Puerto Rican Hurricane Relief/Artist Richard Santiago
Hurricane Maria stormed the shores of Puerto Rico last fall.... leaving a trail of destruction. It is the worst natural disaster in the history of that island and the recovery has been slow to happen. In the meantime, thousands of 'survivors' of the storm have fled. In fact, at least 2,500 have made their way to Chicago. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center is one of the key outposts for support as the evacuees look to start over. In fact, one former art professor in San Juan has made Chicago a 'second home' for his family largely, thanks to the PRCC. Richard Santiago is artist-in-residence for the PRCC's new child development center..or Consuelo Lee Corretjer Centro Infantil. Richard has moved his entire family to the Windy City... and is bringing his artwork to the walls that will liven up the child care center for years to come!
The Puerto Rican Cultural Center
2546 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
NEW Consuelo Lee Corretjer Day Care Center(Opening Soon)
1345 N. Rockwell
To connect with artist, Richard Santiago, on Facebook:
Edra Soto is another talented artist who hails from Puerto Rico but now, Chicago is very much her home. Her neighborhood... East Garfield Park... is an important inspiration in her latest work. As Edra would walk her neighborhood with her two dogs, she picked up garbage... much of it happened to be old liquor bottles. Edra collected hundreds of them... cleaned them up... and turned them into a thought-provoking and inspiring exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago. Iterations of 'Open 24 Hours' have gone on to be exhibited across the country. Along with her social activism through her art, Edra is on a mission to promote 'up and coming' Chicago artists. She and her husband have built a free-standing art gallery in their backyard, called 'The Franklin' and invite new artists to display their work there. The Franklin garnered buzz as one of the city's top new art galleries back in 2013.
For info about Edra:
To visit the Museum:
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave.
For info about Edra's exhibit, 'Open 24 Hours':
Chef Carlos Gaytan
You may know him as a reality TV personality... from his stint on Top Chef... but Chef Carlos Gaytan... is also the owner and executive Chef of Chicago's Mexique. The West Town restaurant is celebrating it's tenth year in 2018! Chef Carlos is the first Mexican Chef to have received a Michelin star for his work and he works tirelessly to help children with their education and just opened a new restaurant in Mexico called Ha.
1529 W Chicago Ave
Dill Costa is a dancer, singer and actress who hails from Rio de Janeiro. Chicago is her home now but she brings a big taste of her homeland to all of her enthusiastic pupils. Dill teaches Brazilian Dance at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Her students say there is no one better! She even takes some of them to Carnival in Rio every year. And on June 30, 2018 will star in her own show right here in Chicago.
Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
To register for Dill Costa's Old Town School class:
When Chicago's Ixhelt Gonzalez was born, she was confronting a disability but this 13 year-old is definitely -not- letting that 'hold her back'! She has achieved a -first- in the sports world....she recently became the youngest member of the US Women's National Wheelchair Basketball team! Along with keeping up with her work as an 8th Grader at Immaculate Conception School, she flies out to Colorado to train with the team at the Olympic Training Facility. The women are preparing for this summer's World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. While Gonzalez does not use a wheelchair in her daily life, she copes with a debilitating condition called femoral introversion, which causes her feet to turn inwards when she walks. She is still trying desperately to raise funds for both a new wheelchair she needs to compete and the funds needed for all of her travels.
To contribute to Ixhelt's GoFundMe campaign:
To find out more about the Chicago Park District's Skyhawks wheelchair team:
Chicago Park District
541 Fairbanks Ct.
When Anna Valencia was a teen, she had the opportunity to work for a political campaign in downstate Illinois. Today, she is 'paying it forward' by introducing millennials to government, hoping it will spark an interest in them, just like it did for her. The Ñ Beat takes a closer look at how Valencia runs the City Clerk's office... and engages the city's youth all at the same time. We caught up with her as she invited a local Civics class to see how things operate at City Hall.
For more information about Chicago City Clerk, Anna Valencia: