News & Events


March 15th—

In the grand tradition of proms past, 826CHI presents "" a prom with that most romantic theme, the internet. For all the details and to purchase tickets, please, oh please, use the power of internet to send your computer screen to this site: We look forward to seeing you Friday, April 20th!

Clandestine Questers Raise $17,000!

Clandestine Questers Raise $17,000!

March 13th—

If you were in Wicker Park or Bucktown this past weekend, and you  happened to bump into 140 people asking to do a handstand in your apartment, pose in a photo with you (with jazz hands extended, eyes closed, and tongues out), requesting your 4 year old draw a teammate's portrait,  or some such greatness, you experienced the wonderment that was the  the Clandestine Quest. Congratulations to team Freegan Massacre, who crossed the finish line first. The Ill-literates who came in a close 2nd and the Bereau of IF, who came in 3rd. Loud clapping, as well, to the Die Detektives who were the number one fundraisers.

The 37 teams of madcap scavenger hunters helped raise over $17,000 for 826CHI's free writing programs for students. Astounding. Some of the photos can be found over at our Flickr page. Huge thanks to our sponsors: Cat & Mouse Game Store, Armand's Pizza, the Bedford, Quimby's, Reckless Records, Lemmings, Anthem, the Chicagoan, Finders Keepers, D/vision, the Pipeline, Corepower Yoga, the Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, the Den Theatre, Jackson Junge Gallery and Elegant Mr. Gallery. 

Get Sappi

Get Sappi

March 8th—

Our friends at Sappi Fine Paper have teamed with 826 for the 2012 edition of their annual design journal, The Standard. This year's edition, titled "Special Effects," is packed with graphic wonderment, all inspired by the creative themes of the 826 storefronts. And crazy awesome printing techniques that dare to stupefy.

To celebrate this collaboration, Sappi, AIGA Chicago and 826National are holding a release party here in Chicago on April 5 at the MCA. Join us for a conversation between cartoonist and Boring Store awning creator Chris Ware, designer Kit Hinrichs, and 826 National CEO Gerald Richards. Drinks and snacks are at 6pm, presentations follow at 7pm, and best of all, everyone who attends gets an advance copy of The Standard. Tickets available here.

Can't make it that night? No problem! You can grab a copy of the beautiful, limited-edition issue of The Standard or Sappi & 826's "Imagination" poster, designed by illustrator Jack Unruh, from ye olde Boring Store.  

National Read Aloud Day

March 7th—

How does one best celebrate National Read Aloud Day? 826CHI students wrote books (that they can wear as necklaces) and then read them aloud to their fellow students and volunteers. Celebrate Read Aloud Day everyday! 

Rumpus and McSweeney’s Pack the House

Rumpus and McSweeney’s Pack the House

March 5th—

What a weekend! On Thursday, we welcomed the Rumpus to the center which quickly became packed with fans of Nick Flynn, Cheryl Strayed, Peter Orner, Sommer Browning, Brian Spears, Stephen Elliott, Dan Telfer and Hawley.

Then on Friday, the house remained packed as we welcomed McSweeneys for another evening of awesome readings. This time, from the likes of Matthea Harvey, Rebecca Lindenberg, Tom Barbash and Adam Levin.

Our thanks to everyone who came and generously donated to 826CHI!

Adults weren't the only ones reading this weekend, though. On Saturday, while we continued to man a table at the leviathan of literary endeavors, AWP, in the basement of the Hilton, our high school students were up the street, reading poems they wrote for the Louder Than a Bomb competition. 

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