Attendees joined the City for a full day of programming from 9:30am-4:30pm.
- The Epiphany Series featured panel discussions that spotlight civic engagement projects in action, from transportation and journalism to historic preservation and the public realm.
- "How-To" Workshops offered a forum to discuss how Chicagoans can get involved hosted by City officials and civic leaders. Learn how to produce a neighborhood event, start a community network, improve the Chicago river, and more!
At the end of the day, gathered in Epiphany Hall for our keynote panel.
During lunch, attendees joined artist William Estrada and the Mobile Street Art Cart Project to try their hands at screenprinting.
Explore the detailed schedule below.
Welcome and Opening Performance
Ald. Bill Conway (34) welcomed attendees to the first City Civics Day followed by a performance from local group Son Monarcas.
Sara Mathers, First Deputy of Community Engagement, Office of the Mayor, served as emcee for all sessions in Epiphany Hall.
Converting Old Rails to Community Trails
Representatives from Grow Greater Englewood, the Major Taylor Trail Keepers, and the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail discussed how they organized to transform former railroad lines for public benefits.
- Dr. Brenda Dixon, Major Taylor Trail Keepers
- Ben Helphand, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail
- L. Anton Seals Jr., Grow Greater Englewood
Moderated by Caroline O’Boyle, Trust for Public Land.
How to Organize a Community Garden
Representatives from NeighborSpace presented how they cultivated community through the design of a pergola in the South Merrill Community Garden.
- Yaritza Guillen, NeighborSpace
- Natalie Perkins, NeighborSpace
How to Think Like a City Planner
The Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD) took attendees through exercises that demonstrate how City staff interact with various planning-related scenarios.
- Staff from the Department of Planning and Development
Why Local Media Matters
Journalists from Block Club Chicago, City Bureau, and City Cast explored the key role media plays in informed civic engagement.
- Bettina Chang, City Bureau
- Jacoby Cochran, City Cast Podcast
- Jen Sabella, Block Club Chicago
Moderated by Deborah Douglas, Midwest Solutions Journalism Hub, Northwestern University
How to Produce a Neighborhood Event
A skilled community event producer shared how she has worked with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE) to produce both neighborhood-level and large-scale experiences.
- Yescenia Mota, Director of Permitting, DCASE
- Juan Teague, Juan and Only Events
How to Create Active, Safe, Sustainable Streets
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and representatives from Northwest Center discussed how people can get involved in Chicago's Streets for Cycling strategy, the Divvy expansion, and various engagement opportunities that go beyond the pavement.
- Romina Castillo, Director of Outreach and Engagement, CDOT
- Jeremy Cuebas, Youth Organizer, Northwest Center
- David Velez, Transit Ambassador, Community Leader and Volunteer, Northwest Center
Connecting with Chicago’s Cultural Histories
Panelists from The Legacy Project, Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago History Museum spotlit their approaches to preserving the stories of diverse communities.
- Rebekah Coffman, Chicago History Museum
- Raquel Flores-Clemons, Chicago Public Library
- Victor Salvo, The Legacy Project
Moderated by Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois
How to Start a Community Network
In collaboration with Chicago's Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC), two exemplary organizers shared how they've helped build resident networks in their neighborhoods.
- Val Free, Neighborhood Network Alliance
- Greg Martinez, Community Safety Coordination Center
- Dr. Angelique Orr, Westside Rising
How to Improve Chicago's Rivers
Friends of the Chicago River staff shared how the Chicago-Calumet River system is central to the City’s past, present and future, and how Chicago residents can improve and protect the city’s iconic waterways for future generations.
- Annette Anderson, Volunteer, Events and Canoe Program Manger, Friends of the Chicago River
- Becky Lyons, Director of Equity and Engagement, Friends of the Chicago River
Community Connections and Public Place
In City Civics Day’s keynote panel, a visual artist, a skate park meetup founder, an urban planner and an architectural designer shared how they activate the public realm to bring people together.
- Justine Ingram, Humboldt Park Skate Meetup
- Aylen Pacheco, Human Scale
- Hac Tran, HAIBAYÔ/Argyle Street
- Amanda Williams, AW Art
Moderated by Sasha-Ann Simons, WBEZ's "Reset"
ASL interpretation, English open captioning and Spanish open captioning will be provided.
Attendees enjoyed a performance by local group Kuumba Lynx.