Vanessa Stokes: Bringing Art to the Front Porch

October 14, 2019
Front Porch Arts Center co-founders Vanessa Stokes (left) and Keli Stewart
Front Porch Arts Center co-founders Vanessa Stokes (left) and Keli Stewart.

The neighborhood of Austin, on Chicago’s Westside, has lacked a public art center for over 10 years. Landmark graduate Vanessa Stokes decided it was time for that to change.

Front Porch Arts Center is a new nonprofit in Chicago with a big mission: to reclaim, re-imagine, and celebrate the Westside’s art, community, and culture. Brainchild of artist and community organizer Vanessa Stokes and writer and educator Keli Stewart, the Center works to ‘reexamines African-American social and cultural history by creating spaces that explore our complex contemporary narratives.’

The cover image for Motherwit’s first event, a vintage photograph by photographer Dorrell Creightney, Vanessa’s father.

Front Porch Arts Center recently began its first monthly event series, Motherwit, a ‘curated kitchen table conversation celebrating the diverse narratives of Westside women.’ The first month’s discussion included motherhood, creativity, and work, and was put on through a partnership between Front Porch Arts Center and Westside Arts House.

The Center is quickly gaining attention, including a recent article with Block Club Chicago.

Front Porch Arts Center logoMore information about Front Porch Arts Center is available on their website and Facebook page.

If you would like to help support this nonprofit organization, they have a fundraising platform online.

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