Supporting the good work of others is an important value of Uncommon in Common. We proudly partner with Ag47, an arts mentorship program serving young women in Chicago. We donate $1 to Ag47 for each membership and a portion of every dollar we receive. We also look for creative ways our community can encourage and amplify their work. Read about why we love Ag47 below.
We also believe that Uncommon shouldn't be limited to those who can afford it. Every quarter, we set aside memberships for people in our midst who find themselves short on funds. If that's you, introduce yourself. We'd love to have you join us on the front porch.
The Story of Ag47
A note from Erin Watson, Ag47 Producer:
Ag47 is an arts mentorship program serving young women aged 11 to 17 in Chicago. We meet regularly during the school year to create and share art together. Through collaboration and one-to-one mentorship, women and girls share stories about their lives, take risks, ask questions and use arts to respond. By presenting their work to a public audience, Ag47 provides girls with the chance to be heard and their communities with the chance to listen.
Each girl in Ag47 is paired in a one-to-one mentoring relationship with an adult woman artist. Over the course of twelve Sunday afternoon workshops, girls and mentors work together to produce artwork and writing about a central inquiry and aesthetic theme, such as "What makes up a neighborhood?", "How can you understand something you might never see?", and "How does the world infect you? How will you infect the world?". These questions inspire big, thoughtful conversations among the girls and women involved. It's incredibly valuable to have this kind of space for exploration and creativity. In some ways, it reminds me of the space Uncommon intends to create.
We work in a variety of materials and disciplines, from sculpture to dance to drama. The year ends with a showcase at a neighborhood gallery, with performances, poetry-making, and an art show. By publicly sharing their work with the community, we communicate to our girls the value of their voices and give the community the opportunity to see these young women as the powerful, vital forces that they are. Our work is focused on a particular neighborhood: the 47 in Ag47 represents the Logan Square ZIP code here in Chicago.
Ag47 is run by volunteers and financed by the generosity of our community. The funds we receive from Uncommon will help us pay for everything from glue sticks, notebooks and cordless drills, to Basecamp and insurance.
As a collective of women artists, we know that collaborative creation can help young women see their power as shapers of their community. Through mentorship, we have the opportunity to support young women as they develop an understanding of themselves as creators, commentators, and community members.
Girls have something to say. Ag47 amplifies their voices.