Media Contact: Katelyn Yoshimoto
Centennial storytelling campaign will highlight civic engagement and service across the region
CHICAGO – June 10, 2015 – Inspired by success of its On The Table initiative—where more than 25,000 Chicagoland residents came together to break bread, share stories of community and how they choose to give back and make a difference—The Chicago Community Trust today announced their next Centennial initiative to encourage people across the region to share their stories of philanthropy.
“Through our Centennial campaign, we want to more deeply engage with our community and its residents, sparking a civic movement that will make Chicagoland the most philanthropic region in the nation,” said Terry Mazany, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “We hope to share stories that showcase the spirit, passion and commitment of Chicago residents and organizations to inspire others to call upon their own inner philanthropist and make a difference.”
Cheryl Hughes, the Trust’s senior director of strategic initiatives, emphasized, “Philanthropy isn’t just the headline-grabbing million dollar donations—it is also expressed in the individual, everyday acts of generosity—donating school supplies, serving the hungry in food pantries, shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway, mentoring kids and visiting those who are homebound. These are the stories of everyday kindness and compassion that we want to showcase and celebrate.”
The Trust believes that everyone is a philanthropist, and encourages all Chicagoland residents to share their stories at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using the #Trust100 hashtag on social media over the next year. The stories will be shared on the Trust’s website and through social media, amplifying the work Chicago-area residents and nonprofits do to make our communities safer, stronger and more dynamic. In sharing these stories, the Trust hopes to inspire even more individuals and organizations to join in this effort. Learn more about the Trust’s storytelling focus
In addition, the Trust has a number of partnerships helping to tell stories of philanthropy as part of its Centennial:
StoryCorps offers the public a chance to record and preserve their personal stories. Throughout the year, Chicagoland residents can share stories of everyday kindness and compassion, explore the meaning of generosity, and talk with their loved ones about how they are working to make our community a better place. Every person that participates will receive a recording of his or her interview, and have an opportunity to archive it at the Library of Congress. To schedule your interview, visit www.storycorps.org/chicago.
Vocalo is a next-generation public media service that connects with younger, culturally diverse audiences through music, stories and training. Through four intensive workshops, Vocalo professionals will work with emerging storytellers to produce their own stories of philanthropy and reflect on how storytelling has the power to impact community. Stories will be aired on Vocalo and shared on the Trust’s website.
CHIRP (the Chicago Independent Radio Project) is a volunteer-driven radio station on the north side of Chicago. For the Trust’s Centennial, CHIRP will produce a series showcasing the many aspects of volunteerism in the Chicago region, and illustrating the ways Chicagoans choose to give something back to their communities and the impact that volunteers have on others. Stories will be aired on CHIRP and shared on cct.org.
The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Trust will partner with The Moth to host four StorySLAMs focused on themes related to giving and receiving, dates to be determined. These open-mic storytelling competitions will be open to anyone with a five-minute story to share on these themes. For more information about attending or participating, visit www.themoth.org/events.
Free Spirit Media cultivates diverse youth voices to transform media and society. Throughout the Trust’s Centennial year, Free Spirit Media will work with Chicago-area youth to film and produce their own stories of community and what philanthropy means to them. Stories will be shared on cct.org and through social media.
Kurtis Productions, led by award-winning journalist Bill Kurtis and a host of talented and creative filmmakers, will produce a documentary to be broadcast spring 2016 on WTTW-TV that will explore the impact and spirit of philanthropy in our region.
Through May 2016, the Trust will also support a wide range of substantive, thought-provoking events and programs to explore themes of philanthropy, community and civic engagement as part of its Centennial.
The Chicago Community Trust’s Centennial activities are made possible through the financial support of generous sponsors, including Allstate, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Comcast NBCUniversal, BMO Harris Bank, Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Field V, Northern Trust, U.S. Bank, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Rita and John Canning, ComEd, Knight Foundation, Judy and Scott McCue Fund, PNC, Jacky and Michael Ferro/The Sun-Times Foundation and William Blair & Co.