Big news from Chance The Rapper, ahead of his music festival Magnificent Coloring Day at U.S. Cellular Field. Announced just moments ago in a press release, Chancelor “Chance The Rapper” Bennett, Justin Cunningham, Essence Smith, and Kenneth Bennett are launching a new nonprofit, SocialWorks.
SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, professionalism, and connectivity within the youth throughout Chicago.
SocialWorks will feature an interactive zone this Saturday at Chance’s MCD festival, and it will feature a DJ scoring the scene that will include human size chess games, supershot basketball, a photo booth, and merch. The interactive zone will be held in Loretta’s Lounge on concourse level 1, between section 154-156.
Read more about the new nonprofit organization via the press release, after the jump.
The groundwork of SocialWorks began in early 2015 with the introduction of OpenMike, which later became a partnership with the Chicago Public Library. OpenMike creates a safe space for high school students to express, learn, and network with likeminded individuals. Over the past 18 months SocialWorks has hosted 16 OpenMikes, housing 350 students monthly while welcoming guests such as Kanye West, Hannibal Buress, Renee Flemings, and The Happiness Club. This gives students the unique opportunity to engage and interact with some of their favorite artists while exploring their creative processes to find inspiration they can later use in their own work.
SocialWorks also joined forces with the Chicago Park District during the summer of 2015 to chaperone and introduce local campers to a wide variety of public spaces all over Chicago, some for their first time. This union helped bring forth SocialWorks’ current relationship with Covenant Faith Church of God’s Kids of the Kingdom. This 6 week program gave 50 elementary school students the opportunity to learn through music and showcase that knowledge at the end of the summer. SocialWorks intends to continue their efforts by further engaging the youth with their education and city through music.
In December of 2015, SocialWorks partnered with Detroit based The Empowerment Plan to create a citywide fundraiser called The Warmest Winter. This initiative was a call to action which yielded $117,517, equaling 1,175 coats that were distributed to homeless individuals and shelters across Chicago.
By creating accessible interactive spaces and experiences, SocialWorks hopes to nurture local talent and open new doors much like what its cofounder Chance The Rapper has done in the music industry. Chance has pioneered a new approach to music business. By utilizing grassroots marketing and streaming his music for free, he has become the first artist to chart top 10 within the Billboard 200. Together, SocialWorks and friends hope to move forward with the same spirit of innovation, bringing the city and its youth together.