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Free Art for the Residents of Englewood

I submitted the following proposal this spring. John Carnwath suggested I re-submit my proposal in the fall. Please note that I have made significant changes.

In March 2009 I began an art project to better my drawing and writing skills. I invented a town named Colorido and I set out to draw its eccentric residents and write their biographies.

Less than a year after beginning the project I raised $1K via Kickstarter, which allowed me to frame 64 drawings. At two exhibitions in Chicago and Evanston, IL, I sold nearly all of the drawings. In December 2011, one of the drawings was even featured on the cover of the Chicago Reader. I’m still working on this project, though the place where everyone lives is now called the NINTH LODGE, and there are more than 200 residents.

Should I have the good fortune to be awarded an Awesome Foundation grant I will frame as many of these drawings as possible and host a day-long exhibition where I give them all away, no strings attached, to the residents of the Englewood neighborhood.

Englewood is plagued with a significant amount of gun violence. By hosting a free community event I hope to show that there are positive, communal, healing forces in making (and giving away) artwork. I anticipate partnering with CeaseFire to choose an ideal location and venue for the exhibition. I am confident that if I receive this grant I could use that momentum to raise additional funds on my own to make this a stellar event with art-supply giveaways and live music.

Five years ago I lived in Guatemala. For three months I worked one-on-one with the children of the Guatemala City garbage dump community. Throughout that period I saw firsthand the effects that rampant drug and gun violence can have upon a community. It is my hope that this event will bring art, music, and inspiration to a Chicago neighborhood in need of support.

An interview about the project: http://tiny.cc/kalpanainterview

Funded by Chicago, IL (October 2012)