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News & Press: ICA News

Making New Connections to Sustainability in Uptown

Thursday, July 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Samantha Sainsbury
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ICA continues to expand its presence and impact on resident engagement in Uptown through local partnerships and programming, namely through a partnership with the One Earth Film Festival (OEFF) and ICA’s Out and About Uptown’s Coast series.

For the 4th year in a row, ICA partnered as an OEFF host site. The two films, Age of Consequences and Sonic Sea, offered new perspectives on climate change, focusing on climate change through the bi-partisan lens of US national security and the damaging consequences on increased ocean noise. Each screening engaged the audience using a post-film focused conversation and a Q&A with the filmmaker. Audiences were excited to respond to the film’s messages and get engaged in local action.
ICA also joined Clarendon Park and OEFF in Uptown for an Earth Day screening of The City Dark, an official City of Chicago Earth Day event. The City Dark explores the health, energy, and spiritual implications of brightly-lit skies. ICA staff hosted a resource table about engaging in local sustainability and facilitated the  audience discussion and Q&A with resource people from Starry Chicago and Chicago Astronomical Society.
In May, ICA launched the Out and About Uptown’s Coast series, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The series aims to engage Uptown residents, workers, and visitors through nine participatory learning sessions addressing the many connections between sustainability the the coast. Each session partners with local experts to share various perspectives on a subject followed by hands-on time in the coastal area. Through experiencing and reflecting on a session, each event aims to transform the coast from an inaccessible space to an inviting community asset for which we all share responsibility. At the conclusion of the project, ICA will produce a toolkit for coastal educators that shares session content and design recommendations for a multi-disciplinary approach and experiential learning methods.
The series launched at the May 21st Urban Ecology session. Local experts shared their expertise on Uptown’s past, present, and future with a focus on how people in Uptown have engaged with the coast. The group then toured the Montrose Beach Dunes and Bird Sanctuary to learn about opportunities to preserve and provide stewardship to the coast. To stay informed about the series, join the mailing list at