Advisory, Development Councils Land $5K Grant for McKinley Park Programs

Published June 27, 2018
A frame from the award-winning video submission shows council leaders Veronica O’Malley, Dayna Calderon and Katie Flores pitching their Amplify Our Impact! project for McKinley Park.

Working in collaboration, the McKinley Park Advisory Council and the McKinley Park Development Council have successfully won a $5,000 grant to fund specific improvements to park and community programs. Top of the list is a battery-powered PA system to be used at farmers market concerts and other park performances, funded by the Acting Up award from the Chicago Community Trust.

Other initiatives to receive funding from the grant include the project to beautify McKinley Park's bathhouse with murals designed by community youth and an initiative to provide Spanish and Chinese language translation services at key community meetings. The grant is a result of a neighborhood On the Table session held May 8 that connected residents and community stakeholders to conceive projects and then pitch them for funding via video submissions.

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McKinley Park's submission was called "Amplify Our Impact," reflecting the ask for the PA system and the other ways the award will be used to enhance communication and community within the neighborhood. It is one of 37 proposals out of 200 submissions to receive the award and funding this year.

The video submission for the Acting Up grant included the participation of many community residents.

Council member Dayna Calderon said the grant proposal was motivated by a desire to better communicate with and reach out to the community, something all of the funded programs seek to do. "As our community grows more diverse, we need a way to be more inclusive, and language is a barrier," she said. "A big part of the outreach problem was language: the need to hire translators to be on site at meetings and to create marketing materials in English, Spanish and Chinese."

This is the fifth year of On the Table sessions in McKinley Park and other neighborhoods in Chicago. The Chicago Community Trust created the Acting Up awards to encourage On the Table participants, working in partnership with Goodcity to award more than $150,000 to projects this year. Over the past three years, 167 diverse community improvement projects have received more than $350,000 to fund their proposals.

“On the Table provides a forum for residents to come together, make connections and come up with ideas to make our communities better,” said Chicago Community Trust Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Ash. “We can’t wait to hear about the impact that these projects will have.”

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