The Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also known as the LISC, is accepting applications from community developers for the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA). LISC Chicago is a community development investment organization that collaborates with organizations in communities to build wealth and create opportunities across the Chicagoland Area. Each year, the LISC recognizes those who play vital roles in building communities in Chicago neighborhoods through outstanding real estate development and architectural achievement.
The LISC is currently accepting applications for the Chicago Neighborhood Development awards through October 15, 2020. The LISC will honor the winners at the Spring 2021 Chicago Neighborhood Development wards event. The LISC and CNDA will present seven community development awards, three Richard H. Driehouse Foundation awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, and two awards for personal achievement. The categories include:
- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Creative Placemaking Award
- The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Plan Award
- The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Healthy Community Award
- The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project
- The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award
- The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award
- The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award
A team will judge these awards from for-profit and non-profit sectors with virtual interviews with each applicant about their projects.
The Richard H. Driehouse Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design will be judged by a group of recognized leaders from the architectural and civic community. Applications are due by 5 pm CST on October 15 and must be submitted online. The panel will notify the winners in November.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the LISC was forced to hold a virtual event for their Spring 2020 awards. With the funds saved, they were able to award $75,000 in additional grants to community development projects in the city.
“The 2020 CNDA event looked a bit different this year, but the goal remained consistent—to celebrate the qualities and honor organizations for their achievements in community development and architectural design,” said Meghan Harte, Executive Director of LISC Chicago. “While we certainly missed seeing everyone in person like we normally do, the silver lining is that we can take advantage of the cost savings and award additional grants to community organizations that deserve it most and inspire us every day, and we hope to see everyone in-person in 2021.”
This year’s grant recipients included:
- Brave Space Alliance: The first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago, dedicated to creating and providing affirming, culturally competent, for-us by-us resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ individuals on the South and West sides of the city. Brave Space Alliance strives to empower, embolden, and educate through mutual aid, knowledge-sharing, and the creation of community-sourced resources toward the liberation of all oppressed peoples.
- Firebird Community Arts: With a mission to empower and connect people through the healing practice of glassblowing and ceramics, Firebird Community Arts serves those who have been impacted by structural or individual trauma, including violently injured youth, veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, undocumented and immigrant populations and Chicago Public School students on the South and West sides.
- Mujeres Latinas en Accion: Founded in 1973, Mujeres Latinas en Accion empowers Latinas by providing services that reflect their values and culture and being an advocate on the issues that make a difference in their lives. Mujeres has a comprehensive array of social services and advocacy initiatives that promote non-violence, reproductive health, and leadership development.
- Southside Community Federal Credit Union: Southside Community Federal Credit Union works to create and maintain an accessible, full-service federal credit union organization owned and managed by its members. Its mission is to equalize economic power and fight poverty by improving financial literacy and providing access to all members’ credit and savings services.
Contributing Writer, Danielle Sanders is a journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersofficial.