ArtSeed engages youth and families across 18 of Chicago’s playlots across the North, West, and South sides of the city through storytelling, music, movement, and nature play rooted in neighborhood stories. Children explore the histories and legacies of Chicago’s community-based artists to learn models of resilience and imagination; and to imagine creative solutions to challenges in their own neighborhoods.

ArtSeed has three cargo vans with teams of artists traveling to playlots to bring programming that celebrates Chicago artists who are engaging in critical issues in their city. ArtSeed teaching artists scaffold this learning through play, social-emotional learning, and radical imagination. ArtSeed operates as space for an accessible and nurturing entry-point for civically engaged dialogue for children and families. 

Curriculum was built around the works and lives of Chicago artists reaching across Chicago’s 77 different neighborhoods. By engaging in neighborhood stories and art, ArtSeed asked young people to identify their own capacity as artists and change-makers to reframe parks as sites for growing positive self-identity, community, and solidarity.

ArtSeed is a program that was re-envisioned through the direction of Mallory Muya and Irina Zadov from its previous life as KidsMobile, a program ran through the creative efforts of Mallory Muya and Leah Woldman. 

Concerns for Care at Jane Adams Hull House with the CareMobile and Open Engagement

During a day of dance and protest, ArtSeed partnered with Open Engagement and Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, who offered Spanish and English language tours focused on worker rights issues important to Hull-House reformers and their immigrant neighbors. The tours culminated with a participatory ‘CareForce Disco’ workshop facilitated by artist Marisa Morán Jahn that narrated the growing movement for affordable care, domestic workers’ rights, and immigration. Marisa choreographed a march and dance that honored and included the leadership of the Illinois Domestic Worker Coalition who passed the state’s first bill to protect nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers. ArtSeed was present to encourage young people accompanying their caregivers to define what care meant for them, and to dream up together how to be in reciprocity to the labor and love that goes into care.

Through 2015 – 2018 ArtSeed programming was made Possible by the creative and dedicated work of: Maria Ambriz, Adam Bailey, Tariq Weaver, Tesh Silver, Rory Guerrera, Asuesena Martinez, Mallory Cheng, Leah Woldman, Irina Zadov, and Mallory Muya

ArtSeed continues! For more information about where ArtSeed is now visit the Chicago Park District.