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Showtime executives, some cast members of “The Chi,” and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot donated $500,000 to Greencorps Chicago on Monday, July 26, 2021. The money is for their green job training program for residents of Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods and Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG), a nonprofit in South Side.
The CPAG creates high-quality, public artworks which speak for, are channeled through, and to the community, neighborhood, or institution in which they are seen. Greencorps, run by the Chicago Department of Transportation, helps individuals prepare for jobs in environmental fields while getting paid an hourly wage and receiving on-the-job training in the field and classroom. Chicago Public Art Group brings artists, community groups, churches, and other area service organizations together to produce public art.
The monies will help support programs, clean up and beautify the neighborhood of 32 empty lots on the city’s South and West sides, where the Showtime series has been filming for four seasons.
The money will cover years of maintenance for the lots owned by the city and was chosen based on where the series was being filmed.
The funds will also cover six art projects by artists Damon Lamar Reed, Dorian Sylvain, and Delilah Salgado in Bronzeville and North Lawndale. Sylvain stated that the first one in the series was presented on Monday, titled “Chicago-Cool,” which celebrated the youth of Chicago, who is the inspiration for the new cultural stream flowing throughout the city. They are scheduled to be completed by the end of August.
Young organizers and activists are building bridges connecting communities building a stronger Chicago.
Lightfoot spoke from one of the lots being converted in North Lawndale, praising Showtime for their commitment to invest in, support, and encourage Chicago residents while passionately portraying our neighborhoods in ‘The Chi.’
‘The Chi,’ a coming-of-age drama series filmed in Chicago and shown on Showtime, was created by Emmy winner Lena Waithe, screenwriter, producer, actress, and Chicago native. The show ran from December 5, 2017, with the final episode airing on July 25, 2021. It concentrates on a group of Chicago residents from the South Side who became friends out of their need to connect and redemption.
Written by Brenda Robinson
Chicago Sun-Time: Showtime Donates $500,000 to City’s Greencorps Chicago and Chicago Public Art Group; by Miriam Di Nunzio
The Chicago Community Trust: Stories
Greencorps Chicago: Summer Youth Program
Featured Image Courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License