Archi-treasures is an arts-based community-development organization that transforms lives while transforming community spaces. Over the past 20 years, archi-treasures has completed more than 150 projects that strengthen social connections, increase civic engagement, and generate pride among residents in 34 Chicago neighborhoods.
In 2016, archi-treasures launched the Front Porch Project at the Germano Milgate Apartments, a 350-unit affordable housing complex in South Chicago. An artistic intervention into the isolated culture of subsidized housing, the Front Porch Project examines the dichotomy between the ideal and real front porch that can be found in dis-invested neighborhoods like South Chicago. Through year-long resident engagement opportunities including facilitated community conversations, a community-based participatory research process, and paid internship and volunteer roles, archi-treasures and artist Chiara Galimberti collaborated with Germano residents to produce the Front Porch pilot Beam It Out/ Bring It In art series.
The goal of Beam it Out/ Bring It In was to connect Germano residents with one another and the larger community, and to create a space for self-determination, where project participants can tell their stories on their own terms. Beam It Out/ Bring It In organized free portrait drawing classes resulting in over 200 drawings of Germano residents, as well as photo sessions and audio interviews. The different components of Beam It Out/ Bring It are featured on a project website, and as part of large scale neighborhood public art installations and a gallery exhibition.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website