The 2024 Grantees

Design Impact Grant Recipient: alt_ Redemptive Plastics

Redemptive Plastics is an initiative that targets the issue of disinvestment in Austin as signified through accumulated trash, mostly commonly plastic. Redemptive Plastics is a comprehensive and replicable system for addressing the proliferation of plastic waste in the community by creating functional art pieces, such as public benches and playground components, using those plastics and providing work opportunities for artisans and residents in the community through technical training.


Design Impact Grant Recipient: Aram Han Sifuentes

Since 2023 HANA Center and Aram Han Sifuentes have collaborated on “Citizenship for All: Storytelling through Nonggi Making” (commonly called Nonggi Project), engaging multi-generational Korean, Asian American, and multi-ethnic immigrant communities. Our aim is to share stories and ignite collective action towards achieving immigrant and racial justice. Nonggis are Korean folk banners that lead cultural activities including festivals, gatherings, and rituals. Believed to possess spiritual powers, nonggis were thought to offer protection from evil and communicate desires and commands to the gods for societal harmony and blessing.


Built Environment Grant Recipient: Common Worlds Playscapes

Common Worlds Playscapes and South Merrill Community Garden will collaborate on the design, construction and programming of an intergenerational space for gathering, play and arts at the South Merrill Community Garden in South Shore. This anchor play feature will be built around a part of a school bus which was salvaged and moved to the garden several years ago, where it has become a sleeper hit with neighbors and kids. The grant helps cover costs for community engagement, design, fabrication and installation for the rebuilt bus-as-play feature, and would also support and promote kids’ and adults’ arts programming.


Special Recognition: Arts of Life

Arts of Life (AofL) has a 24-year track record of leveraging the power of artmaking to empower people with I/DD to forge meaningful careers, create important community bonds, increase self-determination and self-confidence, and develop independence. Arts of Life addresses a significant need for accessible artmaking spaces on the South Side, and fills gaps in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).


Special Recognition: Chuquimarca

Chuquimarca is an art library participating in the making and exchanging of art knowledge and language by gathering art books and organizing cohort-led programs. It does these three things: it acquires art books; it supports research through the Tanda program; it supports art writers through the Muña Art Writing Residency. The library values and prioritizes material and immaterial art resources related to: Native, Caribbean, Latin American, Black, Latine/a/o/x, African, Asian, AAPI, Arabic, and SWANA discourses.


Special Recognition: Design Trust Chicago

Design Trust Chicago (DTC) is a multidisciplinary civic impact design organization that partners with local leaders and communities to collectively envision an equitable built environment through the design of healthy, vibrant, safe, and thriving buildings, public spaces, streetscapes, spaces, and places for all Chicagoans. DTC was founded in 2020 by three design leaders—women of color and advocates of spatial justice and social equity—in response to a need for affordable, community-based, and culturally specific design services in historically underserved neighborhoods across Chicago.


Special Recognition: Eric Hotchkiss

As a Chicago-based interdisciplinary designer, engineer, and educator, Eric Hotchkiss is committed to empowering communities through collaborative design. His approach integrates artistry with practical functionality, focusing on co-creation with underserved communities to produce designs that foster agency and engagement. His teaching philosophy, informed by a decade of experience in youth education, centers on fostering empathy and inclusivity through storytelling and engagement.


Special Recognition: Global Garden Refugee Training Farm

Founded in 2012, Global Garden Refugee Training Farm (GGRTF) provides garden plots for ~75 refugees who grow produce for home consumption, plus farm plots for six refugees who grow for sale at local farmers markets, a CSA, and to local restaurants and food pantries. Their mission is to improve access to fresh vegetables for newly arrived refugee families and their urban neighbors; feed the souls of displaced farmers through re-connection with the soil and food production; provide supplemental income for participating refugee farmers; and foster new, refugee-operated farms.


Special Recognition: Project Osmosis

For 25 years, Project Osmosis has exposed, identified, introduced, mentored, and supported Chicago teens/youth who are interested in pursuing careers in the design profession. Our work supports young people from economically disadvantaged, high crime, and violent communities throughout Chicago, draws attention to the work of art/design professionals from the African American/Latino/Female communities, and provides opportunity and space for those from underrepresented segments of the art/design profession to hone their talents while being mentored and trained by veteran design professionals.


Special Recognition: Narrow Bridge

​​Artists are change makers and lack environmentally proactive community space to come together. Narrow Bridge Arts Clubs provides that space. Chicago’s poet laureate Avery R. Young said it best at our first art opening, as neighbors and friends snacked on popcorn, looking up at Candace Hunter’s collages attached to the construction scaffolding on the building: “Every block should have art.'' There is a thriving community of Southside artists too often underrepresented in formal gallery spaces, which informs our curatorial priorities.


Special Recognition: Chicago South Side Birth Center

Chicago South Side Birth Center (CSBBC) is a non-profit that will be an independent, Black midwife-led Birth Center located on the South Side of Chicago. They aim to offer a low-risk option for birth and mixed risk option for reproductive health care for people in their own neighborhood and community. They hope to be an answer to the lack of care options currently available on the south side of Chicago as well as a solution to the disparate maternal and child health rates among Black birthing people and children on the South Side.


Special Recognition: The Beat Bank

Lional "Brother El" Freeman's journey in the realm of electronic music began with a profound passion for sonic exploration and community engagement. In 2010, he founded The Beat Bank, a record label dedicated to promoting equitable art practices and providing a platform for emerging artists. Through The Beat Bank, Brother El sought to break down barriers of elitism in the music industry and bring art directly to the people.


Special Recognition: United Yards

United Yards Phase 1B includes the design of 4 retail shops located on the ground floor of the historic Goldblatt’s building. APMonarch designed the spaces with salvaged, recycled, and low-carbon interior finishes as well as efficient all-electric equipment in the coffee shop and bakery with the intent to reduce carbon emissions from buildings.


Special Recognition: Yollocalli

The National Museum of Mexican Art’s (NMMA) youth program, Yollocalli, has worked with youth in Little Village on many projects that illustrate their strengths. The ethos of Yollocalli is the belief in the autonomy of young people and the centering of youth voices; staff work to ensure that internal structures, and participation in the active maintenance of the health of the wider community support these ideals.


See the 2023 grantees

See the 2022 grantees

See the 2021 grantees

See the 2020 grantees