CREATIVE GROUNDS @ ANTHONY OVERTON
REUNITE + RESPOND
Since 2017, Creative Grounds @ Overton has created space for the community to stay connected with the former Overton Elementary School - future Overton Center for Excellence.
The first couple of years, through our themes Opening Closings (2017), 8x3: Art + Architecture (2018) and Process(ing) Transformation (2019), our focus was on making space for collective creativity and art/design work activating the different classrooms with multiple teams. The last two years, through pandemic we held space driven by solidarity and resilience to take care of each other while organizing opportunities to reflect on issues that we care about addressing – we served our community through the Southside Food Distribution Network (2020), worked on the Climate and Cultural Resilience Project (2020), and activated the grounds again through Frame(works) of Resilience (2021).
This Summer of 2022 we are back with an expanded and hybrid approach.
Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton will focus on three (3) collaborative projects between June – September.
100 Ideas for C.H.A.N.G.E.
Scroll down to find more information about these projects.
Illustration: Overton Center for Excellence
OVERTON COMMUNITY GARDEN
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 and Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE).
In 2021, Overton Community Garden continued building 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
Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton will continue organizing the Overton Exchange - a community market featuring local and city-wide organizations and groups invested in supporting healthy, safe and thriving communities through social entrepreneurship and services, and initiatives improving our built and natural environment focused on C.H.A.N.G.E. (Climate, Health, Arts/Culture, Next Generation, Growth, Education).
The Overton Exchange meets every month throughout the Summer during Community Days - see dates below.
Photos: Overton Exchange (Summer 2021)
100 IDEAS FOR COLLECTIVE C.H.A.N.G.E.
Creative Grounds also seeks to celebrate the creativity and brilliance of our community through an open call for 100 Ideas for Collective C.H.A.N.G.E. This open call is an invitation to REUNITE and RESPOND with programming partnerships (organizing workshops, dialogues, roundtables, performances) to be hosted during the Summer and/or contributing to a collective exhibition to be showcased by the end of the Summer with art/design work. Click here to review submission guidelines.
Photo: Just Action Racial Equity Collaborative Workshop (2021)
Photo: Closed Schools Research Student Exhibition (2019)
Photo: People's Budget Chicago Community Workshop (2021)
Community Days are free & open to everyone, and include a variety of programming activities, workshops, performances, plus all our community participants in The Overton Exchange.
Saturdays, 2-5pm @ Overton Center for Excellence
(221 E 49th St - Enter on Indiana Avenue)
FREE + OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
OVERTON CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE (FORMER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL)
Photo: Sandra Steinbrecher (2019)
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.
The Overton Center for Excellence will transform the Overton School into flexible office space for entrepreneurs and nonprofits focused in the areas of CHANGE (Climate, Health, Arts & Culture, Next Generation, Growth and Education).
Sources: The Chicago Reporter, National Register of Historic Places Program, City of Chicago Community Development Program
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.
Community Garden Coordinator
We are super grateful for all the volunteers that year after year collaborate with us and make space together with us!