Last Fall, Donda’s House purchased Dr. Donda West’s original house in the South Shore Community on the South Side of Chicago to convert it into a community arts hub. The South & West Sides of Chicago have seen record divestment and population loss, with the most exciting new developments being the Obama Presidential Center and the South Shore/Jackson Park golf course project supported by Tiger Woods. 

Co-founder of Donda’s House, Rhymefest buys Kanye West’s childhood home.

Since our launch in August of 2013, Donda’s House has operated in other spaces including The Ark of St. Sabina, Harold Washington Library and Columbia College. 

Since acquiring the property we have done the following:

  • Met with an architect – who recommended that we demolish the property and rebuild due to significant structural damage. Additionally, we want to be able to accommodate more people and the current space would not allow us to do that.
  • Met with the Alderman – the space is currently zoned for Residential and needs to be rezoned in order to accommodate our programming.
  • Secured the support of AARP Illinois – AARP Illinois sponsored the property acquisition and all costs as it related to acquiring the property.
  • Secured a landscaper – In order to ensure that the grounds remained presentable.
  • Removed a damaged storage shed – We removed a damaged storage shed in the back of the property as well as repaired a hole in the roof to prevent further structural damage.

Many of the funders we’ve met with are interested in supporting programming in the space once it opens. Read the rest here.

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