D’Noche Latin American Kitchen & Bar, located at 2710 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago, in the heart of Logan Square, launches its first Artist Showcase Event with Chicago nonprofits BUILD and I Am Logan Square. On Thursday, Nov. 10, from 5:30–7:30 p.m., guests can meet and mingle with friends, neighbors, and politicians, as well as with the featured artist and BUILD youth, Miguel. Complimentary signature appetizers and drinks from D’Noche will be provided and Miguel's graffiti artwork will be on display throughout the restaurant and available for sale, just in time for the holidays. A suggested donation of $25 will benefit BUILD and I am Logan Square. To RSVP for this special evening, visit here.
D’Noche’s Artist Showcase Events will be held every other month in honor of the large artist communities in Logan Square, Wicker Park, Bucktown, and surrounding areas. The restaurant provides a warm, rustic ambience perfect for artists to showcase their work for the community. During the complimentary reception, D’Noche will feature their Cuban, Mexican, and South American specialty appetizers and a selection of wines and a sangria bar. Artists can display their artwork at D’Noche for the two months following their event, and the pieces will remain available for purchase. (Artists interested in participating in D’Noche’s Artist Showcase Event should contact Daniela@cafednoche.com.)
BUILD works in 10 Chicago communities and the Cook County area, serving more than 4,100 youth annually with the BUILD Model, a three-pronged program approach that provides coordinated services to assess youths’ needs and identify their assets through Prevention, Intervention, and BUILDing Futures (college/career prep and leadership development). BUILD’s mission is to engage these at-risk youth in the schools and on the streets so they can realize their educational and career potential and contribute to the stability, safety, and well being of Chicago’s communities.
Miguel, 19, first met BUILD at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. As a graduate from Lane Tech High School he learned the art of living and will live a life of art – but it could have been a different story.
“Even in grammar school, I’d doodle in my notebook,” he says. “Maybe it was in my genes, as my mom was into art as a young girl. When she saw my doodling, she encouraged me and bought me paint and canvases so I could experiment. As I got older, the walls of buildings became my canvas. I got a thrill out of seeing my work on those walls. I loved putting my mark on places that looked hard to reach – places that would make people wonder, ‘Wow! How did he do that?’
“But, getting that rush from my graffiti cost me. I stayed out of gangs, but not out of trouble. After a week at the Detention Center, I got sentenced to 18 months probation on criminal defacement charges and to 80 hours community service.”
But getting into trouble can lead to a way out of trouble. “My probation officer contacted his brother, Martin, who works as an Intervention Program Coordinator for BUILD’s Detention Center program, Project BUILD. Martin became my case manager and introduced me to Guillermo, another BUILD Intervention Program Coordinator, who became my counselor and a catalyst for change. I got interested in BUILD’s Youth Council, Indaglo, that works for positive change in youth and social change in communities. I’m shy, so they put me on the spot to speak out and I ended up on a televised WYCC town hall meeting, discussing youth violence. That’s a different kind of rush!
“Guillermo encouraged me to help organize Relate Skate Jam where I showcased my art, painted live, and sold some pieces. Since then, I’ve been organizing graffiti shows at festivals and skate competitions. I’ve also gotten into photography at BUILD and sold photos at their Annual Dinner and art show events. In summer 2010, I painted my first mural for the annual Chicago Meeting of Styles in Little Village and currently continue to paint murals.”
After finding his own way, Miguel is prepared to help others find theirs. “My career goal is to be a high school art teacher,” he says. “I am excited about my arts and my future. BUILD is a great place to get help to get on and stay on the right path. I will continue to be at BUILD, receiving help and encouragement myself and volunteering to help others finds their way, through art or whatever else is their key to a good future!”
And, art is exactly where BUILD and I Am Logan Square meet. I Am Logan Square is a local non profit organization that promotes and increases awareness of the arts while enhancing cultural development in Chicago’s vibrant Logan Square neighborhood.
I Am Logan Square fulfills its mission through the following activities:
- Planning and executing arts and cultural events that elevate the presence of artists and arts-focused organizations within and beyond the local community
- Promoting the achievements of local arts organizations and individual artists
- Making the arts accessible by informing the community about local cultural events
- Serving as a resource for artists seeking support and career-development
- Connecting educators and interested community members seeking to incorporate or expand arts programs with local artists and arts organizations
In addition to serving as Chicago’s No. 1 resource to discover and explore the ever-expanding arts offerings and events in the Logan Square neighborhood, I Am Logan Square presents a series of gallery openings, arts networking events, and other special programs including the annual Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.