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Residents and Artists Plan to Beautify Chicago Planter Walls Together

In 2006, the City of Chicago installed eight concrete planter walls between the street and sidewalk of the Fullerton Avenue business corridor in the neighborhood of Logan Square. Intended as beautification elements, these walls were designed to receive decorative inserts. Due to the economy's downturn and the perceived insignificance of beautification projects, these low walls were never completed. Since then, they’ve been targeted by graffiti, and neighbors call them "tombstones."

A few years ago our organization, archi-treasures, drafted a project proposal to beautify these walls with artwork that would be developed in a collaboration between residents and professional artists. archi-treasures is an arts-based community development organization that builds public spaces. This neighborhood project has been sitting on our back burner due to a lack of funding, until recently when we decided to use crowdfunding to make the vision come to life. Our team refined the beautification idea and formulated the final project proposal for what is now Logan Square Impressions on Kickstarter.

For more than fifteen years, archi-treasures has been working with communities throughout Chicago to facilitate the creation of vibrant artistic spaces. Logan Square Impressions is a community-wide public art project to beautify the planter walls and Fullerton Avenue streetscape. The public will be given the opportunity to collaborate hands-on in free concrete casting workshops to create their own Logan Square Impression. In addition, anyone can submit a personal impression of Logan Square to These impressions will be incorporated into the concrete reliefs created by a professional artist during the free casting workshops. Our project includes direct input from people in the community to build something physical that enhances our public spaces—and also creates social connections between people who come together to work on the project.

Logan Square Impressions hopes to actively engage local organizations and businesses in a project that will encourage a sense of pride and ownership in the community. Seed Chicago, the City of Chicago's curated Kickstarter page developed by World Business Chicago at the request of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is the first of its kind, and features projects specifically focused on job creation and growth in Chicago's neighborhoods. archi-treasures is excited to be one of eleven projects featured on their page, as they revolutionize neighborhood project funding.

If we meet our Kickstarter goal, our project will create a streetscape with vibrant works of art, transforming Fullerton Avenue into a pedestrian and business-friendly corridor. The enhanced space will support economic development efforts in Logan Square by making the street a more welcoming place to visit, and demonstrating the power of art and design to make our city a more livable place. Please support us if you'd like to be a part of a community-oriented art project for Chicago.

This project is featured in GOOD's Saturday series Push for Good — our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.\n

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