advocating to get the viaducts at 16th Street, along Halsted, Peoria, and Morgan Streets, and Racine Ave., which separate our community from Pilsen, repaired, cleaned up, well-lighted, and beautified with murals for which it has been raising money in partnership with local businesses, and residents, as well as collaborating with local arts organizations.

Thinking Creatively, a viaduct-beautification fundraiser was recently held at University Commons, and featured a Pet Portrait Slam put on by C4C, and Project Onward, a nonprofit art studio, and gallery in Bridgeport that supports Chicago visual artists living with mental, and developmental disabilities. We collaboratively raised $667 with six talented Project Onward artists who did portraits of pets, and/or their people.

Save the date for the next Portrait Slam (pets, kids, couples): University Commons 1111 W. 14th Place, 4th Floor Party Room. 4 pm to 8 pm, Thurs., Jan. 31st. Print up a color copy of what is to be drawn–sorry no pets allowed in the drawing room. Colored portraits will be $40, and money raised will be a win/win/win for the artists, Project Onward and our Viaduct Beautification project for murals to be done starting in the Morgan viaduct.

Thanks to University Commons entrepreneurs, Laura Levitt Lifshitz, and DeShawn Murry, the owners of Chicago’s first t-shirt truck, ChiBoys, we quickly raised $100 in viaduct beautification money at our POP UP TOP SHOP. ChiBoys sells men’s, women’s, and children’s t-shirts, along with sweatshirts, hats, and neck warmers. ChiBoys’ clothing features the history, architecture, and cultures of Chicago. We see UIC/Pilsen viaduct murals featured on future t-shirts.

There will be another POP UP TOP SHOP fundraiser coming up. Shop for the holidays and also support our Viaduct Beautification efforts. On Sunday, December 16th the ChiBoys t-shirt truck will be at University Commons 1071 W. 15th Place (Aberdeen) from 3 pm to 5 pm in the loading dock.

Monnie Burke’s, a wonderful Pilsen restaurant, stepped up immediately after it first opened in the summer to host a fundraiser with C4C to raise nearly $1,400 for its viaduct mural projects.

Not long after that, our This Little Bowl of Soup fundraiser at HaiSous raised $500. Thanks to HaiSous and community residents Chef Thai and Danielle Dang. Chef’s big sister Chi Thu oversaw the preparation of this delicious Vietnamese beef noodle soup. You know HaiSous must be something special when the “Breakfast Queen,” Ina Pinkney, the beloved restaurateur of Ina’s joined us.

Anyone who might want to have a matching donation made by their employer, checks need to be made out to Connecting4Communities. Remember we are a nonprofit 501(c)(3), and all donations are tax deductible.

We also have a GoFundMe account set up for donations.

https://www.gofundme.com/viaduct-beautification

Contact nancyplax@connecting4communities.org with any questions.