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Awards and Events

The Simple Good Hosts Eighth Annual City of Big Dreams Fundraiser and Silent Auction to Benefit Chicago Youth

Chicago-based non-profit partners with local creatives to raise funds for social-emotional learning-based art programs to improve students’ mental health

The Simple Good Hosts Eighth Annual City of Big Dreams Fundraiser and Silent Auction to Benefit Chicago Youth

The Simple Good, a Chicago-based non-profit that empowers youth through Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) based art programs, hosted its eighth annual City of Big Dreams fundraiser on Thursday, October 7, at Chop Shop in Chicago.

The impact of Covid-19 has significantly impacted the communities The Simple Good serves, leading to triple the demand for the organization’s SEL-based art programs from schools and other non-profits across Chicago. To meet the needs of Chicago’s youth, The Simple Good united Chicago’s creative community for an evening of arts and entertainment, with the goal of raising $60,000 to fill the funding gap to support over 500 students in the upcoming school year.

“We’re thrilled to be back in person hosting our eighth annual City of Big Dreams Fundraiser, and even more excited to see the funds we raise make an impact on Chicago’s youth,” said Priya Shah, founder and executive director, The Simple Good. “The pandemic has taken an unfathomable toll on children’s and teens’ mental health and as a result, the social emotional learning-based art programming we provide to understand how we can find the simple good in our lives is now more necessary than ever.”

The annual event brought together poetry, music, dance, and visual art under a single theme – the rebirth and transformation of Chicago through our collective dreams, and acknowledgement of the good that surrounds us. A collaborative showcase featuring influential local artists and creators, the evening was DJed by Chicago artist Shala, and attendees enjoyed performances from King Marie (R&B), Chai Tulani (Afro-Soul Hip Hop), Ayinde Cartman (poetry), Nathan Graham (Soul Country), Neak Undefined (Hip Hop) and a debut by Chicago band, MIIRRORS, amongst others. The night also featured live painting by Barrett Keithley and Ivan Vazquez, and a pop-up gallery featuring work from local artists Dwight White and Nolis Anderson, as well as other American and international artists including Lauren Pearce and Never 2501.

Additionally, a robust silent auction was held online throughout the week of the event, featuring artwork from local, national and international artists including Chicago’s Alyssa Low, PITR, Kalan Strauss, Ryan Miller and Heather Polk. Other items up for auction included a three-day Tesla rental, Takashi Murakami skateboard decks, a year-long membership to Hyde Park boutique gym The Space, and tickets to Lyric Opera’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.”

Between the fundraising event and virtual silent auction, the organization met its $60,000 goal, which will allow its programs to continue to empower Chicago’s youth. 100% of proceeds of The City of Big Dreams fundraising event and silent auction go towards supporting The Simple Good.

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