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Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton – 2019

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4927 S Indiana Ave

4927 South Indiana Avenue

Chicago, IL 60615

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During summer of 2019, Creative Grounds presents Process(ing) Transformation in collaboration with the Washington Park Development Group.

By asking how might art, design and architecture create a more inclusive process for repurposing closed public schools, this project aims to produce art and design installations by collaborative teams of architects and artists that can respond both to the main prompt of Creative Grounds about the future of social infrastructure and/or are inspired by the architecture of this building or the legacy of Anthony Overton.

Creative Grounds @ Anthony Overton invites collaborative projects among Bronzeville/Southside and city-wide artists, architects, designers, students and residents to activate the different spaces in the school with site-specific temporary interventions exploring the intersections of MEMORY, INCLUSION and EQUITY.

Projects will be developed between June – September 2018; through 3 community activations, open house style (June, July, August) for teams to meet, workshop and test their projects ideas on-site. These workshops are open to the community, and visitors are welcome to join and interact with different creative processes. Multiple collaborations have been created in the hallways of Overton in the past.

These 3 activations aim to be opportunities for participatory, hands-on activities that might contribute to the different projects. Finally, one last celebration for the season (September), a social gathering, to celebrate collectively the creativity and outcomes of these projects. This celebration will coincide with the opening of the Chicago Architecture Biennial in which Overton will be a featured site of this exhibition.

Visti this link to learn more about the CALL FOR TEAMS:

Click on this link and check out this short video that summarizes what we did last Summer!

Public Activations:

Saturdays, 1-4 pm @ Anthony Overton (221 E 49th St) – entrance on Indiana Ave.

July 6
July 27
August 31

Public Activation Days are open house style and meant to be for on-site work, workshops and meet ups for participating teams. Everyone is welcome to visit, and participate with a team if they are interested/available.


1:00-1:30 -- ALL: welcome, introductions, building walk through, projects descriptions

1:30-1:45 -- ALL: break -- team/project break out -- grab a snack, meet your team/room

1:45-3:30 -- TEAM/PROJECT: project workshops

3:30-4:00 -- ALL: teams presentations (share what you did / what are you going to do) / walk through different classrooms / breakdown.

Would you like to volunteer with us?

Send us a message: We are looking for volunteers that can support the participant teams in different activities including creative/design work, fabrication, team organization and community programming.

About Creative Grounds

CREATIVE GROUNDS is an collective initiative led by BORDERLESS STUDIO to explore the community and urban role of school grounds after the largest Public Schools Closure in Chicago’s history. In collaboration with community organizations, artists, educators, architects, urban designers, planners, administrators, journalists, activists and social innovators, this research and creative platform assembles ideas and documents processes of schools’ repurposing focused on leveraging the legacy of their past, identifying present opportunities, and exploring future potential of these community assets.

About Anthony Overton Business & Technology Incubator (former Elementary School)

Anthony Overton Elementary School closed in 2013, and was purchased by the Washington Park Development Group in 2015. Designed and built by prominent local architects, Perkins & Will in 1963, Overton represents a modern and progressive approach to education reform and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

Overton is in the process of being transformed into a business and technology incubation center. It will offer entrepreneurs facilities training, amenities, and connections to other motivated individuals. The architecturally significant mid-century modern building is an anchor in the community and readily adapted to support new uses like offices, labs, a catering kitchen, a gymnasium, event room and performance stage.

About Anthony Overton

Anthony Overton (March 21, 1865 – July 2, 1946), a banker and pioneer manufacturer, was the first African American to lead a major business conglomerate. Overton established Hygienic in 1898 and produced baking powder, extracts, and toilet preparations. After moving the firm from Kansas to Chicago, he began to manufacture a full line of cosmetics and perfumes under the High-Brown Products label. He parlayed his early success with Hygienic into a highly diverse conglomerate, including The Great Northern Realty Company, The Chicago Bee, and the Victory Life Insurance Company. This was the first major conglomerate led by an African-American.


4927 S Indiana Ave

4927 South Indiana Avenue

Chicago, IL 60615

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