Urban Gateways staff members and teaching artists entertained throngs of children (and parents) July 13-19 as part of the Millennium Park Family Fest.
Stationed in the Target Tent, teaching artists set up free craft tables and workshops for passersby, all focusing on the theme of Chicago neighborhoods.
Urban Gateways literary artist Ira Murfin helped kids to creatively reconstruct their day’s activities by pasting words and decorations onto a map of Chicago, and visual artist Monserrat Alsina provided materials for them to make “neighborhood trading cards” based on different Chicago communities like Pilsen, downtown, and Uptown.
Nikki Zaleski, a theater teaching artist, initiated a “community web” in which kids answered written prompts about their communities and strung the papers together with yarn. Visual artist James “Casper” Jankowiak helped kids create their own miniature houses and add them to a colorful 3D replica of Chicago.
By the end of the seven-day stint in the Target Tent, Urban Gateways had birthed the creation of a mini Chicago that consumed three tables, a tightly crafted yarn web, and a valuable new connection to the Chicago community.