Welcome to the Southwest Organizing Project’s (SWOP) website. We are glad you are here. We hope this website will give the institutions, leaders, and residents of the Southwest Chicago community the opportunity to connect with one another, tell their stories, and build power for change in the community.

Carnival for a Day

Last week, Hoops in the Hood and Playstreets kicked off their Summer programs in Southwest Chicago. The premier was a hit, attracting almost 100 neighborhood residents over the course of the afternoon. The crossover event took place Friday, June 29th, on the 6000 block of South Rockwell. At 11 o’clock, the Playstreets crew loaded up cars and carried over hoops, grills, tents, tables, and more. They then transformed the residential block into a basketball court, wrestling arena, face painting booth, barbecue joint, and carnival.

 

As people began to show up around 1:00, the scorcher of a day intensified. The sun beamed down relentlessly on the 95 degree day, but it didn’t come close to stopping the kids from having hours of fun. The promise of an item from the prize box was enough incentive for many kids to play some of the carnival games for hours. Others insisted on having butterflies, cheetahs, or hearts painted on their faces, or requesting their favorite song be played at full volume so they could show off their dance moves.

 

Finally, after almost three hours, the kids began to give in to the heat and head home. The crew disassembled the block and it became a regular street once again. The kids were sad to see the day end, but relieved to hear that Playstreets would be back to blocks near theirs again this Summer.

Want to read more stories about SWOP’s work?  They are all here.