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    Learn more about the leaders — both unexpected and not — in our city who are making a positive impact.

    The 77 Project

    The 77 Project is a storytelling and media project presented by Xfinity with additional support from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help redefine the narrative of our neighborhoods from the inside out. Our hope is that this project will help inspire citizens to connect with solution-makers in the city of Chicago and beyond. If you didn't know, the city of Chicago recognizes 77 community areas within the city limits, and this year we're shining a light on organizations and individuals who are making a positive impact in each of those locations.

    More on Xfinity:

    Xfinity connects people in all 77 neighborhoods of Chicago each and every day.  Xfinity is proud to sponsor the 77 Project to provide a platform for local residents to voice ideas that will shape our city's future.  

    Community Area #31: Pilsen

    We’re thrilled to partner with Pilsen Fest to kick off The 77 Project. Pilsen—a neighborhood rich in cultural talent rooted in the art, food, and music of the Latino community that calls it home—is located in the Lower West Side; community area 31 out of the 77 located in Chicago. Pilsen Fest’s primary goal is to expose the Latino community to the immense pool of talent that exists in their own backyard to help preserve the cultural heritage of one of our city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. We selected Pilsen Fest as our community partner for the launch of The 77 Project because it is more than a street festival. It is a movement and a symbol of pride for the people of Pilsen who are actively combating displacement and the potential erasure of their culture in an area they know and love.

    Get involved:

    Learn more about Pilsen Fest and its mission at:

    Follow Pilsen Fest on Facebook to be the first to know about their next event.

    Follow artist Sam Kirk on Instagram.

    Pilsen Fest

    Learn more about Pilsen Fest

    The 77 Project on Instagram

    Join us as we navigate Chicago documenting the stories of the city's neighborhood heroes.
    Follow @ChicagoIdeas

    Interview with Chicago-based Artist Sam Kirk

    Sam Kirk was the recipient of Pilsen Fest's 2018 Revueltas Award. Her artwork was the face of Pilsen Fest this year.
    Read More

    WATCH: A Closer Look at Pilsen Fest 2018

    An inside look at the always-electric energy of the Lower West Side's Pilsen Fest
    Watch Now

    Center on Halsted

    Learn more about this Lakeview community center that's creating a safe space for the LGBTQ community and their allies.

    Community Area #6: Lakeview

    We took The 77 Project to Lakeview to visit Center on Halsted, the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. Center on Halsted offers a state-of-the-art facility, thoughtfully crafted programming, and a dedicated staff to the community of Lakeview and beyond. Their doors are open every single day from 8am to 9pm, and they are open to all, whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or one of their allies. Inspired by their mission, inclusivity, and positive impact, we spoke with the Center's CEO, Modesto Tico Valle, for a deeper understanding of their mission and their hope for the future. 

    Get involved:

    Watch our Interview with Center on Halsted's CEO on our The 77 Project Instagram Highlight.

    Read about how Center on Halsted is providing a safe space for Chicago youth.

    Follow @center_on_halsted on Instagram.

    Visit to donate, volunteer, attend a program, and more.

    Green Star Movement

    Connecting communities through public art.

    Community Area #60: Bridgeport

    Green Star Movement calls Bridgeport home, but you can find their work in 39 out of the 77 community areas in Chicago, which we find just as impactful as it is impressive. The Movement’s mission, according to Erica Hawkinson, Marketing and Operations Director, is to “make an impact on the individual, community and city-wide levels.” How might they do this? By uniting communities through public art and by allowing students and community members to create bricolage murals at their schools, parks, community centers, and other public spaces. Hawkinson explained that, “participants of all ages benefit from the opportunity to be creative and build self-pride; community members are united through the collaborative process and develop a shared ownership of the space; and people from near and far can delight in seeing beautiful art cover the walls of schools, park buildings, underpasses and more.”

    Get Involved:

    Want to find a Green Star Movement mural near you? Use this map to plan your visit.

    Attend a Green Start Movement event. Learn more here.

    Follow Green Start Movement on Instagram.

    Submit a Recommendation

    There's still time to tell the story of an individual or organization you believe is doing great work in Chicago. Know someone we should speak with? Tell us about them below.

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