Energy BBDO volunteers with 826CHI to bring kids’ words to life

Chicago nonprofit, 826CHI, is holding their biggest fundraising event of the year today, October 14th!

“Eat Your Words” aims to raise enough money to ensure 750 local students have equitable access to a tuition-free, high-quality arts and literacy education.

Every $458 raised allows one student to write their future for the 2021-2022 school year. As part of the fundraiser, Energy BBDO creatives and artists volunteered to create professional art based on poems and essays by 826CHI students.

You can download images of the final pieces of art for sale here. The listed posters include the writing excerpts that each piece is based on, as well as names of both the young authors and the adult artists. You can bid on the 24×36 inch posters here, with all proceeds going towards 826CHI.

Chicago creative advertising agency Energy BBDO believes in 826CHI’s mission — that leaps in learning can be made through the power of writing and individualized attention to creativity. By helping students build their creative confidence we can empower a younger generation to write a better future for the city. As a result, 9 Energy BBDO-ers and local artists Lauren SwagoLisa PlaskettMolly Z and Karen Fast designed art for the event pro-bono. The pieces vary in style and design, ranging from literal to abstract interpretations of the students’ work.

For those in the Windy City and interested in attending, the event will be held at the Zhou B Art Center (1029 W 35th ST) on Thursday, October 14th, 2021 from 6-7:30PM or 8:30-9:30PM. Tickets and masks are required, with attendees visiting in waves to keep the space at 50% or less capacity. Tickets can be purchased here.

826CHI is a nonprofit writing tutoring and publishing center that supports students ages 6-18 in their creative and expository writing and supports teachers in inspiring their students to write. All students enter 826CHI a storyteller and leave a published author, with work sold at The Secret Agent Supply Co. in Wicker Park. They prioritize their services for students, families, and communities most impacted by systemic disinvestment in high quality arts and literacy education. Their programs also prioritizes students who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, neurodiverse, and English Language Learners.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of helping student writers capture their voice by helping them with their creative writing skills,” said Jennifer Steele, Executive Director at 826CHI. “The Eat Your Words event brings so much of what we do together into one experience. I am excited about how we “gamified” the event and how it falls in line with the 826CHI Mission. This will be the non-profit event of the year! Don’t miss it.” 

“BBDO is a company powered by creativity. We see first-hand, every day, it’s power to be a game changer. 826CHI is an awesome organization that helps disinvested Chicago students realize that same superpower. This work aims to show the power of their creativity and elevate their voices,” said Billy Jones, Group Account Director at Energy BBDO and 826 Board Member.

Socially conscious Chicagoans, literary enthusiasts, education supporters, art lovers, and members of the business community – join us for what is sure to be a memorable and impactful night!


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