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Registration for the spring park program is open for youth ages 12 to 14 years old through March 31st

The Chicago Park District announced today that its Young Cultural Stewards (YCS) program will receive a grant from the Crossroads Fund’s Youth Fund for Social Change. The $4,000 grant to support youth-led organizing will help bolster youth leadership and cultural organizing at Willye White, Piotrowski and Tuley Parks. 

“The Chicago Park District is proud to be a cultural stakeholder and asset in the community and is honored to receive a recognition that is supportive of our efforts to engage youth in strengthening the relevance and quality of cultural programs at neighborhood parks across the city," said CEO & Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. 

The interdisciplinary arts program critically and creatively engages youth in art, technology and media, and encourages them to become advocates and caretakers of their local parks, neighborhoods and communities. Parks like Willye White Park, Piotrowski Park and Tuley Park, anchored in the Rogers Park, Little Village and Chatham neighborhoods, serve as regional hubs of activity. The Youth Fund will help support the advocacy efforts of 40 youth leaders working in Chicago parks during the summer session. 

Youth explore what culture and community mean to them while developing skills in cultural preservation, organizing, and building creative platforms for social change. This spring, YCS will explore author adrienne maree brown's Emergent Strategy, and learn about speculative fiction, biomimicry, and lessons from nature. During the summer session, youth will learn about Chicago's community-based art history and curate a community exhibition at the Burnham Wildlife Corridor.

This youth-led project is open to youth ages 12 to 14 years old in the spring session, from April 7- May 12, and summer session, from June 25 to August 3. Teens are encouraged to apply through March 31, 2018 for the spring session at

For more information about the announcement, please visit


Crossroads Fund supports community organizations working on issues of racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago area. All of these issues affect youth in unique ways. That’s why Crossroads Fund launched our Youth Fund for Social Change. The grantmaking committee for the fund is made up of young people and their allies. Through the Youth Fund we’ve funded youth addressing issues of violence, sexuality and reproductive health, immigration, and racism in innovative and creative ways. 

The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.