Announcing: 'T by Trace' by Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment

Candor Arts is thrilled to announce the release of T by TRACE, an art/cookbook authored collaboratively by participants in the TRACE (Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment) program at Hamilton Park in Chicago’s Englewood community. 

This book has been rescheduled for a Spring 2019 release

It will be produced in a handmade edition of 75 copies designed by the teens of the TRACE program, produced by Candor Arts.

Image:  TRACE Teens working on book design at Candor Arts.

Image: TRACE Teens working on book design at Candor Arts.


Exploring the culinary and agrarian traditions embedded in Chicago’s southside, T by TRACE combines the family narratives of southside youth with profiles of Englewood gardeners, growers and environmental activists as a form of creative ethnography disrupting contemporary narratives of Chicago’s Black communities as inherently violent, disconnected and unresourced.

Notes on the above images: Graphic design image created by Dartony "Tiny" Wright in collaboration with artist Leah Gipson, a visiting artist for TRACE. The context of the design (according to Tiny) represents community bonding and ideas around food sustainability. 

The photo collages were made using the teens' family photographs to enforce the importance of family histories/narratives and shared identities. 


TRACE (Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community & Environment) is a civic leadership and community curatorial job training program of the Chicago Park District headquartered at Hamilton Park Cultural Center in the Englewood community.  Using the practice of Creative Activism, TRACE shows teens how to leverage the arts to engage, inspire and persist for positive change within ourselves and our communities.

During the spring of 2018, ten TRACE interns worked with teaching artists Concitta Cavin and Zakkiyyah Najeebah to conceptualize, research, produce and design what they envision as a celebration of the ways food and our relationship with the land has been and can be a balm for we descendants of The Great Migration searching for resiliency within the urban landscape.

As an extension of the teens exploration of environmental activism and food, TRACE also invited guest artist Leah Gipson to guide a textile workshop in which teens were encouraged to use designs and patterns as a means to communicate ideas that enforce their definitions of imagination, community, and shared identities. Exercising the importance of shared narratives and family, several of our teens submitted family photographs to activate questions regarding the Black family photo archive, informal archiving practices, and the overall concept of “family”.

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Follow TRACE on Instagram: @teensreimaginin