Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

Outreach Weekend Report - September 29-30, 2006

Weekend Summary


This project takes place at The Village Theatre, which houses Community Concepts, a non-for-profit youth enrichment program. They work with area youth teaching videography, stage production/performance and computer literacy. They provide a safe, positive, and structured environment for kids to help give them confidence in their talents and keep them off the streets. Community Concepts also brings in the public by offering biweekly free shows where youth come to perform rap, rock, country, the spoken word, and poetry. These shows along with others, produced and performed by the youth, are actually televised as public service television announcements. ESLARP has built a strong relationship with Community Concepts for the past 5 years and has assisted them in re-building their new facility after a fire 4 years ago. During this outreach weekend we will be installing a tarp over the roof of one of the buildings on the property and will also remove trees and shrubbery from the area.


Sponsored by Catholic Urban Programs, St. Vincent de Paul's thrift store and soup kitchen aims to feed the hungry and provide people with an opportunity to purchase low-cost merchandise. While the soup kitchen has been a success, the adjacent thrift store has not had the same effect. This summer, an ESLARP employee and architectural grad student, Matt Bramstedt, proposed a more organized plan that redesigned the store’s entry area and provided better access to the soup kitchen and restrooms. Local contractors have been working on the renovation since the end of the summer leaving ESLARP with the opportunity to help bring the project to a close. We will assist them in any way that we can which may include painting, other finish work, re-organizing merchandise, and/or setting up display areas.


We will be working alongside board members and members of the East St. Louis Park District to bring life back to the Katherine Dunham Museum and Dance Studio by clearing unwanted weeds, trimming trees and clearing the grounds of debris. Katherine Dunham, who passed away this year at the age of 96, revolutionized American dance in the 1930's by going to the roots of black dance and ritual and transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She was referred to by many as the "Matriarch of black dance." By Saturday afternoon we hope to leave the grounds well-groomed and reminiscent of its days of glory.


This group will be moving furniture and doing yard maintenace to the outside of a home that is being transformed into a shelter for abused women. The nature of this project prevents us from using the home’s name but the owners of the shelter are working to create an environment where women can be safe and protected from outside forces. Being part of the process for the past couple of years, students and faculty from UofI have seen this home through the making and have been involved in projects such as rebuilding the porch, tearing out old flooring and ceiling, drywalling, painting, roof repairs, and yard clean-up. The owners’ enthusiam is high, for the end is now in sight.


We will be shooting a video to submit to the Extreme Home Makeover television show for Audrey Sanders. The partner is the Sanders Development Corp where Audrey takes care of ‘foster’ brothers and sisters (actually related to her) and other foster adults with physical and mental handicaps. A group of students traveled to East St. Louis this summer to assist in repairing the roof, building shelves and painting rooms in the house. As you will see the home is in dire need of replacement.

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Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
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