Sweet Water News: Volume 2, Issue 5

Sweet Water Foundation News: Volume 2, Issue 5
July 2018
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Sweet Water News

Summer is in full swing at the Commons with daily visitors and tourists, group tours, and plants ready to harvest every day. Sweet Water Foundation is excited to welcome new and returning college interns and high school youth enrolled in the Re[CREATE]Ed Spaces Program.

This month, Sweet Water News features the story of the First Annual Juneteenth Celebration at the Commons, which brought together more than 400 community members in a celebration of freedom and community. 

Take a moment to read more about Juneteenth and other happenings at the Commons. We hope you'll visit us this summer to help GROW the neighborhood.



Juneteenth @ the Commons

On June 16, 2018, Sweet Water Foundation hosted the First Annual Juneteenth Celebration @ the Commons. More than 400 people gathered at Sweet Water Foundation’s Perry Ave Commons to take part in an event that was profound, inspirational, transformative, and grounded in community and history. 

At its core, Juneteenth is about a celebration of freedom and community. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, the day on which the abolition of slavery was announced in the state of Texas, representing the true end of slavery in the United States of America more than  2 1/2 years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. For Sweet Water Foundation, recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth is an intentional act of community-building focused on Radical [Re]Construction

Click Here to read more about SWF's new tradition @ the Commons

Humans of Sweet Water

Kolenda “Kokoa” Rattler is a local resident who grew up in the Washington Park neighborhood. Since she started volunteering at Sweet Water Foundation in 2015, Kokoa has become much more than a volunteer. She is an important member of the Sweet Water Foundation team and family who shares her time, skills, connections, and memory of the neighborhood with the SWF community.

Click here to learn more about Kokoa.

Sweet Water Stories
Hive Chicago’s June “Un-Meetup” at the Commons
Click Here to Read More

2018 Grantmakers In Health Conference Visits The Commons

Click Here to Read More

What's Happening at the Commons?

 Harvest season is here! The weekly farmers' market at Perry Ave Commons will run EVERY FRIDAY from 10 am - 3 pm. Come get fresh, local and community-grown produce. Bring a bag.



 On Saturday, June 14th, SWF will be hosting our next volunteer day. Roll up your sleeves and help with clean up, weeding, harvesting, 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.




Join SWF for the sixth workshop of a year-long series of gatherings and events that seek to catalyze the South side. At this session, attendees will share their ideas for how they might create safe and inspiring spaces in their community. SWF will provide an introduction to the process of reclaiming vacant spaces, followed by a hands-on demonstration.

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.

Mustard Green Flatbread with Charred-Tomato Vinaigrette

Summer is in full swing at The Commons. The community garden beds are full of greens, and one that sometimes gets lost in the beds is mustard greens. Mustard greens are packed with nutrients and a spicy, peppery flavor. There are many ways to enjoy mustard greens. Maryellen Driscoll from fine Cooking has a unique recipe that will help you enjoy the spiciness of Sweet Water's mustard greens. Click here to try out her recipe for Mustard Green Flatbread.

  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. white wine or Champagne vinegar
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (optional)
  • 5 oz. mustard greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)

To try this recipe, click here

JUNETEENTH @ The Commons

Making History @ The Commons
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Courtney Hug