Earlier this year, 826CHI said farewell to executive director Mara Fuller O'Brien after six years of service to the organization.
Barry A. Benson joined 826CHI following nearly a decade in the not-for-profit world primarily as a fundraiser and champion of literacy causes. Prior to that, Barry had incarnations in publishing, the visual arts, and higher education--and he remains tethered to those areas through a variety of affiliations. Barry's undergraduate education happened at the University of Michigan, and he received his M.A. in psychology and men's studies from Norwich University/Vermont College. He has spent much of his life in New Orleans but has lived in an ample handful of states and overseas in France and Denmark. He lives for adventure travel and stays relatively sane through regular doses of swimming and making ceramics.
A breakfast clubber, a yankee hotel foxtrotter and a pulitzer prize finalist all walk into a gorgeous, medieval room downtown and help raise over $100,000 for 826CHI. 826CHI's People Eating and Giving fundraising event, with special guests Molly Ringwald, Jeff Tweedy and Luis Alberto Urrea, was a fantastic success this year. Thank you to all the guests who ate and gave so that Chicago students can continue to have free access to creative writing workshops and afterschool homework help.
Ever wonder where 826CHI students like to Hide? The tactics they use when they Seek? Ever encountered Falafel Wafflebrains? The latest chapbook from students in the after-school program explores these questions and more. Pick up your copy of Act Like I Was There The Whole Time at the Boring Store today!
Promdotcom.biz was out of this world (wide web)! For all who came out to make the night a success, thank you! Check out some shots from the squirrelbombed photo booth here or take it some non squirrelbombed photos here.
In the grand tradition of proms past, 826CHI presents "Promdotcom.biz" 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: promdotcom.biz. We look forward to seeing you Friday, April 20th!
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.