Sweet Water News: Volume 2, Issue 4

Sweet Water Foundation News: Volume 2, Issue 4  
June 2018
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Sweet Water News

This month welcomes not only the onset of summer but also the beginning of new traditions as we launch the First Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Commons. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, Sweet Water Foundation will host a family-friendly event that focuses on the theme of Radical [Re]Construction; Radical, meaning of or restoring to the root, and [Re]Construction, the rebuilding and healing of our community. 

Join us as we create, build, and celebrate freedom and community. Experience the richness of the Commons with Arts + Crafts, Music, Dance, Cooking Demonstrations, Food, and Fun! Special guests and performances include Mr. Danny Glover, Corey Wilkes, DJ Kwest_On, Onye Ozuzu, the International Capoeira Angola Foundation, and many more. The celebration will also feature SWF's first farmers' market of the season.

Take a moment to read more about what's happening at the Perry Ave Commons. We look forward to seeing you at Juneteenth at the Commons!


  • A Bit of History - Juneteenth: The Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate
  • Sweet Water Stories - Read about new projects and connections
  • Events - Find out what's happening at the Commons
  • Recipes - An easy way to cook Sweet Water's locally grown spinach
  • Photos - Watch the Thought Barn transform into a performing arts space
  • Spread the Love - Show Your Support for Sweet Water Foundation

The Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate, but Doesn't

"Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of that commitment. And, far more than our Independence Day, it belongs to all Americans."
- Jamelle Bouie

Officially, the Emancipation Proclamation freed “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State” where the residents were “in rebellion against the United States.” In practice, it applied only to those slaves who lived near Union lines, where they could make an easy escape or take advantage of the Northern advance.   READ MORE...



Sweet Water Stories

Re[CREATE]Ed Spaces with Peck Elementary:
Fractal Seats and the Arts

Persida Contreras, a K-4 music teacher at Peck Elementary School, was inspired by the workshop and took the challenge to heart. Ms. Contreras brought two of the fractal seats she helped to create back to her classroom and began using them to reclaim space with her students.  



What's Happening at the Commons?

 On Saturday, June 9th, SWF will be hosting our second volunteer day of the year.  Join the Sweet Water Foundation community as we prepare for the 2018 farming season. Roll up your sleeves and help with clean up, flower planting, transplanting, organization, and more.  RSVP Required. Click here to register.

Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes and bring a water bottle and sun protection. Please note: This event will be canceled in the event of heavy rain.  We will contact all registered volunteers to update on the status of the volunteer day.



RSVP for the First Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Perry Ave Commons. Join us as we celebrate this important, historical event with live music, arts & crafts, health & wellness activities, and much more. To RSVP, click here.


of Chicago's Radical [Re]Construction We invite you to join us for the sixth workshop of a year-long series of gatherings and events that seek to catalyze the South side. At this session, you will engage in action-oriented dialogue through which we will collectively reflect on the current state of work and begin to articulate the values and actions required to realize our vision of reconstruction.

Light breakfast, coffee, and lunch will be provided. Arts and crafts activities will be available for children. RSVP Required. Click here to register.


The Radical [Re]Constructions exhibit will connect the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago to Sweet Water Foundation's Perry Avenue Commons. The installation features a large, three-dimensional representation of a house, set against the Museum’s central lobby wall and constructed from salvaged materials including wood that SWF apprentices finished with the traditional Japanese 
shou sugi ban charring technique. The Smart Museum is free and open to the public. For museum hours and directions, click here.

Simple Sauteed Spinach

Spinach is a nutrient rich vegetable - that grows quickly in cooler weather. Learn some more fun facts about spinach in this article by Jaclyn London.  Spinach tastes delicious raw, blended into a smoothie, and cooked! Enjoy the freshness of Sweet Water's spinach with this simple recipe courtesy of Eating Well magazine.

  • 20 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

To try this recipe, click here

Preparing for JUNETEENTH

Transforming the Thought Barn into a Performing Arts Space
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Jia Li Pratt