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During 2020 we witnessed an unprecedented showcase of different forms of solidarity, mutual aid and community care efforts responding to the impact of both pandemic and civil unrest. Frame(Works) of Resilience is the evolution of Creative Grounds – using creativity and design to support community self-determination efforts and amplifying ways of creative cooperation.


Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton during the Summer of 2021 focused on supporting collective visibility to community-led efforts and prototype a creative space for initiatives focused on SOLIDARITY, COOPERATION and COMMUNITY CARE.

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Illustration: Summer Focus Projects @ Overton School Grounds

This year, we'll focus on 3 collaborative projects between June – September 2021 to keep activating the grounds at former Overton School:

1. Community Garden

2. Community Frames + Pop-up Exchange

3. Basketball (Art)Court

The project includes the organizing of monthly community days during the Summer months (June, July, August) – these gatherings are opportunities for participatory, hands-on activities shaping the different projects, exchange and collective learning. Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton has been a past contributor to Chicago Architecture Biennial, and will be also featured as part of the 2021 Edition "The Available City" under the artistic direction of David Brown.




As part of 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Studio BASAR designed and built the project Breaking Ground: The Schoolyard Workshop in collaboration with students and instructors from the Daniel Hale Williams Preparatory School of Medicine in Bronzeville.


​Overton Community Garden builds on Breaking Ground project by Studio BASAR (2019).  One of the goals of this project is to provide an outdoor space for collective learning and gathering about growing healthy and fresh food while expanding active green areas along Indiana Avenue. The harvested greens and flowers are shared during Community Days.

Photo: BREAKING GROUND project (Summer 2019)



The Overton Exchange is a community-led initiative to support community care and resource sharing in Bronzeville. This project seeks to cultivate and prototype a creative space for community resources while modeling new opportunities for exchange and cooperation among Southside community.


Inspired by weaving, these market structures provide with a frame to showcase community-led efforts focused on solidarity, resilience, cooperation and community care.


Illustration: Borderless Studio


Basketball (Art) Court is a multi-use space located south of the gym at Overton. Featuring Meet Me in the Middle artwork by artist Jade Foreman, the space was collaboratively designed and painted. This colorful and vibrant surface creates a new asset to Overton site and the Bronzeville community as it becomes a space to showcase various outdoor activities such as dancing classes, boxing, etc.

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Photo: Basketball (Art) Court (Summer 2021)


Community Days are free & open to everyone, and include a variety of hands-on activities, workshops, pop-up vending and art making. 

Saturdays, 2-5pm @ Anthony Overton

(221 E 49th St - Enter on Indiana Avenue)

June 19

July 31

August 28

September 18 (Chicago Architecture Biennial opening week)




We are grateful for the support and collaborative spirit of:

On The Real Film (Erin Babin + Michael Sullivan)

Bronzeville-Kenwood Mutual Aid Network (Cosmos Ray)

Grocery Run Club (Jorge Saldarriaga + Lucy Angel)

Comercio Popular (Miguel Cervantes)

Open Architecture Network (Craig Stevenson + Grace Liao)

ALT_ (Jon Veal + Jordan Campbell)

Camille Applewhite

Katanya Raby

Sadie Woods

Ty Martinez

Are you a Bronzeville neighbor?

Would you like to get involved?

Send us a message:



Anthony Overton Elementary School closed in 2013, and was purchased by the Washington Park Development Group in 2015. Designed and built by prominent local architects, Perkins & Will in 1963, Overton represents a modern and progressive approach to education reform and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.


Overton is in the process of being transformed into a business and technology incubation center. "It will offer entrepreneurs facilities training, amenities, and connections to other motivated individuals. The architecturally significant mid-century modern building is an anchor in the community and readily adapted to support new uses like offices, labs, a catering kitchen, a gymnasium, event room and performance stage."

Sources: The Chicago Reporter,  National Register of Historic Places Program, Pappageorge Haymes Partners




Anthony Overton (March 21, 1865 – July 2, 1946), a banker and pioneer manufacturer, was the first African American to lead a major business conglomerate. Overton established Hygienic in 1898 and produced baking powder, extracts, and toilet preparations. After moving the firm from Kansas to Chicago, he began to manufacture a full line of cosmetics and perfumes under the High-Brown Products label. He parlayed his early success with Hygienic into a highly diverse conglomerate, including The Great Northern Realty Company, The Chicago Bee, and the Victory Life Insurance Company. This was the first major conglomerate led by an African-American.

Source: Wikipedia

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