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The latest news and hot topics impacting our local south side communities.

SECC Announces the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program for 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

South East Chicago Commission Announces the

Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program for 2018


CHICAGO (April 16, 2018) - The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) is delighted to announce a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the 2018 Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program with generous support from the Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund, Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC), Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and the Hyde Park Bank, A Wintrust Bank.  Since 1999, the program has offered funds to neighborhood schools, religious congregations, community organizations, park advisory councils, and block groups to support neighborhood beautification projects.


“By working together, we can build community from within the community. The power of partnerships can help the neighborhood thrive and create safe places and spaces for everyone to enjoy.”  said Diane Burnham, Executive Director of the SECC


For 2018, the SECC announced that there will be a special project awarded in Memory of Stephen J. Albert, the former Executive Director of the Court Theater, who passed away this past year. For the past three years, the Court Theater has been one of the SECC’s in-kind sponsors of the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program. 


The SECC and our partners are excited to resume making grants for 2018 that assist eligible organizations with neighborhood beautification projects in the Oakland, Kenwood, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and Washington Park communities. Each grant will be awarded based upon the proposed project, with a maximum grant amount of $4,000 per organization. Proposed projects must:

1. Be highly visible from the street

2. Be completed between June 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018

3. Physically enhance the neighborhood and build on the character and uniqueness of the community

4. Strengthen civic pride and a strong sense of community

5. Be sustainable

Each proposal will be reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the community areas and the SECC. Proposal deadline is Monday May 14, 2018.


Following are a few examples of how the community has benefited from previous Neighborhood Enhancement Grant awards:

Friends of 51st Street: The 51st Street and Calumet Avenue Mural Project contributed to the revitalization of 51st Street with an inspiring and colorful mural art to attract businesses and residents to the historic Washington Park community. (Washington Park)

The Brickyard Garden: A NeighborSpace Garden, installed a second raised garden bed for floral and vegetables near 61st Street and Woodlawn Avenue to provide free produce to the surrounding community. (Woodlawn)

Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC): Nestled away in the Oakland and Kenwood communities, and often used by local daycares and small businesses, Park 43, is a project that installed new plantings, repaired a broken fence, removed overgrown weeds, and painted two benches. (Oakland/Kenwood)


For more information and to download RFP materials, please visit: