Small stores have long been around in urban area. These stores often had small apartments behind them, making it convenient for the owners to run their business, even at the beckoning of late-night knocks at the door by neighbors. These may have been the original convenience stores. But those stores also served as meeting places to which neighbors could walk and get essentials, like bread and milk, while catching up on the latest about their community. Sprinkled throughout our City, these stores have become desirable locations for many artistic and civic endeavors. And, not surprisingly, there are now many establishments called “storefronts” in Chicago. The genesis of our Pilsen Storefront, too, is found in this rich tradition of small stores in cities like Berlin or Chicago, where we first grew familiar with the kind of community building that happens at these stores. In that spirit, we welcome you to The Pilsen Storefront: A Galeria and Community Space!
Our Vision: The Ultimate Goal
In our approaches within Cross-sector Community Collaboratives, we authentically identify issues of social, economic, and ecological concerns and design contextually relevant solutions by optimizing existing community resources, skills, and talents across a multiversity of partners for a more just and peaceful world.
Our Mission: Our Values and Reason for Being
We are grounded in principles of a philosophy of Oneness, which values the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life. Based on practices of emancipatory education, we focus on educating individuals in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to humanity. These beliefs and values are found in many cultures throughout the world. In the face of allegedly unsurmountable social concerns and the seeming lack of equitably distributed resources, we believe we can confront and solve problems by means of community-centered, cross-sector collaboratives by, with, and for people across diverse cultural, ethnic, color, class, gender, profession, abledness, geographic location, or particular group belonging. The Pilsen Storefront: Galeria and Community Space seeks to connect communities and build unity among them by means of reciprocal education. Educating is articulated with conventional lectures with interactive discourse, yet also includes raising awareness through music, visual art, performing arts, networking, and communal installations, as well as by simply building relationships among people across ~isms and chasms in a shared open space.
Action, Activities, Initiatives, Events, and Services
Toward that end, The Storefront: Galeria and Community Space cooperates with new and established entities and with individuals in support and advocacy for a multiversity of community stakeholders (nationally and internationally) within a three-fold project approach.