A new year, A new partnership

Actors from the American Theater Company production of "The Project(s)" perform the newest iteration of the work. (From L to R: AnJi White, Linda Bright Clay, Joslyn Jones, Kristin Ellis, and Maurice Demus.); Actress Joslyn Jones, who plays character Miss Beatrice Harris in the production, with the real Miss Harris. Photos courtesy of the National Public Housing Museum

The National Public Housing Museum is excited to deepen our relationship with the American Theater Company to co-create a curriculum around the hit play The Project(s) which brought the voices of public housing residents to the stage to rave reviews in 2015.

The curriculum and a condensed touring version of the play will be coming to Chicago Public Schools beginning this spring through American Mosaic, a program pairing teaching artists with ninth-grade English teachers to deliver an intensive six-week arts residency in Chicago Public Schools. In addition, the ATC’s Youth Ensemble will perform The Project(s) this summer.

NPHM will contribute to the curriculum in order to give teachers the resources they need to lead conversations about the fundamental role that housing plays in building thriving communities.

The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times recently covered the collaboration. Click here to see the original coverage of The Project(s) by the Chicago Tribune. 

At a press conference on Wednesday, we got a sneak peek at the touring version, timed to fit inside of a class period, and actor Joslyn Jones, who plays Miss Beatrice Harris in the production, got to meet her character’s namesake.

Toward our mission to preserve, promote, and propel housing as a human right, will you help us invest in the next generation of civic leaders?

Chicago Housing Authority Board Approves Lease Agreement for NPHM

Board vote puts museum on track to open doors in 2018 at 1322 W. Taylor Street in Chicago.

The last extant Jane Addams Homes building at 1322 W. Taylor Street, the site of the future National Public Housing Museum.

The last extant Jane Addams Homes building at 1322 W. Taylor Street, the site of the future National Public Housing Museum.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A Chicago Housing Authority board vote Tuesday signals a leap forward for the National Public Housing Museum. The board approved a lease agreement that will enable the Museum to lease half of the CHA-owned building on a long-term, $1-a-year lease. 

“This is such an important milestone for the Museum and we want to express our deep gratitude to the CHA board and staff for this vote,” said Transitional Executive Director Pat O’Connell.

The NPHM board and staff are raising additional funds for the build-out, planning a first phase opening and preview exhibit for October 2017 as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and conducting a search for an executive director.

CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. said, “The Chicago Housing Authority supports the National Public Housing Museum project and believes it is important to the CHA, our residents, the community, and the city as a whole because it will highlight the role that public housing has played in the lives of Chicagoans, while preserving and rehabilitating a historic building and transforming it into a vibrant community asset. The museum will be a welcome addition to Taylor Street and the Little Italy community.”

 Museum Board Chair Sunny Fischer says the board envisions a public opening in its new space in fall 2018. “We can now move forward because of the CHA board’s leadership – we are very excited.” said Fischer, who grew up in public housing in the Bronx, New York. “Public housing has played a major role in our national identity and has housed more than 10 million Americans from all walks of life. By talking about public housing, we talk about the public good.”

On Saturday, October 1st from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 1322 W. Taylor St., the Museum has scheduled a celebratory “Last Look” event inside the red-brick building, designed by John Holabird in 1938. This event, which is free and open to the public will be the last public viewing of the Museum before construction begins. For more information, please visit www.nphm.org. and sign up on the event’s Eventbrite page.

The National Public Housing Museum is the first cultural institution in the United States dedicated to interpreting the American experience in public housing. The Museum draws on the power of place and memory to illuminate the resilience of the poor and working class families of every race and ethnicity to realize the promise of America. It seeks to open its permanent home in the last extant building of the Jane Addams Homes.

The Jane Addams was part of ABLA Homes (an acronym for three other housing developments including the Robert Brooks Homes, Loomis Courts, and Grace Abbott Homes totaling 3,596 units) and sits prominently within the Little Italy neighborhood.

CLICK HERE to read the official news release

Green It and Represent the NPHM! - Two Volunteer Opportunities

Continuing the tradition from years past, the National Public Housing Museum is excited to move forward with its fifth Greening the Grounds event which we-re now calling Green It! We're excited to invite our friends, supporters, and volunteers back to our future home at 1322 W. Taylor Street to weed the grounds at the front of the Museum and plant the pots of our front porch on Wednesday, August 17th from 4:30 to 6:00pm. Come any time and dressed as you are and enjoy the summer sun and make some new friends. Please RSVP to Daniel Ronan, the Manager of Public Engagement at dronan@nphm.org or call us at 773-245-1621.     

Connect with our Neighbors on Taylor Street at Festa Italiana

Join National Public Housing Museum staff, board members and fellow volunteers past, present and future at our 3rd annual friend-raising booth at Festa Italiana, the venerable street festival bringing together neighbors of Little Italy, ABLA, UIC and beyond.

Come and be among the first to learn about major upcoming milestones that will soon transform our historic site into a working Museum -- this Fall and into 2017! You’ll be a vital partner in kicking off this word-of-mouth campaign to inform and excite Chicago neighbors and citizens about the coming changes at 1322 Taylor Street.  

You’ll also help us to keep interested visitors to our table engaged as NPHM subscribers, future volunteers, and first-person experts whose stories of lived experience have the power to transform our understanding of public housing history.

To sign up for a shift, please tell us which shifts you can volunteer via our Doodle link HERE. We'll circle back and confirm your shift.   

Questions? Contact Associate Director & Curator Todd Palmer at tpalmer@nphm.org or 773-245-1658

As always, thank you for volunteering! 

National Public Housing Museum Pleased to Host Telling Stories, Telling Belongings Program in Rockford, IL this June

To RSVP for this program, CLICK HERE

On Thursday, June 16, the National Public Housing Museum will host its third iteration of the Telling Stories, Telling Belongings program in Rockford, Illinois. The program, inspired by the initial grass roots efforts of public housing residents to found the Museum, will use the power of personal narrative and storytelling to connect with material culture. 

In partnership with the Rockford Housing Authority and the Rockford Area Arts Council, the Museum is excited to help change perceptions of public housing as well as offer an opportunity for Rockford residents of all backgrounds to connect and form new relationships. 

As a physical museum, the NPHM will work to collate public housing narratives from across the United States. Telling Stories, Telling Belongings, is one such way the institution uses collective memory through public programming to increase the impact of these stories nationally in telling the Museum's story here in Chicago. 

In a community "show-and-tell" format, Rockford community members including public housing residents will have the opportunity to tell a story personal to them. Be it a story of growing up in public housing, a first date, or a birthday, the evening program, like the program hosted in Chicago in March, will feature stories through cherished belongings that recall memories worth recounting and reliving. 

Inanimate objects hold intrinsic power to open up memories and also force stories to the surface. As the National Public Housing Museum moves closer to groundbreaking in 2017, we anticipate the objects or belongings brought to Telling Stories, Telling Belongings programs as a candidates for objects in our museum collection.

Together the Museum looks forward to Rockford stories and the personal narratives that assign meaning to everyday objects. Through these everyday objects, we can begin to understand the everyday importance of community relationships which help not only to change perceptions of public housing and its residents, but also change perceptions of a community and its diverse background and experiences.  

For a program press release, CLICK HERE

Reflecting the Future event uses Poetry to Engage with Public Housing Policy

From left to right, poet presenters Shakira Johnson, Sandra Cornwell, and Salyndrea Jones. Charlie Barlow is in the back.

From left to right, poet presenters Shakira Johnson, Sandra Cornwell, and Salyndrea Jones. Charlie Barlow is in the back.

Last night, over 60 members of the public came to hear three poems by both former and current public housing residents about their experiences in Chicago public housing. Led by Charlie Barlow, a Lecturer in Public Policy and Geography and the current Director of the Chicago Policy Research Team at the University of Chicago, the policy conversation used three poems to help create discussion and interaction among the poet presenters and audience members. 

A former resident of Stateway Gardens, Salyndrea Jones delivered a poem of her public housing experience when her family was relocated to mixed-income housing. Shakira Johnson presented her poem on living in Westhaven Apartments, a mixed-income community that replaced Henry Horner Homes. Lathrop Homes resident Sandra Cornwell recalled in her poem the Chicago Housing Authority's Plan for Transformation opening up discussion among audience members and her fellow poet presenters what lies ahead for public housing and the future of affordable housing.   

Thank you to all that attended and we look forward to keeping you engaged in events in Chicago and Rockford, Illinois this summer! 

How did we do? If you attended the program last night and did not fill out an audience evaluation, please tell us what you thought in this brief survey

The Museum would like to acknowledge Ryun Miller and Robert Baudry for volunteering at this event. Would you like to volunteer at a future event? Please contact Daniel Ronan, the Manager of Public Engagement, at dronan@nphm.org, or (773) 257-7241. 

The Museum would also like to acknowledge Maggie Queeney of the Poetery Foundation for guiding Shakira and Salyndrea through the poetry workshop to create the poems you see below.

THE POEMS

Salyndrea Jones

Salyndrea lived in the Stateway Gardens public housing project from when she was born in 1993 and moved out in 2003. In that same year, Salyndrea and her family moved to Englewood into the St. Agnes Village Apartments until 2007 when her family was relocated to the new mixed-income development that replaced Stateway Gardens, the Park Boulevard Apartments. She recently moved out of her mother’s home in Park Boulevard into a low income apartment near 67th and Stony Island. At the end of April, Salyndrea participated in a workshop with the Poetry Foundation to develop this poem.

Memories

Street lights

Tall buildings

Crowded hallways

Broken elevators

Is where it began

Not where it ended

We needed a transition

Leaving behind

Abandoned buildings

Bricks and gravel on an empty lot.

With a bunch of memories

I suppose.

This project was never made for the saving grace.

As my grandmother graced the hallways just to make a way for her children

I am a product of my environment

But I'm looking to inspire

I got a taste of the black power mixtape now everything in my eyes looking a little vague.

No time to play I got a lot to gain...

But it wasn't all bad

That's just half the story

See everybody

Knew everybody

Somebody knew somebody

We were like family

We all stuck together

"icy cup, chips with cheese me please" to the lady on the 4th floor that was the candy store.

I remember summertime field trips and back to school parties...

Playing on the porch with my cousins

Going to the center

Great childhood memories

We need to get that back

for our next generation

We need our communities back

We

Need our people back

Why not start here....

Shakira Johnson

Shakira lived in Westhaven Apartments (on the site of the former Henry Horner Homes) in the Near West Side from 2005 to 2015. From Westhaven, Shakira moved into the Noble Square Senior Apartments to live with her grandmother. She now lives in a building in Humboldt Square where she pays 30% of her income in rent to an affordable housing developer. At the end of April, Shakira participated in a workshop with the Poetry Foundation to develop this poem. 

Many Windows Inside of Many doors

Peeling paint, old brown bricks, construction on every floor.

Sounds, laughter, cries of pain, secrets behind every door.

Apart for years, family ties reuniting.

Relationships torn apart by the rumors started behind the next door.

Levels up there's windows, with missing screens and dust.

Bars on the windows, feeling trapped in my own home.

Secrets, lies, laughter, tears of pain, even tears of joy.

Thin walls with many doors, something’s going on.

Adults fighting while children are playing. There's the beating of the drums.

For nine years straight in my home,

This is where I belonged.

Sandra Cornwell

Sandra has lived in Julia C. Lathrop Homes, located at Clyborn, Damen & Diversey, for 28 years. She has been the Lathrop Local Advisory Council president for eight months and before served as the LAC’s long-term secretary. In addition to her LAC activities, Sandra has also been a part of Lathrop’s tenant patrol and has held various volunteer positions in community groups such as Friends of the Chicago River and churches in her community. A self-taught poet, Sandra has taken to writing about her experiences in public housing. 

CHA Has a Transformation Plan

CHA has a Transformation Plan to tear up our block

Where we walked and volunteered

A place that gives a homeless person a place to stay

Flowerbeds everywhere, riverwalk

Where volunteers come to make it better for us

They told us it was not for the rich

Plans were made and then destroyed

Or so they say

“For sale” is what I heard

Moving us in and out

Back and forth

Condos up to the sky

Where do we stay?

What’s really going on?

Downsize

Relocation

Redevelopment plan

Decisions made at the table without us

Meeting after meeting

Putting in our time

We stand out

A neighborhood with many different personalities and colors

Many different ghettos of my life

CHA

Backstabbing

Smiling faces

Pushing us around

Back and forth

These are our homes

We were here first

Lord, where is my hope

People in despair

But
CHA has a Transformation Plan  

 

Thank you to our program partner: 

Chicago Tribune showcases National Public Housing Museum

The Chicago Tribune features writer Steve Johnson showcased the work of the NPHM as the Chicago Housing Authority moves to finalize the lease for the Museum's future home on Taylor Street. Titled "Chicago National Public Housing Museum aims for conscience," the article features the history of the Museum in the making as well as our key supporters.

Sunny Fischer, board chairwoman of the National Public Housing Museum, stands beneath a rusty door frame in the former public housing building in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street that will house the museum. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

Sunny Fischer, board chairwoman of the National Public Housing Museum, stands beneath a rusty door frame in the former public housing building in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street that will house the museum. (Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

As the CHA's CEO Gene Jones is quoted about the Museum, "It will also serve to highlight the role that public housing has played in the lives of Chicagoans while ... transforming (the building) into a vibrant community asset." — We couldn't agree more. Moreover, we plan to build an institution which will interpret the public housing experience here in Chicago and in communities across the United States. 

We need your help. As we begin construction of our building in 2017, we need your stories — whether you've been a resident, worker, policymaker, neighbor, or visitor — to interpret public housing and its residents on a national scale. To send us your story, please contact Daniel Ronan, the Manager of Public Engagement, at dronan@nphm.org or at (773) 245-1621. And, as ever, we appreciate your financial support. 

We would also like to invite you to our program this Thursday at Quinn Chapel which will feature the poetry of public housing residents and a discussion from resident perspectives on the implications of Chicago's Plan for Transformation. Please RSVP here.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we move ever forward.

Sincerely,

Sunny Fischer, Board Chair

National Public Housing Museum  

 

Two Janes and a Walk a great success

On Sunday, over 50 people came out to enjoy the Mother's Day sunshine at the future site of the National Public Housing Museum to learn about the legacies of Jane Jacobs and Jane Addams. With coffee and cookies from Scafuri Bakery across the street, tour and walk participants heard about the Little Italy neighborhood, its history of ongoing redevelopment and the debates which have shaped this neighborhood on the local and national scale.

Starting at the Museum building at 1322 W. Taylor St., after a brief tour of the Museum's standing exhibit, Collection, Building, Action., two groups walked over to Hull-House for an in-depth tour into the life and legacy of Jane Addams.

We look forward to participating in next year's Jane's Walk

A Night of Stories, A Night of Belonging

Telling Stories, Telling Belongings - Collecting Stories for the National Public Housing Museum

Last night we were fortunate to gather at the newly refurbished Jane Addams Resource Center in ABLA to celebrate the stories that make our community. With nearly 70 people in attendance, the second iteration of Telling Stories, Telling Belongings engaged ABLA public housing residents, Roosevelt Square and Little Italy community members, as well as Chicagoans from across the city. In a "show and tell" evening program, the room shared stories and belongings from the neighborhood. (Click large image below for larger images of the evening. - Photos by NPHM volunteer, Shelby Silvernell.)

Photos by NPHM volunteer, Shelby Silvernell

Moderated by Jennifer Scott, the Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, the night featured ABLA residents who recalled the stories and memories of public housing in the adjacent public housing projects  the Jane Addams Homes, Robert Brooks Homes, Loomis Courts, and Grace Abbott Homes. Joined by members of the community, the event offered an opportunity for public housing residents and their neighbors to exchange stories in groups as well as on the community stage. 

Featuring cherished belongings from those in attendance, individuals used objects to open their minds to stories and memories nearly forgotten and seldom heard. Four break out groups allowed for more intimate storytelling, allowing storytellers to connect with their fellow neighbors to recall different perspectives of the past. Local refreshments provided by Marilyn Scott of Cobblestone Bakery, a Section 3 vendor, and Kelly Lynch of Scafuri Bakery, provided the needed social lubrication and elbow rubbing to inspire new conversations from old memories.

Recalling her life story, ABLA Local Advisory Council Vice President Louise Hill reminded the room, "If you don't have a story, you don't exist," opening up event goers to consider their seemingly ordinary stories and belongings as objects worthy of telling. Building off of our event-based oral history work the National Public Housing Museum started in December 2014, the Museum looks forward to collecting more stories to grow our future programming, collection, and exhibits.

ABOUT TELLING STORIES, TELLING BELONGINGS

This program is funded in part by Making the West Side, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant led by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

RSVP for Telling Stories, Telling Belongings - A Community Storytelling Event at ABLA

The National Public Housing Museum is excited to partner up with ABLA Local Advisory Council and ABLA and community residents for an evening of community storytelling. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum will also join us in leading the program.  

Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether you have a story to tell. Come and share, or come and listen to the wealth of stories from ABLA and Roosevelt Square!

We'd love it if you could RSVP by taking a moment to fill out THIS FORM

See you on Thursday, March 24th! 

The NPHM

For a press release, CLICK HERE.

Introduction Pat O'Connell, New Transitional Executive Director

Dear Friends of the National Public Housing Museum:

We would like to share some news. As you may know, our previous executive director Charles Leeks left the museum to pursue other opportunities. We're delighted that Charles remains supportive of the Museum and our efforts to share the stories and lessons of public housing. The board of directors is using this time of transition as an opportunity for creativity, reflection, and renewal.

  Pat O'Connell, New Transitional Executive Director of the NPHM

 

Pat O'Connell, New Transitional Executive Director of the NPHM

To that end, we have engaged the services of Pat O’Connell as our Transitional Executive Director. Pat has more than thirty years of experience in the Chicago nonprofit sector, working in areas such as community development, healthcare, social services, and the arts.

She has served as Executive Director of Claretian Associates, a housing and community development organization on Chicago’s southeast side, and the ACE Mentor Program, an organization providing educational and career mentoring for disadvantaged and minority youth in the Chicago Public School system. For the past 15 years, Pat has managed her own consulting practice, working with a variety of nonprofit organizations on capacity building initiatives.

Her particular expertise is working with organizations in transition and since 2007 has served as Interim Executive Director at five different organizations, helping them stabilize and optimize operations, facilitate cultural change and provide appropriate supports to orient the permanent executive director when hired. As one board president noted on an evaluation of Pat’s services, “Pat O’Connell facilitated a challenging administrative transition for us with sensitivity, grace, and finesse. Her leadership and generosity provided a level of expertise, encouragement and stewardship that we could not have provided by ourselves.”

With Pat’s leadership, NPHM will continue its exciting work with CHA to finalize the construction timetable for our permanent home. The inclusion of NPHM in the final masterplan by Solomon Cordwell Buenz and CHA demonstrates NPHM's future role as a neighborhood anchor. We will also continue to prepare the opening exhibits for the museum, and to build on our past programming including connecting resident experiences to conversations about policy and design and the future of housing as a Public Good. Pat will work to strengthen our systems to get us ready for our next steps. 

We are looking forward to sharing more news about all of these developments in the coming months. In the meantime, if you would like to contact Pat, you may reach her at poconnell@nphm.org

Thank you so much for your continued interest and support!

Best,

Sunny Fischer
Chair, NPHM

After the Plan: What Happened to Public Housing Families?

Image: Parkside of Oldtown, YoChicago

Image: Parkside of Oldtown, YoChicago

We are excited to announce our program partner, the The University of Chicago Urban Network. We thank the Urban Network for their support for this program and continued support of the National Public Housing Museum. 

UPDATE 01-25-16: TRANSIT & PARKING: All buses on Michigan Avenue serve this location. The Chicago Red Line is the closest 'L' stop. Parking may be validated at the Church after parking at the 900 N Michigan Standard Garage. 

UPDATE 01-21-16: We have moved the event to the Buchanan Chapel. Please RSVP HERE. A reception will follow this event in the Bumpus Activity Room.

Fifteen years after the Plan for Transformation, questions still remain about the relocation of resident families from demolished high-rises into four distinct housing situations. A panel of academics, a public housing resident representative, and a housing non-profit will discuss the implementation of the Plan for Transformation and its ultimate effects on Chicago's public housing families.  

Come join us for this engaging panel discussion:

Wednesday, January 27th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Buchanan Chapel - 126 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL

THE PANEL

Mary Pattillo - Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University, will focus on families relocated with a voucher to other segregated and impoverished neighborhoods.

Amy Khare - PhD Candidate, Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, will discuss families who are living in the new mixed income developments.

Crystal Palmer - Assistant Director of Resident Engagement, the Chicago Housing Authority, will talk about families residing in traditional public housing.

Chris Klepper - Executive Director, Housing Choice Partners of Illinois, will focus on families who took a voucher and relocated to “opportunity areas” in the city and the suburbs.

Paul Fischer - Emeritus Professor, Department of Politics, Lake Forest College, will moderate the panel. 

Each panelist will speak for 15 minutes, followed by cross-panel discussion and audience questions and comments.

See you there! 

Image: Parkside of Oldtown, YoChicago

NPHM IN THE NEWS: CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL EXHIBITIONS OCT - DEC 2015

"One of the biennial’s brighter ideas is to keep its attendees (some thirty-one thousand at the opening) the hell out of such archi-tourist traps as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park. Most of the programming outside the main venue, the Chicago Cultural Center on East Washington Street, is in such places as the National Public Housing Museum—lodged in the ruins of the former Jane Addams Homes, and exhibiting the engaging House Housing study from Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center."

—Ian Volner, Artforum, December 2015

 

"The exhibitions offer anything but a conventional museum experience — paint is peeling off the concrete walls and steel door frames are rusting. Yet as arranged by curator Todd Palmer, the shows collectively humanize the residents of public housing even as they reveal how public housing itself became so dehumanizing. "

—Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2015

 

"Chicago has a very particular historic context in terms of housing. "Partnering with the NPHM, which grew out of that context, aided both institutions to expand the conversation about housing as a public good. "

— Susanne Schindler (with Jacob Moore) interviewed by Samuel Medina, Metropolis, November 2015

 

“We’re trying to draw attention to a problematic history to galvanize public interest in resolving these issues,” says NPHM curator Todd Palmer...The exhibition’s setting—the shuttered Addams building, abandoned since 2002—demonstrates the consequences of not resolving these issues. Visitors stroll past boarded up windows, peeling paint, and rusted doorframes, once the dwellings of residents. The rabbit-warren corridors where audio clips whisper Frank Lloyd Wright’s qualified approval of the Soviet Union and Frank Gehry’s ambitions for his Santa Monica House creates an aura of domesticity torn apart from within and without.

— Zach Mortice, Architectural Record, October 27, 2015

 

"While you look at exhibits, you listen to stories that resonate with them. Voices blending in the air. A variety of perspectives."

— Liz Chilsen, Chicago Now, October 13, 2015


"Particularly notable [at the Biennial] are the opening of Theaster Gates’s Stony Island Arts Bank on the city’s South Side, and a staging of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center’s House Housing exhibition at the nascent National Public Housing Museum. Both are located in historic buildings that rival the Cultural Center in social significance."

— Michael Abrahamson, The Architectural Review (London), October 14, 2015

Visits from our Chicago, U.S., and International Neighbors!

We're so happy to count among so many visits from our supporters! Above is a photo from the International Housing Partnership conference comprised of public housing practitioners from across the Commonwealth - United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - as well as the U.S. The group came to Chicago for their annual conference and made a point to stop by!

This past weekend we also took advantage of one of our closest Taylor Street neighbors, UIC's Department of Urban Policy and Planning (left) as well as a a series of students from Urban and Cultural Geography classes from the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley (center and right).

We hope that you may be able to join us for the Biennial exhibits on display now through November 15th! For more information, click HERE. For information on paid private tours or to serve as a volunteer docent, please contact Katie Samples at ksamples@nphm.org or 773.245.1621

We'll see you on Taylor Street! 

House Housing and NPHM in the Architect's Newspaper

"...the biennial Thursday afternoon was marked by a preview of the complex, yet succinct exhibit House Housing capturing the history of inequality of designed inhabitation. Staged as an open house in one of last remaining buildings of one of the first federally-funded housing complex in Chicago, the exhibition is a walk-through into the part of the future home of the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM)." Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Come visit the NPHM's Chicago Architectural Biennial exhibitions: Oct 3rd to Nov 15th!

For our press release, CLICK HERE.

Be sure to come visit the National Public Housing Museum's future home at 1322 W. Taylor Street this October 3rd to November 15th. We are excited to partner with the Chicago Architectural Biennial and The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture to put on two exhibits, House Housing and We, Next Door. A third exhibit curated by NPHM is also on view through November 15th entitled Collection, Building, Action.  It's devoted to telling the story of the last Jane Addams Homes building still standing, and how it came to become the site of our museum in the making

If you would like to volunteer during the Biennial, including opportunities to take part as a volunteer docent, CLICK HERE.

For information on special tours, please contact Katie Samples at ksamples@nphm.org or 773.245.1621. 

 

Volunteer for the NPHM during the Chicago Architectural Biennial!

The Chicago Architecture Biennial will be an exciting time for NPHM, and an excellent opportunity to donate some of your time to the museum. Volunteers will benefit from three interesting and insightful exhibits, engaging stories and lectures, and lively conversation with museum staff, co-volunteers, and visitors. All of this, for just a small sacrifice of time! 

Volunteer Requirements:

Volunteers should enjoy and have the ability to work well with the public, and have the ability to be a professional representative of NPHM. Volunteers should be able to commit to 2 shifts during the 6 week course of the Biennial. The shifts will be 3 or 4 hours long. If a volunteer is interested in working more than two shifts, or shifts longer than 3 or 4 hours, that would be great! 

Volunteer Responsibilities:

Volunteers will be present in the exhibition space to answer visitors' questions and to help them engage the exhibits. Other opportunities may develop—stay tuned!

Volunteer Training:

Volunteers will select to attend ONE of the three training/“sneak peek” dates that we will be offering: 

Thursday, October 1st
Friday, October 2nd
Saturday, October 3rd

Times are yet to be determined. Refreshments will be provided. Additional information about each exhibit will be provided in advance of the training/sneak peek events.

For more information:

http://chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org/
http://house-housing.com/ 

If interested in volunteering:

Please click THIS LINK to submit your name and information to our new Volunteer and Docent Coordinator, Katie Samples. Once she has received your form, she will add you to our volunteer list and will be sure to keep you up-to-date on all the latest developments of the volunteer program. 

Questions? Contact Katie Samples, Volunteer & Docent Coordinator at ksamples@nphm.org or 773.245.1621 

 

Hiring a temporary Volunteer & Docent Coordinator

Volunteer & Docent Coordinator

Position: The Volunteer & Docent Coordinator will work in partnership with the staff at the National Public Housing Museum to create a tour program between October 1st and November 15th. The tours will be set up to highlight three exhibits, two a part of the Chicago Architectural Biennial with which the Museum is a partner.

The successful candidate will work with the Museum’s staff and members of the Museum’s Youth Advisory Council to develop a docent program and recruit other volunteers as necessary throughout the exhibits' duration. This position will also include light curatorial work.

The successful candidate will have significant volunteer management experience, including scheduling, training, and maintaining contact with volunteers, as well as creating an overall pleasant and accountable volunteer experience.

Additional responsibilities will be assigned as needed. This posting is considered a summary, not a definitive list of responsibilities.

Special capabilities needed: Flexible schedule (ability to work nights and weekends Thursday - Sunday), Ability to lift 40 lbs., climb stairs, and adapt to changing work conditions, Spanish fluency a plus

Compensation: $15-$20 per hour DOE, 15-20 hours per week, Tuesday, September 8th through Friday, November 20th, this position is a temporary position and does not include benefits

Process: The position will close after 15 applications or by August 26th, whichever is soonest. Applicants are asked to submit a cover letter of no more than one page stating why they are the best fit for the position in addition to a resume. If needed, we will ask for references from the right candidate.

Potential Candidates for selection will be notified and briefly interviewed on the phone on August 27th and 28th. Finalists for the position will be interviewed in person at our offices at 625 N. Kingsbury St. on September 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Letters and resumes as well as questions about this posting may be directed to Daniel Ronan, Manager of Public Engagement, NPHM, dronan@nphm.org. If needed, you may call Daniel at 773.257.7241

Summer is best in the Sun! A Festa Week Recap

Volunteers at last week's Weeding the Grounds! Credit: DNAInfo, Below: Volunteers from last week's Festa Italiana tabling. Credit: NPHM

Thanks to all who attended a busy week of summer activities

Volunteers gathered together at the future home of the Museum to remove

5 bags of weeds

during Weeding the Grounds

before Festa Italiana

at which volunteers spoke with 400 people about the Museum and

56 people

checked in at our table! Thanks to those that came by!

Meanwhile, we also attended the annual summer reunionof the Clarence Darrow Homes alumni

13 years after demolition.

Would you like more public housing perspective? See

70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green

on Sunday, August 30th at 1:30pm. Tickets going fast!
 

Have a question about the Museum? Contact Daniel Ronan, the Manager of Public Engagement, at dronan@nphm.org or 773.257.7241

Volunteer with the Museum! - Weed the Grounds and Festa Italiana

Summer is good for you!

Come join us as we Weed the Grounds TOMORROW, Tuesday, August 11th from 4pm to 6pm at 1322 W Taylor Street! (CLICK HERE to VOLUNTEER!)

Come and join supporters of the National Public Housing Museum as we “Weed the Grounds” in our latest installment of “Greening the Grounds,” a community effort to beautify our future home. Bring some gloves and some elbow grease!

Join us for Festa Italiana, August 13th, 14th, 15th, & 16th - (CLICK HERE to VOLUNTEER!)

Festa Italiana is the annual street fair featuring Italian-inspired art, culture, and food, in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. The future NPHM will be housed in the historic Jane Addams Homes on Taylor where we will be hosting a series of programs this fall. Come and learn about these programs, connect with Museum staff and board, and celebrate Festa together with us - look for our table!

If you have any questions about the above two events and volunteering opportunities, please be sure to contact Daniel Ronan, the Manager of Public Engagement, at dronan@nphm.org or 773.257.7241

NPHM Mourns the Untimely Loss of P.J. Paparelli

The National Public Housing Museum lost a friend and collaborator when P.J. Paparelli died in a car crash in Scotland on May 21, 2015. He was the creative visionary, co-playwright, and director of “The Project(s)” – an acclaimed documentary play about public housing currently running at Chicago’s The American Theatre Company until June. 

Paparelli approached the NPHM in 2009 for help, and board members Roberta Feldman, Annie R. Stubenfield, and Brad Hunt embraced his desire to tell the story of public housing on the stage. They connected him with public housing residents, and, over several years, Paparelli and his team collected little-known human stories that spanned from positive love to painful tragedy.

The play – with its skillful presentation of public housing’s complexity and emotions – is an extraordinary piece of theater. It demonstrates Paparelli’s ability to listen, empathize, probe, and challenge, all while being honest with his material. He cared deeply about residents and had plans to return from his vacation in Scotland in time to see the play performed at Wentworth Gardens, an event that took place on May 31 with great emotion from both the actors and audience.

“The Project(s)” received glowing reviews, and his death led to heart-wrenching tributes to an exceptional career. P.J. hoped to take his documentary theater method to other cities and countries, and he had already developed relationships with public housing residents in Glasgow. He was living the spirit of the National Public Housing Museum, which seeks to tell the human experience in public housing for social justice ends.

We will greatly miss P.J.’s charm, laugh, integrity, and passion for telling the stories of public housing.
 
– The NPHM Family 

Plans for a memorial service organized by the American Theater Company are forthcoming.