2023 Design
Impact Grants

The 2023 Grantees

Grant Recipient: Center for Native Futures

The Center for Native Futures (CfNF) was established in 2021 by a group of Chicago-based artists and writers to be the epicenter of Native creativity and foster those artists and curators. Ignoring political borders, CfNF recognizes the city of Zhegagoynak (Chicago) as Indigenous land and works to promote the voices of displaced Native people of the Great Lakes region. The organization fosters Native visual artists and writers at various career stages and provides a lens to learn from the past, nurture the present, and realize our thriving future. They focus on Indigenous Futurisms, a genre of Native arts that expands opportunities and reimagines Native realities without colonial limitations.


Grant Recipient: The Chicago Tool Library

The Chicago Tool Library is a nonprofit “library of things” located in West Garfield Park. They opened our doors in 2019 with the mission to create new and equitable opportunities for Chicagoans to build, repair, and learn. They do this by offering pay-what-you-can library memberships that grant users access to an inventory of thousands of items ranging from miter saws, to food dehydrators, to sewing machines. Since opening, over 4,500 households in every Chicago zip code have joined and they have saved our users over $1million in tool purchases and rentals.


Special Recognition: Arts of Life

Arts of Life advances the creative arts community by providing artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) a collective space to expand their practice and strengthen their leadership. Community integration lies at the heart of AofL, founded in 2000 on Chicago’s near west side. The three founding members were an artist with an intellectual disability, a self­-taught unconventional artist, and a professional in the field of developmental disabilities. They united to create a professional, person-­centric artistic community, while providing a work environment of equality and autonomy.


Special Recognition: NLCCC GROWSS

GROWSS (Greening, Outdoor space, Water, Soil & Sustainability) is one of the committees of the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC). Their work follows the strategies and goals laid out in the 2018 North Lawndale Quality of Life Plan. They promote greening efforts that beautify our neighborhood and also expand social and economic opportunities that encourage entrepreneurship, education, social engagement, and environmental stewardship.


Special Recognition: Aram Han Sifuentes

Aram Han Sifuentes (she/they) is a social practice and fiber artist, writer, and educator who works to center immigrant and disenfranchised communities. She confronts social and racial injustices against the disenfranchised and riffs off official institutions and bureaucratic processes to reimagine new, inclusive, and humanized systems of civic engagement and belonging. She does this by creating participatory and active environments where safety, play, and skill-sharing are emphasized. And even though many of her projects are collaborative and communal in nature, they incite and highlight individual’s experiences, politics, and voice.


See the 2022 grantees

See the 2021 grantees

See the 2020 grantees