Since 2016, EXPO Collective has had a strong connection with the Hermosa Neighborhood located on the northwest side of Chicago. That was the year that The Miracle Center opened its doors to the second annual Quetzal Art Festival, planting the seed for an ever growing relationship with the neighborhood. The newly established Hermosa Neighborhood Association had a mixture of dedicated citizens of the community and a few artists who participated in QFest, since it was right in their own backyard.
One element of the Quetzal Art Fest is philanthropic. Non-profits are chosen within the neighborhood where QFest is being hosted to receive a piece of art for their organization. That same year, we were introduced to Nixon Elementary School, which would receive a piece of art from Laura Gomez, a long time participant in EXPO Collective activities.
Through further discussion, it was brought to EXPO’s attention by then principal of the school, Sherly Cheverria, that murals would brighten up the halls and bring an added dynamic to the school. It was then that forces combined to start a fund-raising initiative to raise the money needed for labor and supplies to bring the murals to life. Spear-headed by the Hermosa Neighborhood Association, the GoFundMe campaign kicked off. EXPO hosted a sip and paint at Beermiscuous in Lincoln Park and word-of-mouth saw donations from people all around the city.
Although the campaign fell short of its goal, there were enough funds to contract two EXPO Collective artists to create two more pieces for the school.
After some time, EXPO Collective was finally able to begin work on the two pieces and deliver them just in time for the Holidays. Even though Ms. Cheverria is no longer the principal, she was delighted to hear that EXPO would still be providing pieces to Nixon.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!