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Re-Envisioning Chicago’s Budget

Guest Artists: Lucia Calderon-Arrieta and Anders Zanichkowsky

Tips to be split with The Love Fridge

The Chicago City budget is under scrutiny for the disproportionate level of funds invested in the police department ($1.7 Billion per year; 40% of the entire budget*). How might art, writing, and poetry help us envision other ways to invest in our city and the citizens of Chicago? What would the city look like if you were in charge of where to invest resources?

Maybe you want to explore a future with funds reallocated to things like housing, health care, and education. Maybe you want to explore more fantastical or playful futures; or your own unique take on urban planning. What inventive community resources would you like to see our city invest in? 

This kind of collective imagining is a powerful and necessary tool for conjuring a new reality that could make policing obsolete. Not from Chicago? Please join us to work on a new vision for your own community that centers the margins and allows everyone to thrive!

Anders Zanichkowsky will lead us in some word-mapping exercises to write our way to a different future, and Lucia Calderon-Arrieta will guide drawing activities that illustrate our new visions. Using any drawing, painting, or writing materials that you have on hand, you could make postcards to send to your Alderperson, start drafting a larger artwork or poem, or simply use this process to clarify your own thoughts on this issue and have better conversations with friends and family.

*Here is a comparison between the police budget and other health and human services budgets (Credit: Black Lives Matter Chicago and @Olivialovelier.)

To R.S.V.P. e-mail anders@spudnikpress.org.
Zoom Meeting info will be shared prior to the event.

Suggested Materials:

  • Drawing or painting materials (pencils, pens, crayons, paints, paper, sketchbooks, fabric, etc.)
  • Thicker paper or cardboard for postcards

Drink & Draw [Virtual] is a low-key drop-in social workshop devoted to staying creative from home. There are no pretensions and newcomers are always welcome, so invite your friends to join! Each Drink & Draw [Virtual] features a new guest artist and a new theme or project that uses pencil, paper, and everyday household supplies. Don’t have a sketchbook? Hosts will help you improvise. Find us on Zoom, a free app for your phone or computer. And of course: BYOB! 

Love the experience? Pitch in to our Venmo Tip Jar (@spudnikpress).