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archi-treasures? Front Porch Project


archi-treasures is an arts-based community development

organization that transforms lives while transforming

community spaces. In collaboration with community

members, archi-treasures develops art and design

projects ? murals, mosaics, sculptures, and public art

installations? that strengthen social connections, increase

civic engagement, and generate pride among residents.

Over the past 20 years, archi-treasures has completed more

than 150 projects in 34 city-wide Chicago neighborhoods.

Professional artists and designers from archi-treasures

engage children, teens, adults, and seniors in an art-

making and design process that highlights their voice and

interests, while creating a unique collective art experience

for participants.

In 2016, archi-treasures launched the Front Porch

Project at the Germano Milgate Apartments, a 350-

unit affordable housing complex in South Chicago. An

artistic intervention into the isolated culture of subsidized

housing, the Front Porch Project examines the dichotomy

between the ideal and real front porch that can be found

in disinvested neighborhoods like South Chicago. The

Front Porch Project uses art and design as tools to navigate

public and private space, and support the transformation

of at-risk communities. Through year-long resident

engagement opportunities including facilitated community

conversations, a community-based participatory research

process, and paid internship and volunteer roles, archi-

treasures and artist Chiara Galimberti collaborated with

Germano residents to produce the Front Porch pilot


It Out/ Bring It In

art series.

The goal of

Beam It Out/ Bring It In

was to connect Germano

residents with one another and the larger community, and

to create a space for self-determination, where project

participants can tell their stories on their own terms. Carried

out over the summer of 2016,

Beam It Out/ Bring It In

organized free portrait drawing classes resulting in over 200

drawings of Germano residents, as well as photo sessions

and audio interviews. The different components of


It Out/ Bring It In

are featured on a project website, and as

part of large scale neighborhood public art installations

and a gallery exhibition.

Earlier this year, archi-treasures? Front Porch Project was

nominated for the American for the Arts? Robert E. Gard

Award, which honors projects that have integrated the arts

into the community in meaningful and measurable ways.

archi-treasures? Front Porch Project

Beam It Out/ Bring It


exhibition is on display at the Loyola Museum of Art

between July 1 and October 21, 2017.

To learn more about archi-treasures and help celebrate the

organization?s 20th anniversary in 2017, please visit

Beam It Out/ Bring It In

Images courtesy of archi-treasures.