On the third Monday of each month, storytellers and performers from across Chicago gather at The Book Cellar for Essay Fiesta, an evening of first-person, non-fiction essays and charity. In 2009, after comedians/founders Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon concluded that “Chicago needed a storytelling series that provided a platform for a cross-discipline of artists to share funny, poignant and thought-provoking stories from their lives," Essay Fiesta was born. The event itself is free, but the proceeds from each night's raffle come straight back to 826CHI! Storytelling begins at 7pm-- come early to snag a seat.
This is a key piece to our yearly fundraising, and a moment when we ask our supporters and followers to dig deep. A large portion of our operating budget comes from this appeal, so please follow this link to our DONATE page and consider a gift this holiday season. We couldn't do any of this without your amazing support!
Thursday's chapbook reading and community dinner was phenomenal--more than 80 friends, students, families, volunteers and teachers joined us for the most gigantic potluck feast in the history of mankind...or at least 826CHI!!!
With a cover designed by our very own Kendra Curry, "A Bubble With a Password" is filled with our after-school tutoring students' "I Wish" stories and their perceptions of election season madness.
Thanks to the generosity of GM, 826CHI got to ride fancy in a 2012 Acadia Denali during the week of Nov 1. We took a visit to the amazing folks at 826michigan (and got to park in the governor's private parking space), plus reaped the benefits of having a vehicle at our fingertips all week, like being able to pick up multiple loads of in-kind donations from a host of in-credibly kind businesses.
We are unbelievably grateful for the generosity of GM and each of the donating businesses, because just think--2068's Pulitzer Prize winner could begin his/her iconic writing career with the swift stroke of a pen from BNP Media on a freshly bound notebook from Staples, whilst sipping hot chocolate in a fancy tumbler from Verizon Wireless and wearing an awesome backpack from Uncle Dan's Trading Post.
On Saturday, November 10, 19 teams of scoundrels gathered in our Scrabbleadium for our annual Scrabble for Cheaters fundraiser. Thanks to their diligent fundraising and willingness to disregard their morals for the afternoon, 826CHI raised more than $8,500 for its programs!
Tournament Winners: Brandon and Bryce Wilner, "Exercises in Tiles"
Veteran after-school tutor Brandon and his twin Bryce won the final round with 560 points, edging out the runnersup (and former three-time Scrabble Champs): "Wreck Tile Function" (Ross Carmichael and Jennifer Moland-Kovash).
Biggest Fundraisers: Kapil Khanna and Theo Hahn, "The Gray Haired Harold and Kumars"
Kapil and long-time after-school tutor Theo's amazing $1,060 fundraising haul gave them a huge advantage. A close second in fundraising prowess were veteran volunteer Aparna Puppala and Meera Raja ("Cowgirls and Indians"), who raked in $885.
Big ups to all those who helped, including interns and volunteer judges, who ensured no unsancitoned cheating occured.
826's holiday will be celebrated this Sunday (8/26)! We're encouraging everyone to write haikus throughout this week to celebrate the big day. But not just any haikus. We're encouraging you and all your friends and dentists and firefighters to write an "8-ku-6" ... that is, a poem where the first line is eight syllables, second line two and the final line six:
An eight ku six poem is made
write three quick lines like this
Each day this week, we'll be providing a theme (WEDNESDAY'S THEME: FAVORITE // MONDAY'S THEME: CHICAGO // TUESDAY'S THEME: FOOD ), but feel free to submit your 8-ku-6 based on anything that inspires you. When you've crafted your piece, please post it on our facebook wall, tweet it at us (@826CHI), email it or stop on by the space and drop it off!
You are also more than welcome to send us an 8-ku-6 that looks something like this:
by donating $16 dollars (8+2+6) right here in order to keep our free programs for students going strong!