July and August marked the inaugural Civic Innovation Summer, an experimental summer jobs program for teens focused on civics, media, and technology. The program, funded in part by MacArthur through the Smart Chicago Collaborative, included more than 140 Chicago teens being trained to use the latest digital tools to amplify their voices and take positive civic action using open data. The youth worked in groups focused on themes including juvenile justice, youth health and wellness, and improving school culture. A report released by the program details highlights from the summer’s curriculum, including in-depth sessions on coding HTML, an exposure to digital start-ups, and visits from inspiring guest speakers from the digital media and entrepreneurship fields.
Community & Economic Development
Helping to increase social and economic opportunities for low-income Chicagoans, MacArthur supports the New Communities Program, a comprehensive community revitalization effort in 16 Chicago neighborhoods, as well as communication of its lessons learned to other cities and the field.