Home 2013 National Conference 2013 National Conference Learning Tours

2013 National Conference Learning Tours

Extend your EPIP conference experience—beyond the Chicago Hilton. Join one of three Learning Tours for an in-depth, hands-on exploration of Chicago philanthropy, nonprofits and culture.

Tours will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 2 pm – 5 pm. Spots will be first-come, first-serve. Conference registrants will receive an email in mid-March with instructions on how to sign up. Register for a learning tour now.

EPIP would like to thank the Chicago Host Committee and Community Partners for their hard work to make these tours possible. Watch this space—more details to come!

Arts and Culture-Initiated Redevelopment

Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and EPIP present: Strategies in Innovative Constituent Engagement to Revitalize Targeted Communities

A key tenant of the Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities framework is the strategic involvement of Black populations in the planning of programs, policies and grantmaking strategies that directly impact them. With an increased understanding of the strengths and assets of diverse Black constituencies, grantmakers are better equipped to: (a) design culturally-appropriate tactics that reflect community voice and, (b) produce results that build upon community assets and promote constituent participation in addressing challenges. This inspiring site visit will explore the role of artists, and arts and culture in the revitalization of low-income communities.

Featured Presenters:

  • Theaster Gates – Artist and cultural planner; founder of Rebuild Foundation
  • Michelle T. Boone  – Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
  • Rick Lowe – Project Row Houses

The Tour:
Participants will take a guided tour of the Dorchester Projects and other Rebuild Foundation projects. The Dorchester Projects encompasses a cluster of formerly abandoned buildings on Chicago’s South Side that Theaster Gates renovated from sites of neglect into a vibrant cultural locus. Following a rich panel discussion at the Black Cinema House on culture-initiated redevelopment in Black communities, the tour concludes with a light reception/networking social.

Sign up for the Arts and Culture-Initiated Redevelopment Learning Tour.


Transformative Urban Green Infrastructure through Public/Private Partnerships

Trust for Public Land presents:
The Bloomingdale Trail: America’s Next Great Park

Chicago’s reputation for innovative parks and green space design stretches back more than 100 years – from the nation’s first field houses and World’s Fair legacies to the spectacular Millennium Park. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) continues Chicago’s legacy of environmental leadership with their signature project, The Bloomingdale Trail.

Explore first-hand how this future three-mile elevated park and trail will transform a now-defunct rail line into a much needed green space network—by connecting Chicago neighborhoods which lack “close-to-home” park access. Participants will also hear how TPL, with its public and private partners, plans to meet Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s challenge to open the Bloomingdale Trail by fall 2014.

Featured Presenters:

  • Trust for Public Land–Chicago
  • Friends of Bloomingdale Trail
  • City of Chicago (invited)
    • Department of Housing and Economic Development
    • Department of Transportation
    • Park District

The Tour:
Participants begin this tour with a briefing by TPL, several project/community collaborators, and key city departments—hosted by partner agency McCormick Tribune YMCA.  Next, the TPL and Friends of Bloomingdale Trail will guide participants on a “step off, step on” tour of selected access points of the green way that will transform an unused railroad viaduct into an elevated, multi-use, linear park and trail running through Chicago’s Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. Attendees will learn about several key elements needed for this successful public/private partnership: the multiple benefits of parks and green space; issues of public safety, opportunities for holistic urban planning and sustainable design; and the importance of community engagement/long-term stewardship.*

*Attendees wishing to walk atop The Bloomingdale Trail must wear sturdy close-toed shoes. 

Sign up for the Transformative Urban Green Infrastructure Learning Tour.


Youth Led Social Change

Crossroads Fund and Cricket Island Foundation present : Exploring the Youth Leadership and Social Change Movement in Chicago’s South Side

Throughout Chicago, youth are at the forefront of innovative activism around some of the biggest issues facing our city. From immigration to incarceration to healthcare and the environment, youth led social justice organizations are changing the institutions that are affecting their communities for the better. During this tour of the south and southwest sides of Chicago—including the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Marquette Park, learn how youth led social justice groups are positively impacting the future of their communities.

Invited Presenters:

  • Chicago Freedom School (CFS)
  • Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY)
  • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO)
  • Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL)
  • Inner-city Muslim Action Network (IMAN)
  • Young Women’s Empowerment Project (YWEP)

The Tour:
Participants will visit the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Woodlawn on a guided tour by FLY members. FLY will also speak about their campaigns for affordable housing, an end to violence, access to health care—as well as the relationship between the University of Chicago and the surrounding communities. The tour continues on to the neighborhood of Marquette Park—where IMAN will host members of YWEP, IYJL, and LVEJO as these four organizations share how youth movements are transforming institutions while they advocate for the rights of immigrants, the environment and young people. The Chicago Freedom School will moderate this lively discussion.

Sign up for the Youth Led Social Change Learning Tour.




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