Every summer since Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks first began in 2012, more than 170,000 people in the south, west, and north sides of our city have enjoyed free Shakespeare performances in the heart of their neighborhood: their local park. These citywide tours are fueled by an incredible network of community partners, whose collaborations with us over the years beautifully embody the unifying spirit of this program: that Shakespeare is for everyone.
Right now, many of our partners are standing up against oppression and injustice, engaged in powerful, on-the-ground relief efforts for their neighborhoods. We support their vital work, and you can too. Explore below to learn how you can provide resources, advocate, and take action in helping create a more just and equitable Chicago. Partner organizations listed in alphabetical order.
Since 2010, Austin Coming Together has harnessed the power of collective impact to improve education and economic development outcomes in Chicago’s Austin community. Today, they are the backbone support agency for a network of more than 50 member organizations. In partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the City of Chicago, ACT is extending their weekly food distribution service and will continue providing the Austin community with healthy and nutritious foods, including fresh-produce and shelf stable items, all summer long!
We envision a safe, stable, engaged East Garfield Park where success is the norm and families prosper. Breakthrough partners with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills and open doors of opportunity. This month, Breakthrough is celebrating local graduates by collecting necessary items for students heading off to college in the fall—such as bedding, towels, toiletries, laundry supplies, school supplies, and more.
By The Hand is a Christ-centered, after-school program that takes kids by the hand and walks with them from kindergarten through college, loving and nurturing them—mind, body and soul. By The Hand students, in partnership with Sam Acho, the Mayor’s Office, Alderman Emma Mitts, and a number of players from Chicago area sports teams, are transforming a former Austin liquor store into a fresh food market, to be led by BTH youth, providing healthy food, summer jobs and entrepreneurship training to youth.
The Garfield Park Community Council is a community-building organization made up of dedicated residents and allies working together to develop leaders and create opportunities and programs that build a vital Garfield Park community. GPAC is providing vital community services for friends and neighbors with monthly Safety Walks and Community Clean Up efforts—and on July 11, the much beloved Garfield Park Neighborhood Market returns at The Hatchery!
The Greater Chatham Initiative was born from a comprehensive plan for economic growth and neighborhood vitality (The Plan). Our mission is to strategically invest (consistent with The Plan) in the Chicago communities of Chatham, Greater Grand Crossing, Avalon Park, and Auburn Gresham so they can re-emerge as communities of opportunity and choice. GCI is operating a socially distant food pantry and mask distribution effort, promoting South Side restaurants that are open for pick-up & delivery, and offering restorative practices, tools, and tips for community members affected by COVID‑19 and neighborhood violence.
The mission of the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce is to transform Greater Englewood into a popular commercial and retail destination by (a)dvising, (d)eveloping and (s)howcasing its established businesses and acting as a comprehensive economic development partner while creating a favorable social environment for chamber members. After receiving a generous matching grant from the Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation, the GE Chamber is raising a $250K emergency fund to help Greater Englewood small business owners rebuild.
The mission of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood is to mobilize people and resources to force a change in the community by breaking down barriers in communication and promoting positivity through solution-based approaches. R.A.G.E. is bringing essential items and “boredom buster” packages to families, as well as raising funds for the new Go Green Community Fresh Market—a model corner store committed to health and wellness, community ownership, and racial solidarity and healing.
A multi-generational church focused on extending God's love, encouraging personal growth and establishing healthy family relationships. In partnership with Advocate Aurora Health, Salem Baptist Church is serving as a COVID‑19 Mobile Community Testing Site, as well as hosting weekly Meal & Mask giveaways for neighbors.
Last updated July 9, 2020